Today would be a simple Polyvore day, but I thought I’d spice up this post by adding an interview with the talented shoe designer Dunja of Devianart, who’s behind the brand RenuRenu.
As for the Polyvore part of this post, I’ve made a small selection of shoes for you – just to drool over them:
Christian Louboutin, Charlotte Olympia, Rock and Republic / Proenza Schouler, Azzendine Alaia, Brian Atwood / Stella McCartney, Louis Vuitton and Stuart Weitzmann. More details here.
INTERVIEW WITH THE DESIGNER OF RENURENU SHOES
– Just to make it clear: what are you exactly doing, what do we see here?
– All of the images of my shoes are drawings made in an Open Source program called MyPaint, with a graphic tablet (Wacom Intuos-4S). They are “digital drawings”, and not, as it may seem at first sight, 3D models. I try to draw my shoes as realistically as possible in order to get the idea of what they would look like if they were actually produced. There is something very exciting about this kind of “virtual shoe production” since, just like with the real shoe production, you need to start with a sketch, and then proceed towards the constituting parts of the shoe, and finally towards the specific textures it will be made of.
– When did you start drawing shoes, how did it all began?
I used to draw shoes when I was a kid – I remember drawing a whole bunch of different platforms with flower patterns and chunky heels 🙂 Half a year ago while I was making a short break in work, I started drawing sketches of shoes again, just for fun. Since I am vegan and I buy only vegan-friendly shoes, it occurred to me that some of these shoe styles could actually offer innovative ideas for the market of cruelty-free shoes. Vegan shoes still rarely attract non-vegan customers, since for most vegan shoes, it is possible to find at least a similar one made of leather. In order to attract non-vegan customers, the market of cruelty-free shoes needs to offer unique styles. I’ve never heard anyone complaining about Stella McCartney’s shoes just because they are vegan-friendly. There are some excellent vegan-friendly materials nowadays which are both water-resistant and breathable. So making good quality cruelty-free shoes is, in principle, possible.
This thought pushed me to try and present my shoes in a more realistic way, so that we could see what cruelty-free shoes could look like, which is why I started drawings them with a graphic tablet. Then I decided to post them on Deviantart, where I received an amazing feedback: one of my shoes (Cat Boot) was chosen for the Daily Deviation award, and more than 1000 members of Deviantart favored it! That made me realize I am not the only one who finds my shoes interesting 🙂
– Do you think these shoes will ever get made? What are your (not secret) plans to make it happen?
– It would be great if my ideas would some day turn into real cruelty-free shoes, mainly because I think they could really contribute to the idea that shoes can be unique and yet not based on exploitation of humans or animals. But since drawing shoes is just a hobby of mine, I can’t afford to invest much time into looking for a potential producer or into acquiring appropriate education which would enable me to become a professional shoe designer. I got in touch with a certain shoe artisan, who could produce my shoes so maybe something comes out of that, let’s see 🙂 But even if they don’t get produced, I find making them in this “virtual” way still very exciting, maybe because they look so real, so that I can say: see, this is what cruelty-free shoes can, in principle, look like 🙂
– PhD in philosophy vs. shoe design? How does that work?
– Even though I enjoy a lot in drawing, philosophy is the primary area of my interests. Drawing/designing shoes (at least in the way I do it) is a great way for me to relax from time to time. Right now I am entering the final year of my PhD studies, which means I won’t have much time for drawing. But it can be a great break, after working for hours on a difficult subject matter, to just sketch a new idea for a shoe! Drawing shoes can itself be quite exhausting, but it’s a different type of work, and requires a different kind of engagement compared to working on philosophy, which is maybe why I find it to be a very nice hobby.
– Any other fashion related plans for the future?
– None that I can think of right now. I do plan to draw many more shoes though! There are a couple of new sketches waiting for a while already to be “virtually produced”, which I’ll draw when I catch some free time. I sometimes think of the kind of clothes that would fit the shoes I have made, but I think there are many fashion designers out there who could probably think of even more interesting ones.
Thanks to Dunja again for the interview, I hope you enjoyed it!
Check out her designs and if you have what it takes, get in touch with her to make all this become real!