Mr. Bailey
Designer + Footwear Architect | Founder of @ConceptKicks | Instagram @MrBailey_ | www.MrBailey.co.uk

All posts by Mr. Bailey

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More Inspiring Concepts by Rose Morph

Brazilian futruist, Rose Morph has been posting a constant stream of beautifully executed, surrealistic concept renderings and sketches.
From safety footwear with headlights embedded into the toe, to soles made from moon rock, Rose’s concepts are bound only by his imagination.

You can see more of Rose’s super inspiring creations, below.
 

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A Look At Reebok’s Inspiring Archives

Reebok designer Xavier Jones has been sharing sharing some of Reebok’s incredible archives via his Instagram account for quite some time. Showcasing an array of original samples, from DMX to a few key concepts developed by Steven Smith, each creation offers up some insight into the brands rich heritage, as well as just being super inspiring.

You can see more of Reebok’s impressive archive, shared by Xavier, below.
 
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Material Innovation: This Leather is Grown in a Lab

New Jersey based start-up, Modern Meadow has engineered a way to grow, or better yet, brew leather in a lab, without harming any animals.

“We have engineered a strain of yeast — like a cousin of what you’d use to brew beer — which can produce collagen through fermentation. Collagen, which is found in animal skins, is the main biological building block of leather. We assemble it into a range of materials that become our ‘Zoa bioleather.'” – Modern Meadow CEO and founder, Andras Forgacs

The bioleathers only take around two weeks to be “brewed”, considerably less time then it takes to raise livestock. The “Biofabricated Zoa” leather can either be delivered in sheets, like traditional leather, or even poured into place for more intricate applications. “It can go anywhere traditional leather would go, and beyond,” Forgacs said.

You can read more about Biofabricated Zoa leather, here, or check out the video below for more info.
 

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A Look at the Initial Sketch of the Adidas Crazy 1 Sock ADV Primeknit

I’m usually pretty skeptical when performance brands try to create lifestyle versions of athletic models. It takes a combination of somewhat unteachable attributes to be able to finesse that fine line between style/fashion and performance. Understanding what elemets to carry over, the material usage, what’s too much, what’s not enough…etc.

Adidas designer, Andrew Parks recently shared his initial sketch of a recent shoe that has masterfully balanced both style/fashion and respected it’s performance DNA. Below you can see Andrew’s sketch of the beautifully executed Adidas Crazy 1 Sock ADV Primeknit.
 
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A Closer Look at the Nike Epic React Animation

Nike reached out to Art Director & Designer, Santi Zoraidez to come up with their lastest animation for the Nike Epic React. As you can see below, the imagery is as inspiring & playful as it is incredibly well executed.

“So happy to have been approached by Nike to be part of the successful campaign releasing the new and revolutionary Epic React Flyknit! Long working hours and passion for work it was the formula to bring this project to life!
Years ago when people asked: “What’s one of your career’s biggest dreams?” I used to say “I would love to work for Nike”. So, here I am! Doing fun stuff for this great brand together with nice people, and it feels great!” – Santi Zoraidez

Directed by Santi Zoraidez
Art Direction & Design: Santi Zoraidez
Lead Animation: Facu Labo
Additional Animation: Edward Chiu / Diego Diapolo / Javier Bianchi

You can see more of Santi and his teams impressive work, below.
 
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Last Comes First…Does it Though? | Dominic Chambrone

Late last year in Milan, Dominic Chambrone (a.k.a The Shoe Surgeon) and I had an interesting conversation about the whole “Last Comes First” theory, and his personal view-point on it. I’d have to say, coming from a world of creating my own shoes, both for clients and my own ventures, I agree with a lot of what he’s saying. Ideally, yes, the last should come first…but is that actually feasible for today’s smaller/independant brands that don’t have the budget of their larger counterparts to continure opening new sole tooling?

See what Dom had to say, below.
 

“I would say at this time the sole comes first, or they (the last and sole) go hand in hand.” – Dominic Chambrone

 
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Last comes first is such a catchy sound. And it makes a lot of sense. I love the idea hat everyone should truly focus on the last first. Yes it’s the integrity of the foot. It’s the 3d shape we build our designs on. It should be the main focus. But what about the sole?

