Concept Surgeon Top 10 | #9 Ilyas Darakchiev
Easily part of our top 10 entries, designer Ilyas Darakchiev always has an interesting perspective when it comes to his concepts. Whether it’s “Air Lacing” or his “Heat Foil” concept, Ilyas doesn’t just deign aesthetically interesting concepts, he actually creates engineered products that have innovative functionality built into them.
His submission to the ConceptSurgeon competition embodied both the techy ACRONYM DNA, but also the clean and minimal aesthetics of Hender Scheme. I also appreciated that he utilised a zipper in a slightly different manner than most. It also goes without saying that the renderings for this were pretty rediculous.
You can see more of Ilyas’ ConceptSurgeon entry, from sketch to final renderings, below.
Reebok Created a Sneaker Inspired by the BMW GINA Concept
“Design inspiration can come from one place and send you to another. This shoe began in 2014 had a water-resistant membrane coating a thin stretch ripstop. Quarter structure had “ribs” like an animal, (inspired by BMW Gina) speedlace, and a Thinsulate lined bootie. It was warm and dry and performed amazingly with a waterproof zipper to lock it all in. I’m very proud this shoe. Pushed notions of possibility and pushed me creatively in a new direction. Always be questioning! There is a part 2 to this story…” – Brian
Concept Surgeon Top 10 | #10 Brett Golliff
In no particular order, I thought it was only right to give 10 projects their own honourable post mention, and it only felt right that the first was an entry that was so so close to being chosen as the winner. For those in the footwear design industry, you’ll know that Brett Golliff is a different breed of designer. From the narrative behind his concepts, to the execution of his renderings and transparency throughout his projects process, he showcases the exact type of level we’re expecting with this competition.
I would explain the concept myself, but I can’t really do a better job than the mastermind himself –
“My goal for the @conceptkicks @theshoesurgeon #CONCEPTSURGEON competition was to find the balance between two brands that from the outside are far from each other. After evaluating their approaches I learned they are one in the same, a celebration of technique and material. I took that mentality and began thinking of how each of their qualities can come together to form a fresh take on a Chelsea Boot. Using leather in key areas to create structure and form while balancing it with lightweight engineered knits that conform to the foot. To aide in form and fit, a strap is able to be attached through the knit and wrapped around the ankle and heel. The leather heel counter is a one piece construction that unsnaps to aide in putting the shoe on. My goal was to bring these two worlds together while also taking in The Shoe-Surgeon’s approach to crafting footwear. I wanted the design to really emphasize his focus on the shape and stance of his creations. All in all I found this exercise to be incredibly fun and challenging.” – Brett
You can see each phase of Brett’s ConceptSurgeon entry, below.
Concept Surgeon Winner | Corentin Bricout
After a month of fierce competition, myself and Dominic Chambrone, a.k.a @TheShoeSurgeon sat down to go over some of the entrants that we thought best embodied what we were after when we decided to come up with the ConceptSurgeon design challenge.
Dominic brings an incredibly high level of shoe making skill and creativity.
ConceptKicks brings an rediculous pool of design talent from all levels and areas of the industry.
We wanted ConceptSurgeon to both challenge Dominic to make something he’s never done before, and also give the design community and opportunity to have their concept produced by one of the best doing it.
For our first (of many) ConceptSurgeon challenge, we asked you guys to come up with what you though an ACRONYM x Hender Scheme collaboration concept may look like, sat on an EQT BOOST Sole unit. We purposefully kept the design brief extremely loose and open to interpretation. At the end of the day we want to create fun, interesting, and different concepts that challenge the every day and have interesting narratives.
I’ll be honest and say I was between quite a few designs at the end, each represented the challenge so well. The level of involvement, from students to pros was incredible (as you can see from the final entrants) and we want to thank you all for your efforts. At the end of the day though, we decided that a young designer from Austria embodied everything that we wanted to capture with this first challenge.
So with all that said, we want to send a huge congratulations to Corentin Bricout for winning our first challenge with his beautiful design. A super interesting juxtaposition of styles and philosophies, we loved the hidden functionality, assymetric design and small touches like the leather outsole, to the piece of leather at the heel that extends and is shaoed to contour with the back of the ETQ BOOST Outsole. It’s also for sure going to be unlike any other shoe that Dom’s made to date. Now the next stage begins…
Reebok Crossfit | Pump Nano 3.0 by Marc V Brosseau
Reebok associate Footwear Designer, Marc V Brosseau recently posted this Pump Nano 3.0 project, which unfortunately never saw a release from the company.
“Two iconic Reebok franchises collide to create a unique offering for crossfitters. The indestructible crossfit shoe gets elevated with the locked-in Pump technology. The functions remain true to the requirements of crossfitters, while the form is rooted in expanding streetwear trends.” – Marc
You can see the full project, from initial sketches through to the final sample, below.
Sketches by Fardin Hazratizadeh
A quick look at some of these beautifully executed sketches by designer, Fardin Hazratizadeh.
NMD TECH I ADIDAS by Jeremie Levain
Designer Jeremie Levain always displays his concept renders in his super unique style. This time Jeremie created his version of a more techincal NMD, cleverly playing with lacing construction and material usage.
You can see more of Jeremie’s NMD TECH project, below.
A Look at the Design of the Y-3 SPORT APPROACH Low
Senior Y-3 Footwear Designer, Robert Quach recently posted a look into the design process of the Y-3 SPORT APPROACH Low.
