Carlos Villamil – Puma Cut & Sew (UpDated)

This is an interesting project by designer Carlos Villamil, with the design challenge being to modify the shoes without removing or adding any pieces. Exercises like these are great for breaking down yours (or someone else’s) design, switching it up and looking at it from different angles.

Carlos does a great job of creating interesting spaces, and I personally love what he did with the tongue, kind of creating a high top sneaker by moving it to the heel.

Check out more pictures of the development of the cut & sew project, below.

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[highlight] Can you tell us a little about yourself? [/highlight]

I’m a designer born and raised in Colombia, I studied Industrial Design in Bogotá, and am based in Boston, MA since early 2006. After working in Italy for Whirlpool Appliances in the late 90s I returned to Colombia and co-founded a contemporary jewelry company that received awards in Colombia and was selected by the British Council Creative Economy program to participate in international forums. Since I moved to Boston I’ve been working as a graphic designer, I currently work for Whole Foods Market as a Senior Graphic Artist. I recently graduated from the Fashion Design program at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design and last year worked during the summer for the fashion house Adolfo Dominguez in Spain, designing shoes and accessories.

I’m interested in footwear design since I think it’s a perfect cross between product, graphic and fashion design, all disciplines I exercise, and this passion is fueled even more by Boston’s great athletic footwear companies scene, Adidas and Reebok, Puma, Converse, New Balance and quite a few more have design offices in the area.

[highlight] What inspired this project? [/highlight]

I wanted to play creatively with an already finished pair of shoes to see what can be possible to do in order to get the most modified design and at the same time trying to change their profile to get as much height as possible. Another desire I had about this project was to get a better sense of shoe manufacturing by studying very well the construction, seams and stitching of the shoes before and after the intervention. I’m also interested in zero waste fashion and by imposing the no removing/adding any element challenge I was forced to think within a frame of economy and efficiency, something I want to implement in a line of clothing where no fabric is wasted at all during production.

[highlight] What is you favorite feature of the project? [/highlight]

My favorite part of the project was to get the “tongue” piece together with the parts I removed from the upper of the shoes, I literally spent hours playing with the parts as if I was doing a puzzle and at some moment, the spark flashed and I got the final configuration of that part, that was the moment of magic. I was very pleased with the result and the final “cage” look of the shoes. The surgery like process with an ex-acto knife was also exciting, being very precise and careful not to damage any piece. Putting together the parts on my sewing machine with tight precise stitching was gratifying too, I even hand stitched some elements.