Max Kibardin is in tune with his musical side. The Milan-based luxury shoe designer joined forces with the female electro clash band Chicks on Speed and Hangar.org to create the E-Shoe guitar — a piece of art that really plays. “I worked with [Chicks on Speed] and a technician, who installed a mechanism within the platform,” explained Kibardin. The result was a shoe with strings on the side of the platform. The E-Shoes are now on exhibit at the Dundee Contemporary Arts Museum in Dundee, Scotland, through Aug. 8; and in the “It’s Not Only Rock ’n’ Roll, Baby” show at Triennale Bovisa in Milan through Sept. 26.
— Elisa Anniss
Kenneth Cole Productions Inc. is doing its part to clean up the Gulf Coast with an online custom T-shirt store. Tees featuring phrases such as “We can all clean up well” and “I clean up well” are being sold on the brand’s Facebook page for $35. Visitors can choose between 12 slogans, 14 colors and a variety of graphic designs. Through the month of July, all proceeds will be donated to Awearness, The Kenneth Cole Foundation, which will aid recovery efforts.
— Kristen Henning
Rainy Day Blues
Wellies aren’t the only solution for summer showers, thanks to Shuella. The self-proclaimed “shoe umbrella” is a Velcro galosh that slips over any shoe and protects it from the rain. Unlike traditional rain boots, the Shuella comes in a portable custom zippered pouch that folds up and fits in your purse. It also has a slip-free sole and includes extra-strength heel inserts so it can be worn over the highest stilettos. The $50 Shuella is available in hot-pink, yellow, apple-green and black at Shuella.com.
— Nancy Mucciarone
The next time you’re ready for a cup of joe, why not enjoy it in a hand-painted mug, detailed with shoes of your choice. Susan Butler, a Puget Sound, Wash.-based artist makes ceramic wear under the From the Hearth label and has decorated a collection of customizable mugs with sketches from footwear designers Robert Zur and Ilse Jacobsen. While Butler’s shoe-y line was inspired by her husband, industry veteran Daniel Butler, her work is most often influenced by the sights and sounds of the Northwest. Mugs are available for $14 to $16 wholesale; with small sushi plates priced at $22; oval platters for $40; and bud vases sold for $14. The collectibles can be ordered for sale as gift items in shoe stores, or for key accounts. Butler can be contacted through her website, at Susanbutlerstudio.com.
— Barbara Schneider-Levy