There is something about shoes that has always excited me. But it’s not just a frivolous addiction. I think at some level, as an architect, I have always been fascinated by the structural aspect of a shoe. It’s like a human version of a building ‘footing’. And a quarter inch here or there can make the difference between a structurally sound or structurally unstable human being. There are some shoes that seem to be achieving structural feats, using concepts like cantilevers and triangulation. Others rely solely on simple lateral support. Others still are attempting to defy structural height limitations. And of course there are architects designing shoes such as Rem Koolhaas (the senior Koolhaas’ nephew) and Zaha Hadid. I don’t necessarily buy every shoe I’m fascinated by, but that doesn’t mean they don’t deserve a mention here.
Every month I intend to feature a shoe I’m dreaming about, and this month it has to be the Camper/Bernhard Willhelm collaboration; the Willhelm. A beautiful metal-clad triangular ‘column’ holds up this shoe, supported on the other side with a solid timber platform, complete with stunning printed leather and a chunky exaggerated rope-like strap in black and white/creme. It’s colourful, and yet, almost a neutral. Excellent!