The Paris-based shoe brand Both is ready to improve the modest material rubber.
Interested observers of the New York Fashion Week runways probably noticed something unexpected on the feet of the models on Monse Fall 2020 show. The designers Laura Kim and Fernando Garcia worked with tartan and Fair Isle motifs and a suit with safety pins Both– a brand known for its unique use of rubber for shoes and accessories – to create a capsule of sexless footwear that matches the punk inspiration of the season.
The resulting styles include bold boots that reach to the ankle and chunky derbies that revive the rough, androgynous street style of London in the late 70s. “Everything happened very quickly,” says Angela KeiKei Ng, Both’s global brand director, about how the collection came about for Monse. “Our aesthetics and our style really worked together.”
The concept of mixing and merging sensibilities is very popular with Both as a brand right up to the name. “It’s a balance,” said Ng, who spoke to him FASHION while visiting WDLT117 Boutique that both runs exclusively in Toronto. “Men and women, old and new, east and west.”
You only have to look at the global team of the two teams – Ng divides her time between the headquarters in Paris and the outposts in Shanghai and Tokyo, while her art director is based in Berlin – to understand how true this term of cooperation is is.
The concept of unity is also evident in the designs by Both, which combine the natural material rubber with technical design. The rubber upgrade is based on experiments for Both that use novel textures and bold colors to distinguish their style from your normal rubberized sneakers.
“A lot of people don’t think it’s luxury, it’s cheap,” notes Ng. “We’re trying to make rubber great again.”
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