I’ve worked with many different companies and brands that have produced in Portugal, China, Italy , Spain etc.. and I learned a lot.

While large companies with money can truly focus on the last what’s happening to the smaller guys?

A new sneaker company can’t just open a new mould all the time as its very expensive.

The little guys with much less money have to focus on choosing an open mould and then finding a last that can fit inside that mould. Yes the last can be altered after you get the base footprint.

But does the last really come first now?

I would have to disagree. The sole comes first in many instances. We have to develop our shoes based on open moulds and open lasts. Starting from scratch isn’t cost effective. Starting a new last, starting a new mould costs $$$

The last should come first as its the part that resembles the foot the most. And that’s what shoes are to be protective Armour of someone’s foot.

I would say at this time the sole comes first or they go hand in Hand. You have to choose the sole and then the last simultaneously. Until we continue to push the technology of shoemaking from 3d printed outsoles to abilities to open easier less expensive moulds. We the ones with not so much money will continue having to choose the soles before the last.

 

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Fragmented Sole Concepts by Linus Lundkvist

Designer Linus Lundkvist has been posting some beautiful sole concepts to his Instagram profile, some even resulting in some super interesting upper/sole collaborations with follow designers on the platform.
His more recent creations have had more of a fragmented look to them, and push the limits of how we could potentially create sole units just like this, using more contemporary construction methods in the future.

Check out Linus’ inspiring fragmented sole concepts, below.
 
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10 Inspiring Female Footwear Creatives to Follow on Instagram

I’m not generally one to know (or care) about a lot of specially donated days of the year. I vehemently stand by my opinion that Valentines day is pretty much a scam by card companies. Mothers day too (show your mum love everyday). Thanks Giving’s decent for the food I guess (though we don’t celebrate that here in England). Having said all that though, this morning I realised that today was a particularly interesting holiday, and something I’ve been meaning to focus on for quite some time.
Today is International Women’s day, and in the spirit of that I thought I’d share a small list of super talented people that also happen to be women, and that are innovating and pushing the industry forward in new and exciting ways.

Below is a list of 10 Inspiring Female Footwear Creatives to Follow on Instagram.
 
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Suzanne Oude Hengel

Design independant and shoe wizard, Suzanne Oude Hengel is pushing knitting and overall material innovation to new heights. Suzanne is without a doubt making some of the most inspiring and creative leaps in the footwear materials space.
 


 

Stephanie Saris

Currently designing for Y-3 (one of my personal favourite brands), Stephanie is helping to maintain and push the incredibly high level of creative, industry leading design that Y-3 upholds.
 


 

Solene Roure

Former Nike footwear designer, current design consultant and co-founder of one of London’s most promising new footwear brands, Primury, Solene is helping to both uplift the iconic, staple brands that she works with, and is also creating thought provoking yet incredibly clean and clever designs for her own brand.
 


 

Aranka Agatha Hurkens

Currently working with Balenciaga as an Assistant Accessories Designer, Aranka is an incredibly talented designer that may be responsible for one of the largest socially interracted posts I’ve put on our Instagram account. The work that she’s done for her graduation project alone is enough to show you just how talented and bright Aranka’s future is.
 


 

Helen Kirkum

Former Adidas designer and current design/artist consultant, Helen’s influence on the current sneaker landscape is undeniable. Having recently visited Helen’s studio and hearing what she’s been up to, Helen is clearly going to be getting a lot more attention and exposure for her super creative artwork/designs in the near future.
 


 

Polina Krichko

Innovation, textile, and footwear designer, Polina is constantly looking to push in all aspects of her creations. From fully knitted, knee high boot/sneakers, to creating her own sneaker outsole moulds, Polina’s ingenuity and hands-on approach allows her to constantly create beautifull, thought-provoking products and concepts.

 


 

Piet Langeveld

Former Filling Pieces designer, current consultant, all around style icon and creative, Piet is by far one of the most interesting people I’ve met in the industry so far. The best way to understand a little more about her and her philosophies is through her own words, found in this interview with Coeval Mag.
 

