If you’re the type of person whose shoes last for years and years, sometimes you don’t know if they’re still wearable, especially if you haven’t worn them in a long time (like, say, during the pandemic). But as long as it’s still wearable, especially if it’s your favorite, you probably wouldn’t mind wearing it as long as it’s still in good condition. But if it looks like it’s falling apart or falling apart, would you keep it and wear it anyway? It’s an interesting question to ask when faced with a “living” pair of shoes that seem to have seen better days.
Designer: Yussef Agbo-Ola of Olainyi studio
The Kajola shoe collection is designed to look like rotting shoes as the materials used are natural. Because of the way it’s designed, it’s really more of a work of art than a functional shoe. They want to call it “living artifacts” made from various biomaterials like volcanic dust, clay, and even cocoa powder. So over the years it will naturally curl up on itself, just like leaves and other organic materials do when they decompose. They are named after a region in Nigeria and a trip to the local forests. The idea is to push what other things can be used to create.
The collection is made up of nine experimental shoe designs, all of which are similar in shape to slipper-like shoes. The soles are made from a mixture of vegetable fibers, clays, vegetable starch and other materials that can be used as a base. The upper is made from other natural fibers and mixed with natural additives like grasses, sand, flowers and seaweed. They are actually cut and sewn by hand and they even used a Japanese sewing machine to create this. Normally this machine is used to repair leather goods, so you know it can withstand tough materials.
They plan to develop a wearable version of this next year, although I’m not sure people would be interested in wearing something like it. Well, that’s pretty cool and can be a good conversation starter if someone asks you “Why are you wearing an old pair of shoes?”.