Friday, November 20, 2015 - The Finnish Institute in London is delighted to host the FINSK’s 10th Anniversary Exhibition, from 12 November to 15 December 2015, at the Institute in King’s Cross. FINSK will showcase its designs on purpose-built installations by Royal College of Art architecture graduates Henry Beech Mole and James Smith from Smith & Beech Mole.
FINSK 10th Anniversary Exhibition
FINSK 10th Anniversary Exhibition

FINSK is the London based label of Finnish shoe designer Julia Lundsten, launched in 2005. Julia is an alumni of the Royal College of Art, where she won the prestigious Manolo Blahnik Award two years consecutively. 'Exquisite', 'divine' and 'perfect' were just some of the superlatives used by Blahnik to describe Lundsten’s shoes.

The FINSK aesthetic comprises contrasting leathers with sculptural wooden heels, Julia has been described as ‘The Eames of footwear’ drawing inspiration from furniture and architecture design.

To commemorate the anniversary FINSK has returned to the archive to create a retrospective of iconic styles from over the years. FINSK is often celebrated for the more elaborate and boundary breaking ‘PROJECT’ shoes, experiments made purely to test something or push an idea to its limits.

The popularity of these designs among journalists and buyers alike has ensured their iconic status as part of the FINSK brand identity. Alongside the PROJECT shoes a staple for FINSK has been the mid heel range, beautifully designed and comfortable shoes for the modern woman.

Lundsten explains: 'I often think of shoes as ‘mini-buildings’ for the feet. There is a lot of engineering and detail similar to that in architecture, so I think it’s quite natural that shoe designers look at architecture for inspiration and architects are intrigued by shoes and want to have a go. Shoes have their own architecture and engineering, though, so it’s not always as easy without actual experience in designing and producing shoes.'

Aesthetically FINSK embodies specific design principles. Contrast in design is an important factor, such as a very polished, finished surface of a heel combined with a more rustic natural leather upper. Another juxtaposition is the contrast of busy London life compared to the very quiet, calm Finnish landscapes and a much slower pace of life.

The main concept of FINSK is to work with traditional, natural materials, such as wood and leather, but use them in a very modern way. Julia Lundsten seeks to continually evolve a label with dynamic longevity that is renowned for its architectural design balancing playful femininity with a sense of daily indulgence, and effortless style.

The exhibition is supported by Nordic Bakery and Smith & Beech Mole.

Finnish Institute
London, Unit 1, 3 York Way, London N1C 4AE, UK

12 November - 15 December 2015

The exhibition is open Monday to Friday 10am - 5p.

More FINSKshoes at the Virtual Shoe Museum.

Monday, November 09, 2015 - From Friday November 27th till Sunday 29th Meesterlijk will take place in Amsterdam at the Westergasfabriek. During this edition of Meesterlijk you will find various shoe designers, artists and makers. They will share their passion for shoes and show their crafts of shoemaking and leatherwork.
Various shoes at Meesterlijk
Various shoes at Meesterlijk

The centre of expertise for leather and shoe design in the Netherlands. The place where you can embrace the crafts of shoemaker and leatherwork in its full spectrum. The strength lies in the high level of expert knowledge of shoe techniques, leatherwork, and anatomy, fit and shoe design. Both the traditional craft as innovative techniques with the most modern machines are addressed in this practice orientated education. The course knows a unique connection between the shoe industry and meets the demand for craftsmen in the business. Professional lecturers convey their expertise and passion to the talented and creative designers of the future. This ensures that the Netherlands in the future can continue to deliver the design talents needed and we remain proud of Dutch crafts.

By Swart & Rademaker
Liesel Swart and Dorien Rademaker are two passionate artisan shoemakers. Professional women who are always looking for new applications and not for the obvious materials. Their collaboration has now resulted in the LEV'01. A robust timeless boot from high quality 100% wool and vegetable tanned leather. The felt shaft provides warmth, is firm and strong and naturally repels moisture and dirt. Finnish expertise in the production of the felt is responsible for snug warm feet up to - 20 degrees. Simplicity and elegance combined with quality and comfort.

René van den Berg creates shoes for many couturiers. At Meesterlijk he presents his own quirky cool men’s collection. Distinguished by absolute comfort, low environmental impact and handmade in a private atelier. Made from organically tanned leather and durable rubber. There are three models available, with or without a heel, ranging from a basic execution to tailor made colour schemes. Come and try them on at Meesterlijk.

