Add another layer onto your scheduling options for Design Week (Oct 9-3) and FASHIONxt (Oct 10-13): The purveyors of exciting shoes and makers of parties over at Solestruck are joining the flurry of design-related activity with "No Sleep Til...," a three-day series of carousal, fashion, and music, capped off with a mother of a sample sale, set for Oct 11-14.
Thing will start off early on Thursday with "No Sleep Til... Hard to Swallow," a Design Week reception hosted at the flagship store (designed by Skylab Architecture) from noon-3 pm, with cocktails for all the day-drinkers in the house. Saturday's "No Sleep Til... Deja Vu" will be a blowout: It's a fashion and music presentation featuring Hello Eliza, Esque by Leslie Pennel, Degen, Stolen Girlfriends Club, and Bess, and music from DJ Tah Rei, White Rainbow, and Yacht. It'll go down at The Spot (2401 N. Harding), with doors at 6 and presentations starting at 7 (I don't know all the nitty gritties, but don't expect a traditional runway show).
And, then, on Sunday, we have "No Sleep Til... The Shit Show," Solestruck's first-ever sample sale, with all shoes priced between $20-100! Doors at the store will open at noon, and it will no doubt be a madhouse, so go early and be nice! All of this is in celebration of the one-year anniversary of the flagship store, so don't forget to high five 'em when you see 'em.
Danner Boots and Tanner Goods are hosting an event this evening to launch their collaboration boot, the Mountain Trail Left Bank. This boot was built as part of Danner Stumptown's Fall Collection and materials include Horween Chromexel leather, gunmetal hardware, a contrast midsole, a Vibram® Gumlite outsole, and leather lining. Like all Danner Stumptown boots it is 100% crafted in their Portland factory and each boot will ship with a Tanner Goods key fob.
The event will take place from 7:00pm to 10:00pm in the Black Box Building next to Tanner Goods and will feature live music by The Parson Red Heads as well as food and drinks. Those who purchase at least $50 worth of goods will receive a limited edition Horween wristband. Bend, Oregon based artist Adam Haynes has also created a custom illustration that will be on display at the event, and anyone that purchases boots before October 19th will be placed in a raffle to win the illustration. Check out the video which features the making of the illustration as well as an adorable dog, all to the soundtrack of one of my favorite Nuggets songs.
At long last, the new extension of the block-dominating Imelda's and Louie's shoe store is open, boasting more room for a grander selection of men's shoes, in addition to roomier digs for their online operations. In the past few days the weather has taken on a distinctly autumnal pallor, so if you're still in the market for a fresh pair of fall boots, or you just like that new-store smell, they're having a grand opening party this evening from 5-8 pm with Whiffies Pies, live music from Just Lions, plus giveaways and raffles.
As posted about here, Solestruck just came out with a new loobook for their Fall and Winter 2012 stock, and man it's a doozy. As you know I am no stranger to the vision quest, and this lookbook is full of all sorts of great ideas about what to wear to my next one. Shot by Erika Bates and featuring new styles by Jeffrey Campbell, Matiko, Cheap Monday, ACNE, and Dolce Vita paired with clothing from the likes of Yo Vintage! and Rad Summer, MALHUER is dreamy, culty, and definitely out of this world. Check out my favorite shots and see the complete lookbook here.
The people over at Solestruck have been talking about their new lookbook, MALHEUR, for what seems like forever, posting inspiration photos and the like on their blog. I have pretty much been dying to see the thing, and they finally dropped a sneak peak video yesterday. The full lookbook comes out tomorrow, which I will be posting here (duh), but for now tide yourself over with the video, and just try not to run away to the desert to embark on your own vision quest.
As mentioned, and as you've surely discovered if you ambled down SE Hawthorne sometime this summer in search of some heat-quenching Cold Stone Creamery, Imelda's and Louie's has turned its former neighbor into an expansion of the "Louie's" end as well as space for their online sales operations, meaning an expanded range for everyone. After a couple months of remodeling, which they faithfully documented on their Facebook page, the door to the new shop swung open on Friday.
