A Worthy Challenge

Posted 07.06.22

Made out of a multitude of old, discarded jeans, this denim boots project expanded my experience as a shoemaker. I planned to test denim as a material for footwear and it was indeed a worthy challenge.

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Out of all the footwear I have made, none have been as time consuming as these denim boots. For many, many months my worktable was filled with discarded denim, denim samples and sketches of denim samples. I set up a little bleaching laboratory, learned new embroidery techniques, hand sanded the sole and in the struggle lost faith in this project more than once.

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The two pairs in this series had to feel intricate and excessive. And I loved the idea that they would be made from denim, probably one of the most inclusive materials in fashion. Crossing all age-, gender- and cultural barriers.

In trying to elevate old, unwanted jeans I had to significantly change my work process. Both pairs carefully manipulate the fabric. One of the boots is made up of 80 separate pattern pieces, the other hugely challenged my tailoring skills with smocking and bleaching techniques.

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Finally, to complete the design I handcrafted a platform sole to reference an oriental, historically known piece with a modern personal twist. Altogether the final result is satisfying. Hopefully the designs conceal the moments of frustration and personal doubt.

 

For the final designs and concept behind these boots, have a look at Royal Clash - part 1 and Royal Clash - part 2.