Alexander Khorikian is a gifted shoe designer. Trained at the Dutch Shoe Academy he runs his own label. His latest collection 'LUSCIOUS' is indeed enchanting, desirable, daring and stunningly beautiful. But above all: distinguished! Perfectly tailor made for the self assured, stylish woman who dares to wear. Contrasting materials, dramatising lines and ornaments based on nature’s elegant shapes. He works in an artisan and personal fashion. Based on your good taste, style and wishes he designs several models that resonate your personality. Tailor made lasts ensure a perfect fit. You can be part of the artisan production process that follows. The result: a unique pair of shoes that compliment the wearer on her excellent taste.

Kelderman is a designer who has fully mastered the craft of sculpturing. This has led to the creation of a momentous series of stone shoes in alabaster, opal and serpentine, with detailing in wood, copper and aluminium. The series has been internationally presented in the Virtual Shoe Museum. It can now be viewed live on show at Meesterlijk.

Joaney Korevaar is a Dutch designer of sophisticated shoes and bags. Her collection is characterised by the combination of simplicity, big statements, the use of colour and highly detailed execution. The novel, unexpected shapes are designed and handcrafted in her own atelier. During Meesterlijk she presents the Pump-ups to embrace your perfect pumps. You can order these tailor-made after your desired specifications. Find these and a bag to match at the Meesterlijk presentation.

Ike is a second year student “creative craftsman” at the HMC Amsterdam specialising in shoes. An enterprising student who couldn’t wait to get started. He invested in various machines and apparatus and set up his own business. He is fascinated by leather. Exotic leather in particular, such as python, anaconda, crocodile, lizard, ostrich, stingray, salmon, river snake and eel. Ike has not finished learning and his craft develops every day. His shoes, bags, bracelets, belts and wallets are manually produced and can be ordered tailor made to the customer’s wishes. A master in the making. Visit this enthusiastic young craftsman / entrepreneur and discuss your options.

Pepa van Asperen designs fashion accessories and is known for her unexpected use of remnants that are artfully crafted into exclusive and original products. In her own atelier based in the Rotterdam harbour tailor made hats, bags and socks are produced from eco-friendly materials. Felt hats from high quality blankets in Art Deco style and gaiters for various occasions to be worn over high heels and pumps. The collections are everlasting, yet continuously innovative: slow fashion in top form.

Meesterlijk - design and crafts
27 -29 November 2015, 12.00 - 18.00
Westergasfabriek, Polonceaukade 2
Amsterdam, The Netherlands

3 days - 3 venues
Where can you buy objects directly from the product designers, fashion designers and artisans themselves? Where can you still find the pure passion for the creation process? At Meesterlijk, the contemporary event for design and craftsmanship. Your ticket (10 euro) offers access to all these venues.

There are unique products for sale, like furniture, glass and crystal objects of use, wooden, metal and ceramic objects and of course wearable items such as tailor made shirts, shoes (for both men and women), hats, bags, jewellery and other accessories.

For more information Meesterlijk

Sunday, November 01, 2015 - During the Shoe Crush month, during November 2015, an artistic exhibition from unique and innovative shoes curated by the Virtual Shoe Museum in cooperation with CELS Events are on display at the BurJuman Mall in Dubai.
Shoe Crush at the BurJuman Mall in Dubai
Shoe Crush at the BurJuman Mall in Dubai

The exhibition hosts sixty pairs of unique and bizarre shoes that were inspired by nature, iconic architecture, fine art and fashion trends. These pieces of art are designed by notorious designers and students from all over the world, known for their creativity and bold stance, due to the fact that they enjoyed expertise in different creative streams such as fashion design, engineering, fine art and others.

The exhibition embeds the innovative concept of shoes craftsmanship by shedding the light on the artistic dimension of this industry, away from its consumption nature. It also represents a unique opportunity for footwear fans to take a sneak peek on a wide range of non- traditional shoes that attracts those who appreciate distinction.

The heart of the collection is the design of the shoe in its purest form: no matter whether it is wearable, but is essential that stimulates imagination and in all this, a good dose of humor is helpful.

BurJuman Mall
Khalid Bin Al Waleed Road, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

For more information BurJuman Mall

Tuesday, October 27, 2015 - This autumn Dutch shoes designers Swart & Rademaker introduce there new brand 'LEV'01. Liesel Swart and Dorien Rademaker know each other from the Dutch Shoe Academy. Liesel is a teacher shoe techniques and design and Dorien is a graduate shoemaker. Together they have teamed up to follow their passion and realize their dream: their own label: LEV’01.

They created a robust timeless felt boot that is also elegant. Its natural material felt provides comfort and warmth and is also sturdy and strong. Felt naturally repels moisture and dirt. The design LEV’01 ensures that the felt upper with contemporary sole and heel coalesces into a modern boot. It's characterized by simplicity and elegance, while providing quality and comfort. Attention to craftsmanship, design and materials make the difference.