I've always felt like Portland has a serious dearth of cool and interesting men's shoes (as in not Nikes or Adidas), so I was exited to find out that Manifeso is expanding their selection with three new sneaker styles from Tsubo, Camper and Tretorn. All three of these styles are timeless and super versatile. My personal favorites are the Camper K3's, a low-top suede style (love suede) that can be dressed down or dressed up (a little), and can be worn any season. Check them out:
Solestruck has been slowly upping their men's selection for a while, and now that they have a men's buyer they have a wide array of styles for the guys to choose from. Obviously the next step was to make a lookbook devoted just to them and Home Boy, photographed by Lavenda Memory, shows looks that are totally wearable by any guy, no matter what his style may be. Below are my favorite shots, and to view the Home Boy Lookbook in it's entirety go here.
It's been a while since we heard from Donovan Skirvin, one of the few people in this town full of makers who makes handmade shoes. He's back on the scene now, though, with the Elske Project, a Kickstarter campaign in which he's pledging to make 10 pairs of shoes using only non-mechanized tools. The tagline for the campaign is "Proof That High Quality Goods Can Be Produced By Hand Here."
Donors of $75 or more will get shoes! But the point is bigger than that.
By combining traditional practices with new ones, Elske has found a way to produce beautiful shoes that do not require machines to be produced in an extremely efficient way. This is important because it shows that it is possible to create a production system that employs humans in a way that engages mind and body in a manner that modern humans seem to want in the work place. The process also demonstrates the feasibility of producing quality goods in the United States. The process will be documented from start to finish with writing and photography. At the completion of the production phase of this project, a final exhibit will take place. This exhibit will show all tools used in the process, all design notes, detailed explanation of the process, photographs of production, ten pairs of shoes, and interactivity with the shoemaker.
If you have not gazed upon the beauty that is a Finsk shoe I suggest that you immediately do so. Online images are great, but to truly appreciate their amazingness I highly recommend seeing them in person, and luckily that is not too hard in Portland as our very own Solestruck Flagship store often carries them when they come out with new styles, as is currently the case, and they have told me they will have a Finsk display up this week.
The crazy and awesome designs of Finsk come from the mind of Finnish born and London based designer Julia Lundsten:
With an architect father and interior designer mother, Lundsten has cultivated an eye for design, clearly reflected in her work. Some of her biggest inspirations have derived from architecture, including buildings and furniture details as well as structures found in nature. Likening a shoe to a chair, Lundsten views the heel and sole as the chair legs, with the upper, the seat.
Lundsten's unique, modern designs are avant-garde yet supremely wearable. She cleverly uses contrasting leathers and wooden sculptured heels to create design masterpieces. The natural beauty of locally sourced materials is a significant component of each collection, each pair of shoes being handcrafted in an atelier in Brazil. The production process is as ethical as possible and all leathers used in Lundsten's designs are by-products of other industries.
To look at these shoes, you might say to yourself, "Yes they are amazing, but how the fuck do you walk in them?" Well it is possible, and I have first hand experience as I was able to try on a pair at the Solestruck grand opening party. I was even slightly tipsy and was able to navigate myself just fine.
Like most artful things, Finsk shoes will set you back quite a bit (they go up to $999,) but maybe if you just came into some money, or if you don't give a shit about your credit and charge them (I don't condone this) or if you save up for a while, you can own a pair all to yourself. Think of it as an investment. Also think about how fucking awesome you will look while wearing them.
Tonight during the East Burnside First Friday shenans, Portland author Jon Raymond (books: The Half Life, Livability, Rain Dragon, films: Wendy and Lucy, Meek's Cutoff, miniseries: Mildred Pierce, but you probably knew that) will be revealing his selection of recommended items at Nationale, which should probably win an award for Best Fusion of Art and Retail Space. The concept, instituted by Ty Ennis, is simple: selections from Nationale's fascinatingly eclectic merchandise—French apothecary, art, literature, music, curios, accessories, espadrilles—are selected by a rotating cast of notable creatives, creating a kind of self-portrait in retail form, which admirers can, if they so choose, pluck from. Stop by from 6-8 pm for the unveiling.
