When Faye Toogood confirmed up to her to start with conference at Birkenstock’s headquarters for their new collaboration, Birkenstock x Toogood, she brought with her a ginormous box. Within? Model footwear she’d cobbled with each other out of cardboard, sellotape, and wire. “They ended up almost childlike,” she recollects with a chuckle. “But the generation division was delighted.”
If you abide by Toogood’s do the job, that anecdote isn’t surprising. The British designer has an absolute commitment to form around something else: her Roly Poly chair, with its infant elephant-esque shape, is legendary and immediately recognisable. So when she teamed up with the shoe brand, there’s no way she was just likely to slap on a colour, mail it in excess of in a PDF, and call it a day. “We aren’t the form to put a emblem or a pattern on some thing,” she states. No: She was likely to shape her slip-ons into one thing distinctly, tangibly, Toogood.
Which is a tricky endeavour, by the way. Birkenstocks are beloved precisely because of their configuration: their squishy, flat footbed, their loose fitting straps, their effortless, throw on manner. (Can you identify one more shoe model that’s worn by Katie Holmes, types on the Valentino runway, and your grandpa?) “You have to be cautious if you are chatting about recutting them. Which is like redoing the shape of a wheel,” states Toogood. “You have to retain that high-quality line. We wanted to make a little something diverse, but a thing you could nonetheless join to the initial, sensible, shape.”
To start with, there’s the Forager, a simplistic type that comes in felt, leather and – most ambitiously – canvas. (Canvas is a signature fabric of Toogood’s, applied recently for her Puffy chair. She enjoys it for the obstacle. “As a designer, you truly have to get the job done on the geometry to make it elevated and attractive,” she describes. “If it seems to be superior in canvas, it usually means it is a wonderful layout.”) Then, the Mudlark, a shoe Toogood imagines would be worn by an archaeologist mucking around for ancient artifacts by the river. Ultimately, the Beachcomber, a plump design encouraged by frothy and fluffy seafoam.
General, Toogood’s colour palette is a muted just one. (See: that aforementioned focus on sort.) With a single exception: pollen, a hue that is greatest described as that of a dividing highway line. Since, well, it truly is the exact same shade of a dividing road line: a number of yrs ago, they had been accomplishing design do the job on the avenue suitable out of Toogood’s studio. Then it dawned on her: “It was the excellent utility yellow,” she states. So she ran out and asked the personnel to coat a single of her sculptures. She’s employed that as a baseline ever because.
Sneakers are not the only thing in her Birkenstock collaboration, by the way. Toogood was also motivated to make her individual comfortable outfits line to pair with the no-fuss sneakers, as perfectly as a Birkenstock mattress. (Indeed, you go through that appropriate – if it is your dream to have a mattress with the very same comfortable regularity as a Birkenstock sole, place in a personalized purchase on 1774.com.)
“It’s probably the most bold undertaking we’ve accomplished,” suggests Toogood. “But it’s great.”
This report was originally released on Vogue.com.
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