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Take Four: Well Designed Shoes

Take Four will be a semi-regular look at four things that follow a trend. First up: designer shoes. The relationship between fashion and design is nothing new, but being a fashionable brand doesn’t necessarily translate into being a brand known for fashion, and even established forces in the footwear world can use a little inspiration.

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Here are some interesting collaborations.

1. Kartell/.normalisa – Glue Cinderella

Kartell’s decidedly dapper Chairman Claudio Luti co-founded Versace, so it doesn’t seem a stretch to see the brand branching into attire. His daughter Lorenza Luti, Kartell's marketing and retail manager, spearheaded the union with Italian label .normaluisa, and the injection-molded, plastic ballet flats are fit for a princess indeed.

2. Nike/maharam – Air Force 1 with Layers textile

Cool, chunky, and funky…surely having custom textile on your Nikes only enhances one’s street cred? To celebrate the 25th anniversary of the AF1, the shoe is being released in unique limited editions. This line is constructed with Layers, 100% wool felt by Maharam and Dutch industrial designer Hella Jongerius, which is embroidered by machine and hand-cut to create the patterns. The shoe will be available in February.

3. K-Swiss/United Nude

These have been re-imagined by London-based United Nude, a brand started in 2003 by Rem D. Koolhaas (the other Rem's nephew) and Galahad Clark (whose now iconic Mobius set them apart from the start), and yes, they really do stand on their heel!

4. Camper/Maria Blaisse – C-shoe

This is my fave of the bunch, an awesome concept from the ever-reliable Camper. Designer Maria Blaisse took the toroid—basically, a doughnut shape—as inspiration, and created an interesting silhouette.

Can you think of a dream partnership for a new look in footwear? I’d be jazzed to see Dwell’s very own Design Director Kyle Blue have his way with a pair of his beloved Vans.

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