LEV’01 designs with attention to quality and comfort. The high-quality and durable material felt was the basis in the creation of the label LEV’01 and binding factor. LEV’01 chooses carefully its manufacturers and combines quality and responsibility.

Quality wool is dyed and felted in Finland, to an ancient tradition.

The soles and heels production is carried out by an innovative Dutch producer. The custom-made shoe and lasts are the specialties of this company, which guarantees LEV’01 comfort and quality. The boots are made of 100% high quality wool and vegetable tanned leather. The leather sole is protected with a rubber anti-slip sole.

Swart & Rademaker: “We love shoes and everything related to it. As passionate shoe designers we look around for new applications and different materials. Felt is a material of choice in times of sustainability and natural materials”.

For more information or to order online LEV’01

Also for sale at Betsy Palmer in Amsterdam and Rotterdam.

Wednesday, October 07, 2015 - We invite you to visit our exhibition Damn Pretty Dutch Shoes during the Dutch Design Week in Eindhoven. From 17 till 25 October, 2015 at the location of Piet Hein Eek in Eindhoven. Unusual materials. Unexpected forms. Craft combined with high tech and new techniques. 15 top designers present a diverse and inspiring collection of experimental shoes.
Damn Pretty Dutch Shoes
Damn Pretty Dutch Shoes

Amber Ambrose Aurèle
René van den Berg
Janine van den Bosch
Nienke van Dee
Ellis Droog
Chris van den Elzen
Iris van Herpen X United Nude
Chrissie Houtkooper
Alexander Khorikian
Dora Kloppenburg
Peter Popps
Peterson + Stoop
Mandy Rose
Ilja Visser
A number of participating designers will be present at the exhibition.

Damn Pretty Dutch Shoes
Organized by the Virtual Shoe Museum
A concept of Liza Snook & Chris van den Elzen
Film: Stainless Media & Hessel Waalewijn
Graphic design: Erik Cox & Chris van den Elzen

Location Piet Hein Eek
Halvemaanstraat 30
5651BP Eindhoven

Opening hours
Saturday 17th till Saturday 24th October: 10:00 till 21:00
Sunday 25th October: 10:00 till 18:00

For more information Dutch Design Week

Friday, September 18, 2015 - Celebrating urbanity in a new and different way. Sneaker brand nat-2 and perfume producer Atelier PMP belong to the most creative companies in Germany and were rewarded last year by the German government for their creativity: both companies are 'Kreativ- und Kulturpiloten', yes it means creative culture pilots… And this was the starting point for the idea to team up and to do a unique collaboration. Again both brands prove to be creative pilots.
CONCRETE FLOWER meets Cube2 reflective from nat-2
CONCRETE FLOWER meets Cube2 reflective from nat-2

Concrete Flower & A super cool sneaker or: How to paint the world?
Concrete Flower is more than just a super-modern fragrance, it is also an attitude. It is Concrete Flower’s mission of ending the drab and letting our cities bloom again. On the fragrance’s website, artists from all around the world can show how they are transforming concrete into visual bouquets: with tags, graffiti, plants. The South African graffiti artist Nardstar* has already left behind her take on blossoming concrete in Cape Town – other artists from Shanghai to New York and of course Hamburg has followed.

The Fragrance
For a second the senses are stunned and seduced by a super fresh and green ginger note, which develops quickly into a note both lime-fresh and herbal, based upon bergamot, mandarine, black pepper, thyme, sage and kardamon. The heart: an unexpected chord of neroli, ginger, jasmine, iris, clove oil and lily. The base note resonates with styrax, noble wood notes of sandalwood, Chinese cedar and oakmoss, rounded off with amber and a hint of musk. And there it is! A super-modern, intensely green and energising play on the Eau de Cologne theme comes to life.

Concrete meets Flacon
How do you pack a love letter to graffiti? How do you connect the flower and the wild energy of the unplanned with the strict strength of concrete? The scent 'Concrete Flower' stands for this untamed energy for the growths of uniquness, the power that can pierce through concrete. This is contrasted by the clean style of the flacon: the cool and heavyness of concrete, the clear glass...