I just got a chance to check out The Shoe Store, one of the spots previously mentioned on this blog as part of a new crop of retailers that has popped up in recent months. Located on 16th and Alberta, the space is small but carries a wide variety of shoes from a range of brands including footwear staples like Keds and Puma, as well as some smaller labels like MOVMT, Gola and Unstitched Utilities—which has these crinkly shoes in a paper-like material that I really, really want.
Owners Allan Fish and Kelly Dorius were inspired to open the store after wandering into a shoe store in San Francisco, and realizing how much we're missing out on here in Portland. Fish notes that while "there is a wealth of sneakers here," they mostly come from those local industry giants Nike and Adidas.The pair wanted to create a store that carries "a wide variety of shoes that you're not gonna find anywhere else." That is why most of the Shoe Store's merchandise is exclusive, and when they run out of one style, they move onto something new, rather than restocking.
Here are some of my favorite styles:
As mentioned, SE Hawthorne's Imelda's and Louie's shoe store has acquired the former Cold Stone Creamery space next door, which they are going to dedicate to expanding the Louie's/men's half of the enterprise. I never set foot in the Cold Stone, and so never realized the size of it until seeing the photos being taken of the remodel. The current location is already about three times the average size of a boutique, so when the project is completed, Imelda's and Louie's will qualify as massive, surely the largest square footage in the city dedicated to shoes outside of corporate entities like Nordstrom and Macy's. At this point it's still looking quite raw, but you can monitor the progress as it unfolds by following their documentation of it on Facebook.
The latest dust-up in the sneaker world comes courtesy of Adidas, who recently posted photos of their latest collaboration with Jeremy Scott, the JS Roundhouse Mids:
The internet responded in immediate uproar, accusing the sneakers of riffing on the shackles used on African American slaves (which seems overly specific, since they also look like the shackles seen in depictions of Native American slaves, Shanghaied sailors, and pretty much every other kind of slave or prisoner ever, from the Renaissance, to the Spanish Inquisition, to Game of Thrones). Adidas responded, saying, "Jeremy Scott is renowned as a designer whose style is quirky and lighthearted and his previous shoe designs for Adidas Originals have, for example, included panda heads and Mickey Mouse. Any suggestion that this is linked to slavery is untruthful.” However, soon after they decided to cancel the shoe, planned to debut in August, altogether.
Join the Black Box crew this Saturday for a Spring Break you won’t forget. Just because you’re not bopping off to somewhere sunny doesn’t mean you can’t celebrate. First mentioned here, these are all the deets you need to know: Isaac Hers will host a “Make My Break” sale and party from 3-9 pm, boasting 20% off apparel plus an extra 5% off when you check-in on FB. Drinks, DJ, and lots of fun. Blackbird is having a kissing booth benefitting the Pixie Project: $5 for a peck on the cheek and a buck buys a hug. Blackbird will also be uploading their fave pictures of party-goers dressed in their best Blackbird spring break get-up. Tanner Goods & The Woodlands are serving up beer from Ninkasi, and staying open late to host their end of season sale. Pop by Dunderdon for a brew and to shop their sale, too. Solestruck is going all out college-kid style, complete with jello shots, PBRs, a DJ, and swag bags for the first 100 people through the door—this party is going to be their biggest and craziest yet, celebrating their latest pop-up shop with two very sought-after labels: Saltwater Gypsy Vintage and Tnemnroda Jewelry, the goods are bound to go quickly. Oh, did I also mention they are gifting five pairs of Litas in a giveaway contest? Yep. Shin-dig kicks off at 7 pm. Party on, Wayne? Party on, Garth. See ya there, kiddos.
"On the Road," fresh from the press, is Solestruck’s largest editorial to date. Showcasing their picks for the upcoming spring/summer season along with fave brands like Black Milk, Unif, Yo Vintage!, Moonspoon Saloon, they shot it road tripping from Vegas > LA > Sacramento > Eugene and back to Portland: no easy feat. (Full disclosure: I assisted styling for the Portland section. Voodoo Doughnuts anyone?) Sourcing local models, photographers, and hair/make-up from each stop along the way is even more of a challenge. Click here to scope the entire lookbook, and shop the looks seen before they sell out!