“The rain is the state of weather that drove the direction, by the look, the feel, the noise, the effect and yet keeping the sport in mind. It was from this point that the design language was created.” – Robert Quach
You can see the initial mood boards, sketches and samples of the beautifully executed Y-3 SPORT APPROACH, below.
Designer Linus Lundkvist wants to Collab with you
We recently featured Linus Lundkvist for his impressive 3D sketched footwear. This time Linus is reaching out to the design community via Instagram, to help come up with one of his latest creations.
Linus put out the call just over a week ago that he’d love for other creatives to imprint their vision of what type of sole design may look good on his Nike upper. Since then he’s already received quite a few concepts, from soccer cleats to techy inspired sole units.
Nikelab x Gyakusou Gaiter Boot
The problem with awarding “shoe of the year” in October, is that there’s still a couple months left to go, and someone might sneak in and drop something ridiculous just in time for the Winter months. And that’s exactly what Undercover’s, Jun Takahashi and Nike just did with this “Gaiter Boot” from their NikeLab Gyakusou collection.
“As an avid runner and founder of Japanese brand Undercover Jun Takahashi brings rare brilliance to the world of running. The NikeLab Gyakusou collection focuses his rebellious attitude and aesthetic through the lens of Nike innovation. Meaning running in reverse in Japanese Gyakusou is designed to help free the mind to focus on your stride.” – Sneakerboy
I can honestly say, and I know I also speak for a few other designers I’ve had convos with over the past 24hrs, that this shoe totally caught me by surprise. In a very good way. The tooling is aggressive and chunky (yet not clunky), with a vibrant upper that features a super interesting zipped closure and beautiful details throughout.
Freeman Plat | Fuck Stereotypes. Set Precedent.
Freeman Plat has just launched their latest collection entitled, “Fuck Stereotypes. Set Precedent.” A not-so-subtle name for a not-so-subtle message (as you can see in the beautifully executed video above). Inspired by the 44th US President, Barack Obama and the Japenese culture, the collection see’s two new footwear silhouettes: the Jackson and the Oscar (both named after Freeman Plat”s front man, Jeremey Sallee’s grand fathers).
“All-in-all, the goal of the collection is to inspire those who are many times stereotyped to “SET PRECEDENT” (as President Obama did) and rid the world of harmful stigmas. The secondary goal is to piss off Trump by celebrating his predecessor.” – Joey A.X (Wanderset.com)
Handcrafted from Italian calf leather, the Jackson features a hidden stretch gore closure with an adjustable leather lace. A calf skin mudguard and heel tab that take cues from classic tennis sneakers.
The Oscar chelsea, made from Italian suede, is traditional in shape but progressively detailed with pattern pieces reminiscent of 70’s basketball. The stitched down welt and crepe bottom add for a comfortable yet tailored fit.
Finishing off both styles is the accented heal, which features their signature gold plated “Do More” screw.
Check out their politically charged, “Fuck Stereotypes. Set Precedent.” video above and their collection below. For a more in-depth description behind the collection make sure to head to their website.
adidas GRIT | Aarish Netarwala
Tasked with the question; how might Adidas create a new opportunity in a transforming landscape of exercise & sport?, designer Aarish Netarwala set to work creating, “GRIT” – one of the most intriguing, and stunning, footwear concepts I’ve seen in quite some time.
Adidas worked with ArtCenter to explore the possibilities of the future of sports. Through a strategic innovation approach to the Adidas brand, this project was developed and pitched to the future team. In order to find new possibilities, they started by looking into local grassroots sports cultures.
One particular location Aarish looked at was Sand Dune Park, located in Manhattan Beach. A number of athletes exercise at these vertical sand dunes that are constantly shifting making it incredibly hard to ascend. Aarish wanted to apply a similar philosophy to footwear, making it more difficult to run and train anywhere, essentially bringing the sand dune with you wherever you are.
As you can see below, the complex lattice wraps around the foot to provide more continuous lateral movement (like sand) and is beautifully woven into the upper. The lattice would in theory collapse on impact and relapses once the foot is off the ground absorbing energy without returning it to the user. There would also be much less “toe-off”, which would also decrease the amount of energy returned to the athlete.
Nike’s Chief of Design Doodles All Day | NYTimes
This season Nike has teamed up with the NBA to re-imagine the league’s uniforms. In the video below, The New York Times take you inside their research lab, where data helps designers understand how athletes like LeBron James move during a game.
“In the latest installment of this series that goes inside the private working worlds of designers, John Hoke, the chief design officer of Nike, discusses how his dyslexia made him look at the world differently, why he doodles and how he manages 1,000 designers.”
They also managed to catch up with the Chief Design Officer of Nike, John Hoke to discuss everything from his doodling obsession to how he see’s his dyslexia being a gift.
You can check the video out below, and see the full interview on the NYTimes site, here.
“Frankensteins” by Daniel Čorić
The whole deconstruct/reconstruct ideology has been a pretty popular one as of late. With the likes of Mathieu Hagelaars & Helen Kirkum initially rolling out their super creative reconstructed creations, and later with more prominent designers like Virgil Abloh also delivering their iterations, it’s been interesting to see how everyone’s interpreted and executed the concept.
Just in time for Halloween, designer Daniel Čorić decided to create his own take on the deconstruct/reconstruct idea with a series of three “Frankenstein” mash-ups. Each feature a unique collection of materials and sneaker parts, with tongues be placed at both the heel and outside the vamp, à la Alexander Wang’s latest collaborative efforts.
Really love the way Daniel executed these three creations, would love to see what the next would be…
You can see all three of Daniel’s explorations, below.