KIOMI is a newly established independent German fashion label with seasonal ready-to-wear collections produced throughout the year. Although their collections are not typically minimalistic in their aesthetic, I recently came across their exceptionally simple and stylish high-top shoes. Devoid of any external branding, the KIOMI mark is only featured on the inside sole of the shoe, maintaining a clean and essential appearance. I like this. Designed with 100% genuine leather, these high-tops are available in white, black and brown — the white certainly being the standout choice for me. There is not a lot more you can ask for when it comes to casual and comfortable minimalism in a shoe. Images courtesy of Zalando.
Designer Tom Dixon has collaborated with Adidas to produce an innovative collection known as The Capsule which consists of both apparel and accessories that are multifunctional, utilitarian and modern all at once. Recently featured at Pitti Uomo in Florence and London Design Festival, this project spawn from Dixon’s one experience of having to sleep on a park bench when he could not get a hotel one night in Milan. The idea of having the basic necessities that were transformable to climate and condition inspired this survival kit – being prepared for the unexpected. And what a sharp, smart looking kit it is. With its focus around two pieces of luggage – one hard and one soft, their multiple compartments hold the basic collection of minimal and utilitarian outfits of reversible tops, adjustable pants and customizable shirts where you can cut the hemlines to the desired length. Padded parkas can be turned into sleeping bags, separates that can be assembled by buttons into a one-piece suit, and shoes that come in two parts for ease of storage can be put together by PVC stitch tape. I love that the thought process that went into the function of each piece, and yet remains stylish....
Pure is a new shoe collection by the French architect, Jean Nouvel for the Italian brand, Ruco Line. The minimalist shoe was unveiled at this year’s Milan Design Week gaining great relevance, and strong opinion. This is Nouvel’s first footwear project as he looked for basic and essential lines to apply to the shoe design, which is a characteristic often seen in his architectural work. The result is an incredibly simplistic shoe with a strong identity. Pure is made up of high-quality calf leather with a rubber sole. The collection is available in a variety of colours, including; black, white, yellow and fuchsia. The shoe also features the abbreviated name of the design at the top along with its style, colour code, and date of production.
Australian designer Dion Lee’s 2013 Ready to Wear Fall collection is, in a word, beautiful. As an emerging talent, launched recently into the design scene, first in Australia, and now capturing fans globally, his work is modern verses classic, structured verses fluid, understated verses arresting. His most recent contribution to the world of adornment is his 2013 Ready To Wear Fall 2013 collection, which is a fusion of the evolution of him as designer thus far. Typically known for his feature of neoprene shapes, 3-dimensional printing, recently launching a line with glow-in-the-dark string dresses, this collection is said to have been not as flashy as the last one. However, I see the further experimentation, with the technique of felting wool into mesh, as a continuation of his aesthetic journey. I see the restraint as a obvious development also. He gave a bit of unexpected lift to certain silhouettes. Lee is a rigorous thinker. I am unashamedly in lust with Dion Lee’s work, and rightfully proud of his Australian roots also. Images Courtesy of Style.com
Kent Wang is a small company founded in Austin, Texas dedicated to making high-quality, classic menswear at reasonable prices. Founded in 2007 out of a frustration with the difficulty of finding even basic linen pocket squares at local retailers, they have since expanded into several product lines offering classic, timeless designs. One of my favorite products from their range is the Sneaker white. An absurdly clean design, beautifully finished in leather, make these sneakers into desireable pieces – even for girls! In the 1960-70s, shoemakers used to make simple, minimal shoes like these. Today, they only make excessively sporty designs plastered with logos. Let’s go back to a simpler time. A simpler time, indeed.
Lasso shoes, created by young French designer Gaspard Tiné-Berès, are a thing of simplicity that goes beyond the aesthetics. Made from a single piece of natural wool felt, they are shipped flat, which reduces shipping cost and storage space. The shoes acquire their 3D form through a simple 2D geometry and easy assembly. Here is how designer describes the concept: The slippers are delivered flat-packed for assembly by the user by “sewing” the seams with the standard laces supplied in a colour of their choice. The act of self-assembling the slippers increases the sense of ownership and emotional connection with them and allows for personalisation through the choice of laces used. The Lasso shapes are die-cut from sheets of 5mm thick felt with minimal and affordable tooling - making this product very suitable for small-scale local production. Simple design and simple business idea… A great example of shoestring wisdom! The Lasso shoes go on sale at the Tiné-Berès’ dedicated site starting this September.
The Mojito is a shoe from one single piece. Amazing! The designer, Londoner Julian Hakes, recognized that many parts of a show were unnecessary, as the foot itself has so much of the required strength and support built in. After many hours of sculpting around his own foot, Hakes ended with this single wrapped geometry, somewhat looking like of twist of lime skin – hence the name ‘Mojito’.