Mr. Bailey
Product Designer + Footwear Architect | ConceptKicks Founder + Director

All posts by Mr. Bailey

Sneaker Keychain Workshop With Helen Kirkum

The super talented artist/designer, Helen Kirkum put on a trial Sneaker Keychain workshop this past weekend and asked if I’d be interested in taking part. Needles to say I had a great time, and really enjoyed the whole process – you can see some of process documented below.

FYI – If you’re interested in creating your own Sneaker Keychain with Helen make sure to shoot her a messege as she’ll be starting to do workshops that afre open to the public in the not too distant future.

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Selecting which shoes to cut up - and getting mildly inebriated

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Final composition

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Realsing I fkd up and embossed part of my name backwards.

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Finished result 😎

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The Meaning of Hybrid – Maekan

During Paris fashion week @maekan caught up with me to discuss the meaning of Hybrid for @BYBORRE & @goretexstudio’s latest #TheHybridEdition – head here for the full (audio) interview 🚀 ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

📸 @jennifer_cee

“At Paris Fashion Week, MAEKAN together with BYBORRE did a series of interviews with some of the brand’s closest collaborators and friends revolving around BYBORRE and GORE-TEX’s collaborative project: The Hybrid Edition. In this project, BYBORRE’s cutting edge knitting techniques meet GORE-TEX’s recent INFINIUM material technology to create a collection of eye-catching performance wear.” – Maekan

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Paris Mens Fashion Week Recap (Jan ’18)

Paris men’s fashion week is always a great place to get an overview of what brands have been up to for the past few months, where product seems to be heading in general, and most importantly, it’s a chance to catch up with friends involved in all aspects of the industry that have flown in from all corners of the earth.

Granted we didn’t spend a whole bunch of time at the shows, but there were still some brands that stood-out more than others during our time there. Here’s a very breif overview of what went down.

Pics (mostly) by David Mawdsley
 
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The choice to go for this past fashion week was a bit of a last minute one, and after accidently (but rather forunately) booking the flights a day earlier then planned, we landed in Paris just in time to head to Both’s “Process” showroom.
Both is a brand in a very unique situation, as the have the extremley rare ability to push vulcanised construction in super interesting and innovative ways, due to them actually owning their own factory. From juxtaposing materials more commonly utilised on perfomance sneakers, with unique foxing applications, to fully vulcanised uppers, Both offered up a super refreshing take on an age old method of producing footwear.
 
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The next morning, after getting some much needed Parisien pastries, we headed around the city to link with some friends, have some meetings and check out some show rooms. One of the first being Filling Pieces, who always seem deliver a clean and fresh grouping of styles, building on the sole units created in the previous collections and offering up some new super clean styles.
 
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After the FP showroom we also headed over to the Man Woman tradshow to see what the homies at BrandBlack had been cooking up. Needless to say they had one of the most impressive collections of footwear I personally saw throughout the couple days I was there. From chunky runners, to beautifully knitted overlaced footwear, and beautiful garments also, BB is in a vibe right now. Shoutout to the Brubaker brothers also, who we managed to bump into near the entrance, Clear Weather is always an attention grabber.
Due to these guys being at Man Woman, tradeshows generally frown on taking any pics so we don’t have much to show. I did manage to get papp’d by one of the shows photographers though…
 
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From Man Woman we had we decided to go see London based shoe brand, Primury’s latest collection. A incredibly clean line up, with that super clever masking tape sole unit and new tip-ex inspired style, the brands only been around for a few seasons but is producing beautiful subtle, extremley well executed product with some very unique materials. Different, yet palatable to a wide audience.
 
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From there it was time to shoot over to ByBorre‘s family & friends event at Sonos Studios in their mad little ByBorre “support units”. Hosted by the super talented Yue Wu, we got to mingle with a group of super talented creatives, drink a little, and indulge in very swanky hors d’oeuvres.
Yue Wu had actually created a story board of some of the journey of ByBorre as a brand, who then turned that illustration into a knit and created scarves from, which they gifted to each of their guests. Yue Wu also signed a printed versio of his illustration (he drew a sneaker with a beard and a beanie on mine). I also got to check out some of their new collection in their mobile showroom, and needless to say that their new lineup is even crazier then ever before. This is knit innovation at it’s finest.
 
