As soon as I was informed of the release date of the sixbysixbloggers project I knew precisely what I wanted to create. With absolutely no background in design and talent with a pencil, I thought about what I'm obsessed with during this season. As you should all know by now, I am always fascinated by Autumn colours. During November, the rich colours of autumn really come into play and I strive to envelop myself in them as much as possible. These Autumn hues of plum, rich red, deep green and various shades of brown should all be celebrated. Even the sound of walking through crisp leaves excites me and I wanted to create a shoe that replicated this feeling even walking on the greyest of pavements. To think that ideas that have been bouncing around my brain unreleased for years are about to be realised is nothing short of remarkable Thanks to the talented team at Six London I could create this true harvest festival of footwear.
My mood board for the shoe.
The above move board helps to demonstrate my obsession. From Fantastic Man's stunning look from October 2009, my art attack dress up challenge and not forgetting the piles of leaves from Hampstead Heath and beyond that continue to inspire. The look from Fantastic Man really was the catalyst. Ever since my eyes first encountered the combination of autumnal hues and the comforting and playful layering I have longed to dress in the true spirit of this season of dropped leaves. Dressed head to toe in various autumnal hues, it is difficult not to have a little fun standing in a pile of crisp leaves. Am I slightly mad for wanting to dress like a fallen leaf? The answer is of course a resounding yes but do I care? Not a jot. Dressing each morning should be fun!
Having set the theme early on the rest of my design challenge was quite simple. The next step was to work on ideas of the shape and style of the shoe. What could be better to to kick through leaves than a desert boot upper with a creeper type sole. With this decision made, the first sketches were made and the process began to feel a bit more real. With this sketch and a head full of ideas and questions we landed in Guimaraes. With a beautiful Portuguese backdrop and with the help of the factory and expertise of its head, Paolo, the dream began to evolve in to a reality. Confronted with folders of options, from laces to welts to leathers, decisions were made and the Autumn leaf kicking boot began to take shape...
From this plethora of options and explored possibilities, the Autumn Leaf Kicking Boot was formed. Thanks to the expertise of Paolo and his team my ideas became a reality. The first sample and second prototype was ready just in time for the launch of the SixbySixbloggers project at the tail end of Paris Fashion Week. Aside from a few snapped images from the factory, the event was my first chance to see the design. I could not have been happier. The leaf print might be a little more subtle than expected but in all honesty I love it all the more for it. My photograph of fallen leaves now appears far more artistic than I could ever snap. The dream had been realised!
A few of the excited shots I took of the boot at its launch in Paris.