Product designer, Suzanne Oude Hengel created this incredibly well executed, inspiring collection of knitted footwear for her graduation project while at the ArtEZ Institute of Arts in Arnhem. Combing her love for textile with footwear, Suzanne decided to approach shoe making in a very unique way –
“During my education I had the opportunity to do an exchange at Aalto University in Helsinki (Finland) to learn some basic knowledge of knitting and weaving. Before this exchange I was able to do an internship at the weaving department of the TextielLab in Tilburg (The Netherlands) and an internship at by Borre in Amsterdam (The Netherlands). Where I learned how important it is to translate craftsmanship to a high technological machine. At by Borre I realized I could mimic the effect of handcrafts with machines but to make this happen I should get some knowledge. Later that year I went to Helsinki where I was able to learn the basement of this knowledge.
In fact textile is my passion. There are so many types of yarns and so many different stitches, the possibilities are infinite for all kinds of constructions. I want to combine two worlds : the one of shoes and that of textiles. The technical aspect of knitting triggers me to think bigger, to try more, to push the boundaries. I try to reshape and rethink the process of making and manufacturing ; therefore I use well-known techniques in an unconventional way. My passion for textile and footwear is a perfect mold for all my new inventions. My method is especially investigative and experimental in nature and by examining how textile at the same time comfort and stiffness in a shoe. I have picked out what I can do with the available work techniques and what technical alternatives out this area for the industrial shoe production. I have developed an alternative for the use of leather in the shoe industry.” – Suzanne
Not only is the production method unique, but the colour selection of the materials and the overall level of execution on the shoes is outstanding. As of right now I believe Suzanne is abroad conducting more tests and trying to find partners that may be able to help her push this concept further. I’m looking forward to seeing where this project leads in the near future, for now though you can check out some of Suzanne’s knitted, ‘LOOP’ footwear, below.
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