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The next day we headed back to London before I bounced to Italy the day after for a special project, more on that later. Next up, Porto & Milan…
 
END. Clothing

Sunday Sketch

Having a little fun a few weeks back, the original sketch was more mechanical but as I kind of free styled the render it started to mutate a little, the idea being that the internal mechanism would be a Tesla motor of some sort that powered the shoe, will probably push this concept a little further as I’m still not totally satisfied with the end result…

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Mr. Bailey x ekn Footwear TRILLIUM Boot


2 1/2 YEARS IN DEVELOPMENT, 3 DIFFERENT FACTORIES, 10 SAMPLE ROUNDS.


My challenge with the TRILLIUM was to design something that is both unique, and minimal. Delving into the shoes construction and allowing it’s unique construction to be the source of it’s aesthetic, allowed the shoe to be both simple and complicated, different and palatable, all at the same time.

A uniquely constructed iteration of a Chelsea Boot, the TRILLIUM is both minimal in it’s aesthetic, and complex in it’s construction. The TRILLIUM features a stitch-less upper, with a uniquely wrapped one-piece raw edge leather upper and hidden elasticated collar, a welted Vibram Christy sole and a recycled, removable neoprene bootie (not seen in pics).

From forming the upper correctly, to finding the perfect Last, wear testing and material selection, each phase has been meticulously calculated and tested to ensure the final result embodies both the intended functional elements of the design, as well as the aesthetic.

The boot is (finally) available via www.eknfootwear.com
 
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END. Clothing

#ConceptSurgeon

So, we just wrapped up the first stage of the first ConceptSurgeon contest. I wanted to thank Dom aka @TheShoeSurgeon for flying across to London to pick the winner with me, and also thank Creative Debuts for letting us use their space, and Perky Blenders for keeping us both caffeinated.

Given this is our first challenge together, we’re both pretty much learning as we go. We’ll prob do a little re-structuring for the next challenge, as well as operate the live-stream (if we do one) a little differently also. Overall I can say without a doubt I was super happy with the amount and level of entries, from amateur through the pro, we had entrants for all over the place. Thakyou to all who took part.

I can’t say too much, but we have some pretty interesting plans with ConceptSurgeon, plans that will offer our community something that has been sorely lacking for quite some time. I’m excited to roll it out, i”m sure it will all come clear over the next few challenges.

Congrats to Corentin and to everyone who entered, there’s plenty more to come.

FYI –

For those that weren’t happy with certain parts of the challenge, if you were respectful and voiced your opinion in a constructive way, thank you – we appreciate the feedback and will take it into consideration moving forward.
 
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Sneakers The Book | Now Available

A few months ago, Howie kahn, Alex French & Rodrigo Corral, the minds behind Sneakers The Book, reached out to me to get my shoe story; how ConceptKicks started, where my journey started and where it’s continuing to lead me.

With stories from over 60 industry legends, from Tinker Hatfield and Jeff Staple, to Ronnie Fieg and Virgil Abloh, the book is filled with incredible stories from iconic shoe industry leaders.
I received my copy of the book yesterday (which came in a mini shoe box), and the whole project is just beautifully executed. I’m super humbled to be sandwiched between two industry icons, Tiffany Beers and Tom Sachs, at what imo, is the best chapter number in the book, 23.

The book is now available for purchase (here), we’re also planning a London launch event later next month so make sure to stay tuned for that if you happen to be in the area.

Images by David Mawdsley

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Lineapelle | #ConceptSurgeon

This past week I flew over to Milan for Lineapelle, one of the largest fairs for leather and materials in Europe. While I was over there I managed to link with a few rising stars in the industry, one of them being the super talented Dominic Chambrone aka “The Shoe Surgeon“. Aside from eating free aperitivo and visiting a few iconic spots around Milan, we managed to sit down and finalize a project we’ve been scheming on for a while.

I don’t generally like to collab with too many people, unnecessary collaborations seem to be commonplace at the moment, but I’ve seen this man grind it out in the pursuit to perfect his craft over the years and it’s incredible to see his success. With the mutual respect we hold for each others work, it really just made it make sense that we do something together, for both ourselves and for the community.

With that in mind, we just launched our first collab #ConceptSurgeon challenge series, which you can find more about by clicking here.

More to come in the near future 🖖🏼
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📸 by David Mawdsley ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
 
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#sundaysketch | ôrəˈgämē

Not had the chance to do a Sunday sketch for a while, this one’s more about the idea than the sketch. Inspired by Issey Miyake’s Pleats Please collection, I thought it might be interesting to create a sole unit that would enable the shoe to have a functional origami (folding paper) style upper, and would wrap around the user’s foot. There would also be a Manila envelope style string strap closure wrapping around the back through to the medial and front. Still playing with the idea…

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