Today’s world is determined by urbanisation, all compassing communication and an ongoing cultural cross fertilisation. I like to immerse myself in environments where all of this comes together and present the attending public my collection of cultural hybrids as a token of my allegiance. In designing my collection I took old ethnical skills and artisanal techniques as points of departure. Especially in circumstances of material paucity and high demands on functionality, artisans have been able to come up with smart constructional solutions. The skills and techniques on which they rest I use in my hybrids. I mix modern archetypes and icons of style with ethnic artisanal knowledge and infuse industrial techniques with the imprint of street wear. The basis of my collection is a series of 3D sketch models. Building my sketch models I decide on their future condition in terms of construction, aesthetics and context. My collection is centred around four themes: “Casual Friday”, “Halloha”, “A Bronx Tale” and “Blue Monday”.
Born: 1985 Zelhem NL
Job was an intern at UnitedNude/ Rem D. Koolhaas and Galahad Clark.
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Research and Inspiration
I want to make good looking shoes, simply because it’s a human desire to wear them. In designing my collection two things inspired me. The first is cultural hybridisation, an age old phenomena, speeded up by urbanisation and globalisation. Somehow some local styles such as Hip Hop, the Hawaiian Aloha shirt or the espadrilles from the Pyrenees, in the course of time are picked up and diffused on a global scale, while others stay strictly local. It seems hybridisation to a certain extend has its own dogma’s, it set of rules or canons as well. In designing my collection I pushed hybridisation a little further by mixing hybrids amongst one another and adding new forms of hybridisation by combining for example elements of the espadrilles with the strictly local and non canonical land mark imagery of the town I live in. This all seems natural to me. The typical Hawaiian shirt in the 1930’s of the last century was invented by a Chinese merchant, Ellery Chun, using old Japanese kimono fabrics. You could call it improvising with what was at hand, something I did when I combined an upper inspired by the espadrille with parts of my collection of old skate boards for a sole, cutting this sole and filling the cuts with rubber to make it wearable. A second source of inspiration to me are artisan skills in shoe making from non-western origins. Shoemakers in African, Asia and South-America show the ability to make beautiful and long lasting shoes with almost nothing. I tried to compete with their shrewd constructions by devising a foot bed from EVA foam and by combining leather with macramé, knotted parts made out of cotton twine, that very easily provide firmness. Research to me is making a lot of samples and trying out known artisanal techniques in combination with my own inventions.