Tod’s launches hybrid ‘shoeker’ shoes designed by Yong Bae Seok
Tod’s is keeping very busy on several fronts. After launching the Tod’s Factory womenswear/footwear line, whose first collection was designed by Alessandro Dell'Acqua, and appointing journalist Michele Lupi to the newly created role of Men’s Collection Visionary, the Italian luxury leather goods label is setting about the ambitious No_Code project, a “code-less” line of products suitable for a new, contemporary lifestyle.
To spearhead the No_Code project, Tod's called on Yong Bae Seok, a Korean creative specialised in industrial design, who developed the ‘shoeker’, a new type of footwear combining traditional Tod’s expertise with technology innovation, which the label unveiled last week at a special event in Milan. The name, a combination of ‘shoe’ and ‘sneaker’, has been patented by Tod’s.
“Not being bound by conventions is a concept with universal appeal, there being no longer any separation in our lives between work and leisure, the private and public sphere. The idea behind No_Code is to give people the possibility of dressing appropriately, from morning to evening, whether at home, downtown or at work,” said the CEO of the Tod’s group Diego Della Valle at the presentation.
“We are all increasingly becoming the ‘shoeker’ type. This shoe model is the first stage in a far-reaching project, whose philosophy is to break with conventions and barriers and come to grips with our new, constantly changing world,” he added.
The No_Code concept was launched last season as a men’s project, and is now evolving into a more holistic approach. From next season, it will target both men and women with unisex products blending innovation, technology, traditional craftsmanship and high quality.
The Shoeker/02 weighs exactly 300 grams, has a sole made of rubber and another stabilising material, and features leather and neoprene details. It will be available for sale soon, by the end of November. The first model, the Shoeker/01, was launched and tested last season, quickly becoming a best-seller for Tod's.
“The ‘shoeker’ is a distillation of three generations of our best know-how, with a very modern design and high-tech features. This way, the product stays alive! Yong Bae Seok spent several months researching this project, focusing on movement too, before completing it,” said Diego Della Valle.
No_Code is expected to include other cutting-edge accessories in the future. Yong Bae Seok told FashionNetwork.com that, after the ‘shoeker’, he plans to design new types of backpacks. The No_Code line will feature collaborations with other designers, and introduce also jackets and other products.
Yong Bae Seok graduated in industrial design in Seoul, and then studied at the IED design school in Turin. He started his career at Motorola and the Pininfarina Design Centre, before branching out into fashion with Fila Europe. He later became head of footwear design at Kappa, then head of design for Dolce & Gabbana’s sneaker collections, collaborating in the meantime with Bally, Geox, Diesel and, more recently, Pony.
For the summer 2018, Yong Bae Seok launched his own label, Seok, featuring high-tech but affordably priced sneakers (retailing for €130 the pair). In one year, the brand won over 50 multibrand retailers in South Korea and 45 across Europe.
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