British design duo Studio Swine’s latest project calls on some seriously otherworldly inspiration. Designers Alex Grove and Axusa Murakami turned to the November landing of the European Space Agency’s probe on Comet 67P, which made headlines around the world. And these heels are certainly attention grabbers, too. Spy got the shoe scoop from Grove.
Why shoes to execute the inspiration?
“It felt right for us because it was about learning something from the comet and thinking about landing on your feet and that sort of thing. While [comets and shoes] don’t necessarily go together, that’s what makes it exciting. We met a traditional shoemaker and learned from him about the process. Inside the shoe, we have soft Italian leather, so there are tradition shoemaking skills hidden within this extraterrestrial shape.”
What was the research process like?
“We called a friend at the Natural History Museum in London and arranged to go into the vault where they keep [the meteors]. There are lumps of Mars that have been knocked off by an asteroid and then eventually worked their way to Earth. It’s the only time I’m going to touch Mars, so it was truly an exciting thing.”
What did you use to sculpt the shoes?
“The shoes are made of aluminum foam. It’s like a bubbly metal and it enables you to do something that looks like a rock, that is light and also quite strong. What I loved about the photos of the comet was that it’s such a big rock that is really just floating along and not under gravity.”