by Paolo Ferrarini of Future Concept Lab
One of the many projects capturing our attention as the Milanese Design Week kicks off is Camper's melding of footwear and industrial design. Directed by Hella Jongerius, one of today's most talented Dutch designers known for her products, furniture and textile design with a keen eye for beauty, colors, surfaces and detailing, she chose to work on the Camper shoes that have become so well known and familiar they might even be called archetypal shoes.
"When Camper asked me whether I would like to design a new shop for them, or a new shoe, I didn't have to think much about it," says Jongerius. "I'm not a shoe designer, many designers before me have done an excellent job in defining all the intricate parts and detailing of a shoe, but being somebody with an eye for beautiful shoes I was intrigued by the challenge. So I decided to continue where the former shoe designers of Camper stopped. To be able to lean on their expertise, stand on their shoulders, so to speak, and work with the existing icons from the Camper archives, was a great opportunity for me."
She chose four existing shoes from Camper's archive, Pelotas, Imar, Peu and Brothers. While the styles needed no changes, improvements or reinterpretations, Jongerius highlighted their most defining features. The result of this process consists of two shoe collections, winter 2010 and summer 2010, which are a true homage to the icons of the Spanish company.