1240 miles. 5 cities in 5 days. Over 60 new styles. Starting in Las Vegas and ending in our hometown of Portland, Oregon, we styled up the west coast in crazy looks and even crazier shoes for our Spring/Summer '12 lookbook. Taking inspiration from dreamy days and frantic nights spent "On the Road," we had an adventure like no other. Glorious and strange, Jack Kerouac summed up our experience best, "We were on the roof of America, and all we could do was yell." Spring is officially here.
Meanwhile, in rich-people world, a pair of Marie Antoinette's shoes, circa 1790, were auctioned off in Toulon, France recently. Guess how much they went for. No, guess.
This morning on the bus I was reading Twitter when I came upon a Nylon post about the incoming saddle shoe styles from Swedish Hasbeens:
A good reason to take a long lunch break today: Over at Halo Shoes, Jeff Mandel (of ExIT Shoes) is doing a residency in the open workshop space usually occupied by Larry Olmstead of Entermodal. Today and tomorrow at 1:30 until 3, he is giving a free lecture and demo on traditional shoe making.
Mandel constructs shoes in the very old sense of the word—fastidiously customized, with no factory parts, closer to the work of a blacksmith or glassblower than to the design creation behind even the most high-end shoes—it's basically impossible to make a woman's heel of any height that's up to his standards of construction and material, for instance. I first interviewed Mandel in 2008, and he completely blew my mind with his depth of knowledge. If you can't spare the time out of your workday today, but you're a shoe-lover, crafter or maker of any sort, or simply fascinated with the process by which things are made, you'll find it well worth it to set aside a bit of Saturday time, too. Check this week's Sold Out for more info on what he's up to, and the Sold Out of yore that contained the original interview.
The Fade to Light fashion event goes down this Wednesday. Make sure you have your tickets and come dressed to kill, because the winner of the Look of the Night contest will snag free Solestruck shoes and Black Milk swag. If you aren’t familiar with Australian based brand Black Milk you will swoon for their graphic print swimsuits and leggings. Rock your best getup and get ready for some stiff competition. Here are the rules: Find the Solestruck booth once you arrive, pose for your photo-op, then it will be uploaded to the flagship store FB page. The person with the most likes by midnight on Sunday, March 4th takes home the grand prize. See you there!
Compound gallery and store is currently hosting their Cosign project. Started in 2011 and held every other month since, the Cosign project originated as a way to sell and buy collector apparel and shoes instead of selling them to Ebay, or to second hand stores that only return 15-20% of the original selling price. Cosign is taking place through February 26th and has tons of great new and used footwear to choose from, including Nike/Nike SB, Jordan, Adidas, New Balance, Vans, Converse and more. This sounds like a great way for all you sneakerfreakers to score some new kicks and get rid of a few oldies but goodies. Click here for more deets about Cosign, Compound is located at 107 NW 5th Avenue.
New arrivals at Cosign:
I had occasion over the weekend to drop into a party thrown by the Solestruck staff, where the booze flowed and the karaoke performances were met with appreciative enthusiasm by its platform-heeled attendants. Apparently they had a righteous good time too, because they've decided to throw another karaoke party in the much smaller confines of their store. Billing it as a pre-Valentine's Day event, you can call your shoe shopping what you want, but the bottom line is they'll be pouring you sake and beer, handing you a mic, and enticing you with new arrivals from brands like Acne (unfortunate name, yes, but a favorite nonetheless) and See by Chloe. Plus, a trunk show of jewelry by One Two Three and Product of Play. Stop in to get raunchy on Friday, February 10 from 7-10 pm, then go out and get 'em, tiger.
Hurry! Solestruck’s flagship store is having an end of season sale ending today. Rachel Comey, JC, and lots of great Solestruck styles are 20% off. Get em’ while they’re hot.
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