Thursday, July 04, 2013 - Dutch product design studio led by Tjeerd Veenhoven proudly presents its new line of vegan sandals: Palmetti. They are made of Palmleather, an organic and biodegradable material made from the shed bark of palm trees. To realize this project they started a crowdfunding campaign.
Palmetti, biodegradable vegan sandals
Palmetti, biodegradable vegan sandals

Both Palmetti and Palmleather were developed by Studio Tjeerd Veenhoven and are manufactured as close to their source as possible, in a small production unit located in Gadag, in the rural area of southern India.While Palmetti is a new product, Palmleather as a project exists for over two years. One of the many opportunities this upgraded material presents is the possibility to replace plastic, rubber or leather in numerous products such as book covers, mobile phone and tablet sleeves, bags and carriers, and of course, sandals.

Palmetti is not only ecologically but also socially responsible. The production unit in which they are manufactured is intentionally kept to a maximum of 30 workers to ensure proper working conditions as well as social cohesion. This small scale makes the unit work as a family, rather than as a group of line workers.

Palmetti and various other Palmleather products are currently only available through their crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo. 'We want to raise enough funds to build a second production unit in India. This will let us ensure proper working conditions for both units, without resorting to what sadly is common practice in India (overcrowded facilities, extremely low wages, forced unpaid overtime, etc.). That is simply no option for us.' says Veenhoven.

With this campaign, we’re asking for your contribution to build a second artisanal production unit in India, maintaining the same firm commitment to the environment and the community with which we started working in that country. We believe a system free of sweatshops and greed is the right way to do business but we need your help to make this happen. In return for your collaboration you’ll be the first to receive a pair of Palmettis, a tablet sleeve or a personalized Palmleather bag made especially for this campaign. Thanks for helping the humble sandal make a difference!

Support this wonderful project.

Studio Tjeerd Veenhoven

Monday, October 29, 2012 - Commissioned by Global Footprint, a Northamptonshire-based visual arts and living heritage programme designer Dominic Wilcox has created a fully functional prototype pair of shoes that will guide you home no matter where you are in the world.
No Place Like Home GPS shoes
No Place Like Home GPS shoes

Wilcox: "I was commissioned by the Global Footprint project in Northamptonshire, a place famous for shoe making, to create some shoes. I decided to make a pair of shoes that can navigate you to anywhere you wish to travel to. I thought about the Wizard of Oz and how Dorothy could click her shoes together to go home. After uploading your required destination to the shoes via a piece of custom made mapping software and a USB cable, the GPS, which is embedded in the heel, is activated by a heel click. It then communicates to the wearer via a ring of LED lights to point in the required direction. The shoe with the GPS wirelessly communicates with the right shoe that has a progress bar of lights to show how close you are to the destination."
Dominic Wilcox

In order to create the fully functioning prototype shoes Wilcox worked with interactive arts and technology expert Becky Stewart and local Northampton shoe maker Stamp Shoes to create the bespoke leather shoes.

More Dominic Wilcox shoes in the Virtual Shoe Museum.

If you what to read more about his work Variations on normal book
A book of over one hundred odd yet strangely logical inventions from the mind of Dominic Wilcox. Ideas include slides for falling leaves, frizbee transport and many other useful inventions.
102 pages, 100% recycled paper, 125 mm x 125 mm. Signed by the artist.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012 - Valentine's Day is about love, this website is about the love for shoes. Today's selection: Valentine. And welcome to the renewed and expanded version 2.0 of the museum. It's exactly seven years (no itch here), since we started the Virtual Shoe Museum. Friendships developed and our mailbox filled with loads of material on fantastic shoes, art and design on shoes. Since the start we hosted nearly 2 million visitors.
Today on Valentine's Day, we launch our Virtual Shoe Museum 2.0!

The core of our virtual collection focuses on designs that question the very essence of the shoe: 'Is this a shoe? 'Is this wearable?' 'Does it matter? Is it tickling your imagination? Designs that balance between these values and still present a shoe that can be worn or looks as if it could be worn, are what we're after: a twist, a sense of humor.

This new website will provide more shoe, art and design information by our blog. The layout and navigation have been updated and social media have been integrated. Visitors are now able to store their favourites and in the coming months we will open a
museum shop.

When you have new shoe designs, questions or suggestions in response to our new website please tell us, [email protected].

Get inspired! Liza Snook

Saturday, January 07, 2012 - In Berlin, several hundred protesters demanded the departure of the German President Christian Wulff with shoes, boots and other footwear in their hands. Wulff is discredited because he tried to stop a newspaper publishing an article about a controversial loan. This shoe protest refers to similar protests in the Arab world.
Political shoes
Political shoes
Political shoes

On December 14 2008 the journalist Muntadhar al-Zaidi, an Iraqi broadcast journalist. Al-Zaidi shouted 'This is a farewell kiss from the Iraqi people, you dog' and shook his shoes at the head of the former U.S.President George W. Bush constantly during a Baghdad press conference. There were calls throughout the Middle East to place the shoes in an Iraqi museum, but the shoes were later destroyed by U.S. and Iraqi security forces to prevent this. Al-Zaidi's shoe incident inspired similar incidents or political protests around the world.

This January slippers (thongs) were used in Indonesia as a symbol of injustice. This protest was called 'One thousand slippers for the National Police Commander'. All across the country Indonesian citizens offered their old worn slippers to police stations to protest against the arrest of an 15 year old boy, who had taken a pair of slippers from a police officer in Sulawesi. In this way the people expressed their frustrations about the boys extremely high punishment because he was sentenced to 5 years imprisonment for this offence.

Photo: AP/Markus Schreiber, AP/Achmad Ibrahim, Associated Press.

Friday, December 02, 2011 - From 11 December 2011 till 6 May 2012, the Groninger Museum will present the exhibition entitled Azzedine Alaïa in the 21st Century. This exhibition displays the most fantastic Alaïa fashion creations of the last ten years. Alaïa is one of the last major couturiers still active.
Azzedine Alaïa in the 21st Century
Azzedine Alaïa in the 21st Century

The exhibition is a follow-on to the overview of his work shown in the Groninger Museum in 1998, which was subsequently displayed at the Brant Foundation in New York in 2002. Tunisian-born Azzedine Alaïa is one of the most important fashion designers of the last decades. The name Alaïa stands for glamour, sensuality, style, cut, self-confidence, comfort and, of course, sex appeal. His range of clothing has received great acclaim from celebrities.

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