The Parfumer
Mark Buxton is a perfume creator and hedonist who works for labels like Comme des Garcons Fragrances, Le Labo, Givenchy, Cartier and Burberry – or for PMP Perfumes Mayr Plettenberg such as with the already successful 'Dreckig bleiben'!
For more information Mark Buxton

Also avialable at the
Coilex Store
Theresienstrasse 71
For more information Coilex Store'

Tuesday, September 15, 2015 - Allow me to present you a banquet full of aesthetic flavors and tastes. An artistic feast in footwear presented by Chu-Ting Lee from Royal College of Art Womenswear Footwear. Tuesday 15 september at 10.30 at the Gallery Mess Bar, Saatchi Gallery London, UK.
Food Adventure
Food Adventure

Tuesday 15 september at 10.30- 18.00
Wednesday 16 september at 10.30- 18.00
Thursday 17 september at 10.30- 18.00

Gallery Mess Bar, Saatchi Gallery London, UK

In collaboration with:
Performance Model: Evelyn Yang
Ceramic Artist : Christina Liu
Fashion Designer: Naoya Nakayama
Product Designer: Li- Hsin Liang

For information visit Gallery Mess Bar, Saatchi Gallery

More shoes by Chu-Ting Lee at the Virtual Shoe Museum.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015 - This exhibition tells the story of inspirational and groundbreaking fashion shoes of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. It shines a light on those fashion and shoe designers who left their footprint on the world of shoes by means of the exquisite and innovative designs they created. Based on the long-term loan to MoMu from shoe collectors Geert Bruloot and Eddy Michiels.
Footprint - The tracks of Shoes in Fashion
Footprint - The tracks of Shoes in Fashion

This exhibition includes early and iconic work by Prada, Maison Margiela, Dirk Bikkembergs, Ann Demeulemeester, Dries Van Noten, A.F. Vandevorst, Manolo Blahnik, Christian Louboutin, Tokio Kumagaï, Roger Vivier, J.W. Anderson, Balenciaga, André Perugia, Jean Paul Gaultier, Vivienne Westwood, Salvatore Ferragamo, Patrick Cox, Raf Simons, Azzedine Alaïa and many more.

A book by the title ‘Foot Print – The tracks of shoes in fashion’, published by Lannoo, will accompany the exhibition. The book will contain over 30 interviews by Geert Bruloot with the world-renowned shoe and fashion designers responsible for some of the landmark shoe designs of the past 40 years. Accompanied by new images of
Bruloot and Michiels’s shoe collection, and images from the designers’ archives, it promises to be a true feast for shoe enthusiasts and fashion lovers alike. Foot Print features contributions from writer and editor Hettie Judah.

Footprint – The Tracks of Shoes in Fashion
From 03|09|15 > 14|02|16
Fashion Museum Province of Antwerp - MoMu
Nationalestraat 28
2000 Antwerp

For more information visit MoMu

Heel-only shoe in wood and patent leather by Jurgi Persoons, S/S 1997, reproduction of a 1950s sandal.
Photo © MoMu/Frédéric Uyttenhove

Friday, August 21, 2015 - An exhibition celebrating the visionary shoe designer Beth Levine (1914-2006) runs at the Long Island Museum in New York, from August 21h till January 4, 2016. This exhibition includes a wide array of iconic footwear, photographs, paintings, memorabilia, illustrations, accessories, film footage and artifacts from public and private collections relating to Levine's early life on a farm in Long Island through her ascent to the pinnacle of the fashion world. More than almost any single 20th century American designer, Levine revolutionized women’s footwear in ways that still resonate.
Beth Levine: The First Lady of Shoes
Beth Levine: The First Lady of Shoes

In addition to three First Ladies (Jacqueline Kennedy, Pat Nixon, Lady Bird Johnson, who chose Levine’s shoes for their extreme comfort), Beth's clients included Marilyn Monroe, Ava Gardner, Barbra Streisand, Lauren Bacall, Liza Minelli, and Cher. The boots that Nancy Sinatra wore for her 1966 hit "These Boots are Made for Walkin'" were designed by Beth. Levine collaborated with designers including Halston, Geoffrey Beene, Bill Blass and designed all the footwear for Braniff Airline's flight attendants. Her work is collected by many museums and individuals including Christian Louboutin and Manolo Blahnik. This exhibition 'Beth Levine: The First Lady of Shoes' will reintroduce our audience to a true American original, an exceptionally creative, playful, and practical force in 20th century fashion design.

This exhibition is being guest-curated by Helene Verin, an adjunct professor at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City, and the recognized expert on Beth Levine.

Book: Beth Levine Shoes by Helene Verin
Published by Stewart, Tabori and Chang.
ISBN 1584797592

Beth Levine: The First Lady of Shoes
August 21 till January 4 2016
Located at 1200 Route 25A in Stony Brook, the Long Island Museum is a Smithsonian Affiliate dedicated to American history and art with a Long Island connection. Regular museum hours are Thursday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m.

For information visit

Photo: leather Jockey boot by Beth Levine inspired by Joan Miró, 1965 © Helene Verin.

