Although, of course, I have my own signature regarding my signal spotting, I always try to be subjective to what I see. I do have to admit I have a weak spot, shoes. So when I got an email from Suzanne Oude Hengel, telling me about her project named LOOP COLORED FEET, I was already sold. After diving into it, a sigh of relieve was released as this project fits current Zeitgeist perfectly.

Meet Suzanne Oude Hengel, a freshly graduate product designer at ArteZ Institute of Arts in Arnhem. She specialized in flexible materials with a focus on accessoires. Her graduation project, LOOP COLORED FEET, is a series of knitted shoes which revert to the old craftsmanship of handwork and therewith approach shoemaking in a different way.

During her exchange at the Aalto University in Helsinki  Finland, Suzanne learned some basic skills of knitting and weaving. Moreover, she had the opportunity to complete an internship at the weaving department of TextielLab Tilburg and by Borre in Amsterdam.
Suzanne is very much interested in how to translate craftsmanship into a high technological machine. Within this interest she tries to mimic the effect of handcrafts with high tech machines and therewith she brings different Zeitgeists together. Whereby old knowledge remains in a modern technology.

Textile is her biggest passion as there are so many types of yarns, stitches and possibilities regarding this material. She is not only combining different Zeitgeists but also two different world, both shoes as also textiles.

” The technical aspect of knitting triggers me to think bigger, to try more, to push the boundaries” 

Suzanne biggest challenge is to rethink the process of making and manufacturing, therefor she uses old techniques in unconventional ways to shape them into innovations. She investigates, experiments and examines how textiles can both be comfortable but supportive as needed in a shoe. Moreover with LOOP COLORED FEET Suzanne developed an alternative for leather shoes with minimum production waste, wherefore there is serious demand in this more conscious world.

My shoe designs are prototypes of a new production concept where the knowledge from the craft knitting technique is an important source of inspiration”.

Lastly this young talent has one goal, that is to show the world new opportunities regarding prospective thinking. To use technology in combination with craftsmanship to bring different worlds together and to show that textiles are more than just a fabric, but moreover, to simplify current shoe production proces. Suzanne wants to show the world that the construction of knitwear could go way further than just clothing or carpets.

Old knowledge should not be forgotten but it should be used within new contexts

 First of all I am very much impressed by the passion Suzanne has, with every word she speaks you can feel her love for what she does and that is always a good thing. But more important I believe LOOP COLORED FEET fits our Zeitgeist perfectly as it is the embodiment of several ongoing trends. First craftsmanship, which arise from our bigger back to basic desire. LOOP COLORED FEET is the translation of this need into a modern look. Moreover, the fact that she combines old with new is the best innovation one can put down, she is reviewing old knowledge. Lastly the fact that this could be an alternative for Leather makes it also interesting regarding out sustainable and conscious attitudes as this contributes to a better and healthier way. And it does not hurt that they look absolutely stunning of course.

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Source: Suzanne Oude Hengel