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Meline Katchi

Current Energy Designer at Nike Basketball, Meline is a classically trained, forward thinking and super creative designer that’s helping to push Nike Basketball to, in my opinion, create some of their best Basketball silhouettes for quite some time. You may also remember her from a sneaker sketch book that her and her boyfriend (Mes, who’s also at Nike) created, called Sketch Pallette.
 

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Ashley Comeaux

Currently a designer at Nike, Ashley has been designing for everyone from Reebok to Converse, and now Nike, since 2009, and recently created one of my personal favourite Nike releases (seen below).
 

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Asha Harper

Current Colour & Materials/Product Designer at Puma Sportstyle, and formerly designing at Dr Martens and interning at Alexander McQueen, Asha is super talented designer and all around creative that’s for sure someone to keep an eye on for the future.
 

 

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Nike Baseball 2020 Cleat Concept by Brenton Wehrmeyer

Brenton Wehrmeyer recently posted this Nike Baseball 2020 project (which is still a work-in-progress) to his portfolio. With the aim being to design cleats that will allow for better traction and spring in the forefoot area, allowing for a more explosove and faster jump in any situation on the field, Brenton created a cleat with a two-piece plate and a shank acting as a bridge between the forefoot and heel to give the user a more natural foot motion. He also added a protective skin over the vamp to protect from balls off the bat, foam protection in between knit layers and a leather overlay TPU overlay on knit tp protect against toe drag.

Brenton’s still intending on adding another cleat and turf trainer to round out the project, but for now you can see some of the initial thought process and progression behind his Nike Baseball 2020 Cleat Concept, below.
 

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Last Comes First | Salehe Bembury

Former Cole Haan & YEEZY Designer, current Head Designer of Sneakers at VERSACE & CK Contributor, Salehe Bembury is next up for our Last Comes First series.
From discussing how a good last can subconsciously provoke a consumer in purchasing your design, to showcasing his lyrical prowess with a little poem about just how important lasts are (#BARS).

See Salehe’s responses about how the Last Comes First, below.

“A lot of the time I believe it is the last that subconsciously provokes a consumer to make a purchase. Shape matters.” – Salehe
 
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The last is the most important aspect of shoe production because it affects comfort, function, and aesthetic. It is the difference between an Air Monarch and an Air Max 90. A lot of the time I believe it is the last that subconsciously provokes a consumer to make a purchase. Shape matters.

A business can be created from a last shape alone. Examples of this are Birkenstock, Crocs, & Red Wing. A last shape can be signature…it can be emotional. The same way we as humans care about our body’s silhouette, I think that the shape of our footwear is an extension of that same concern.
 

A POEM ABOUT LASTS – By Salehe Bembury

I had just arrived at the factory doors
There was glue and leather all over the floors
My developer was excited to show me our creation
But first he explained there was a slight miscalculation
I didn’t understand how that could be
I sent the specs, the refs, and swatches you see
He said that everything was followed to par
But I looked at the shoe and it was quite far
What was wrong with my proto, something was a awry
But then I remembered, I was dealing with “Backwards guy”
He watched me examine the sample so mad I wanted to burst
But I calmly explained to him that…last…comes…FIRST.


(BARS BARS BARS)

 
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A Look at the Design of the Rocky S2V Trail Runner

Rocky Footwear Designer and Developer Kasey LaCourse showcased some of the initial design and development behind the brands latest Trail Running silhouette, later last year.
Created for Spring 2016, the Rocky S2V Trail Runner was developed to be a lightweight, minimal off-road trail running shoe and designed with three main attributes in mind: comfort, stability and performance.

“The shoe features compression fit technology, which wraps around the foot and provides a sock like fit. The outsole is a proprietary triple density Vibram® rubber, EVA, and TPU outsole which provides all-terrain grip on uneven ground. The idea was to design a functional yet stylish running shoe suitable for both novice and experienced trail runners.” – Kasey

You can see Kasey’s initial sketches, renders and final product shots, below.
 
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Y-3 Concept by Corentin Bricout

A look at a quick but super cleanly executed Y-3 project by our recent Concepot Surgeon winner (updates coming soon), Corentin Bricout.
A mixture of intriguing material usage, assymetrically wrapped zipper and what looks to be some type of lacing structure at the heel, the whole concept refreshingly unqiue.

Check out the initial ideation and final render, below.
 
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