More shoes by Beth Levine at the Virtual Shoe Museum.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015 - This summer the Stadtgalerie in Klagenfurt houses a unique exhibition for people who want to use all their senses to experience shoes. Not only the five common ones, but also the sixth sense, a more mysterious one, looking in the past and in the future. About 100 fascinating design and art objects show shoe, by around 80 artists and designers from Austria and around the world, in all their sense stimulating manifestations. This exhibition is a cooperation between Stadtgalerie Klagenfurt, Ponte Organisation für kulturelles Management GmbH and the Virtual Shoe Museum.
SHOEting Stars 5 Sinne & Mehr
SHOEting Stars 5 Sinne & Mehr

The objects in this exhibition celebrate our possibilities to detect stimuli. We can hear shoes before we see them. We can touch them and then we are lost, because we want to feel them on our own feet. Some shoes we can eat (when we see or feel shoes made of mouth-watering material) and other shoes do something to our noses. In many ways shoes can stimulate our senses and that is exactly what the promoters of this exhibition want us to experience.

The exhibited shoes have sprung from the creative power of designers, artists and architects. Most of their experimental shoe creations are one of a kind or have been produced in small series only, made out of high-tech or natural materials as wood, ceramics, paper, leather or fabric. The spectrum ranges from an architectonic approach through experiments with materials to the shoe as a fetish object. The manifold possibilities inherent in shoes as a creative medium are reflected not only in the shoes themselves but also in installations, photographs and videos, and include the positions of various Austrian artists and designers.

Liza Snook, curator of the Virtual Shoe Museum and composer of this exhibition says: ‘Shoes symbolize passion and sensuality. They can move you in different ways. They can inspire and impress you. Shoes can be your second skin and bring you in or out of balance. In the hands of designers, artists and architects these fashionable everyday objects turn into spectacular and unique sculpture. Wearable or unwearable; as an art object, as a fetish. I think shoes acquire an autonomous artistic statement beyond everyday use.’

The following artists, architects and designers are present in the exhibition:
ainsley-t (Stuart Thom), Mihai Albu, Irene Andessner, Amber Ambrose Aurèle, Ona B., Be&D, Neel Barten, Madeleine Berkhemer, Marloes ten Bhömer, Lisa Brumbauer , Aki Choklat, Erik Cox, Nienke van Dee, Esther Dorhout Mees, Chris van den Elzen, Mariana Fantich & Dominic Young, Alexander und Christian Fielden, Joyce de Gruiter, Zaha Hadid for United Nude, Katrien Herdewyn, Iris van Herpen x United Nude, Ivo Hofsté, Carolin Holzhuber, Ivanka Ska, INSA (Joe Insa), Jan Jansen, Hélène Jaspers, Freya Jobbins, Lauren Johnstone, Sharon Joosten, Birgit Jürgenssen, Kei Kagami, Kaarina Kaikkonen, Gudrun Kampl, Hetty Kelderman, Aleksandra Kielpinska, Kenneth Kirschner, Dora Kloppenburg, Rem D Koolhaas for United Nude, Youngwon Kim, Jochen Kronier, Tokio Kumagaï, Kobi Levi, Pinelopi Loizidou, Eelko Moorer, Krista van der Niet, Thuy Pham, Minna Parikka, Caro Peirs, Bart Persoons, Antoine Peters, Tea Petrovic, Asia Pietryk, Peter Popps, Elvira Rajek, Maurice Regnaut, Inge Helena Rietjens, Roswitha van Rijn, Svenja Ritter, Mandy Roos, Iris Schieferstein, Rose Sellery, Deborah Sengl, Neta Soreq, Jared Steffensen, Sanne Steijger, Liesel Swart, Mark Schwartz, Gianluca Tamburini, Bruno Tansens, Kermit Tesoro, Elisabeth Thorsen, Sergio Toro, Enikő Tóth-Kern, Anna Vasof, Joyce Verhagen, Ap Verheggen, Ilja Visser, Rhonda Voo, Julius Welby, Lie van der Werff, Matthias Winkler, Anuk Yosebashvili, Erwina Ziomkowska, Barbara Zucchi, Peter Zwaan.

The exhibition opens on the 26th of June and ends at October the 11th.
On the opening day the 25th of June 19.00 the admission is free.

SHOEting Stars 5 Sinne & Mehr
26 06 11 until 11 10 2015
Mag. Beatrix Obernosterer
Stadtgalerie Klagenfurt am Wörthersee
Theatergasse 4
9020 Klagenfurt am Wörthersee

Photo: Cone by Peter Popps, photo by Tom ten Seldam and Cutlery by Lauren Johnstone.

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