Capturing the essence of a shoe: Designworks and Yours combine art and retail for new season launch

  • Advertising
  • December 2, 2014
  • StopPress Team
Capturing the essence of a shoe: Designworks and Yours combine art and retail for new season launch

To accompany the launch of its new season, shoe retailer Yours has collaborated with Designworks on a series of posters that "capture the essence of each shoe".

And while this might sound like a footwear-related reworking of a Zoolander line, Yours is treating the launch, which occurs at the new Designworks offices at 36 Lorne Street on 4 December, as part art exhibition, part retail showcase.

In much the same way that the local shoe label takes a minimalist design approach with monochromatic styles, so too have the posters been given a simple form.

"The thinking behind the new approach is all about refining and simplifying," says Yours founder Andrew Henry. "My process has been to strip sneakers right back to the simplest elements — colour, shape, without all the distracting design features that characterise so many other sneaker brands. This purist design thinking provided the inspiration for the launch, and to create a set of original artworks that could reflect this idea of design refinement — reducing the shoes back to their purest essence."

Each of nine options from the range have been represented in the art by a molten blob of colour, which is "richly pigmented in hues of black, gold, turqouise, navy, vermillion and toffee."

Project leader and senior designer at Designworks Nick Riley says the design and personality of the shoes themselves provided the inspiration for the artworks. And with monikers like Venkman, Torrance, Kleinfield and Crick, each shoe (and artwork) also bears the name of a cult Hollywood movie character.

"A limited edition run of A2 original photographic, hand-signed artworks have been produced—only five of each (so 45 prints total)," says Henry. "These are available either as prints on high quality archival paper or fully framed. Prices start at $450 for framed and $200 for unframed."             

Like some examples of modern art, the posters appear simple in design but the execution actually involved a significant amount of skill.  

"Shot with a fairly complicated macro lens and lighting rig, [the posters demanded] lots of experimentation to achieve the right effect," says Riley. "Afterwards they were retouched and graded so they look quite different to the original. All were created using paint, so I guess they’re actually mixed-media artworks as there were a lot of different processes involved in creating them."

Given that the campaign was driven by art, Henry says the entire process was rewarding for both Yours and Designworks

"We all saw it as a great opportunity to collaborate," says Henry, "which is where the idea of creating one-off artworks came from for the new season launch. The talent and experience that I got to work with has been so inspirational and I have learnt so much already. The whole process has felt more like a creative collaboration than a business relationship."

This isn't the first time that Yours has used an unconventional approach to its advertising. Previously, the company put its products through a series of horrors as shoes were burnt, sliced and stained in a promotional clip. 


And this progression from destruction to art leaves StopPress very curious as to what the Kiwi shoe company will do next.  

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  • The Stoppies
  • January 16, 2019
  • StopPress Team
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