This group of sketches is from my spring 2009 sketchbook, which seems so recent to me but these sketches make it seem so long ago. These sketches are three separate ideas that I never knew what to do with. Its not that they are bad ideas but I just didn’t know where to take them at the time.
I think they are also a representation of mentally where I was at the time as a young designer. I had lots of ambition and always focused on innovating and creating something new in every area of the shoe, I could never just focus on what to “celebrate” within the design. I always overloaded it with everything possible. Keeping a design clean and pure was a very hard lesson to learn and it is something that I still have to remind myself to this day.
The magenta/pink sketches were inspired by Julian Hakes, an architect that created a heel from one piece of material. So naturally I tried creating a shell out of one piece of material that could support you and be minimal at the same time. These sketches were exciting to create but never really formalized into a concrete idea.
The next idea was inspired by a documentary I had seen called Between the Folds it was about the art of origami and how artists would create these elaborate forms out of one sheet of paper. It was astonishing. I felt this idea was possible in footwear since the bulk of shoes are created from square yardage of material. So I was expeirementing with how the pattern of an upper could be flexible and rigid in precise areas at the same time by using heat cured pleats. These sketches actually went to sample fase but the factory I was working with did not grasp what I was trying to do and kept stitching everything. After a few rounds I ran out of time and actually had to start a project that would make some money so the idea was shelved but I still think there is something here.
The final batch of sketches is of an Air Jordan concept. The idea was to go back to basics and have an anatomically inspired midsole, similar to the XI, with a very minimal upper. I explored two options at the time, a perforated one piece leather upper and a Flywire upper. Neither matched the aesthetic I was trying to achieve so I dropped the project but there is elements of them that I still love. Like the top view on page 7 and the lateral view in the middle left of page 6.