Self Help & Education

A Beloved British Designer’s New Frontier: Sneakers


Inspired by primitive footwear, the Artist Shoe — featuring a hand-painted pattern — is constructed from a single piece of canvas.

Courtesy of Toogood

While staying in Amagansett last summer, the British designer Faye Toogood purchased a pair of handmade white leather slip-ons by Feit, a New York City label with a cult following. She then promptly spilled “a giant American coffee all over them.” The shoes were ruined, but Toogood’s interest remained: “I loved the unisex design,” she says, “and the identification of who made it, and where it was made.”

The feeling was mutual. Feit’s founder and designer, Tull Price, had encountered Toogood’s eponymous line (a collaboration with her sister, Erica), which is known for its simple, androgynous silhouettes and rigorous transparency around materials and labor. He immediately recognized “the similarities in what we were trying to do.” Collaboration seemed inevitable.


The Artist Shoe in raw canvas.

Courtesy of Toogood

Their first project, the Artist Shoe, which debuts on March 23, pairs Toogood’s materials (raw, sculptural canvas) with Feit’s construction (a one-piece upper and thick leather sole, assembled by hand). Primitive footwear — specifically a leather Eskimo boot — inspired the stripped-down shape. “It’s almost like a gathered bag,” says Toogood, “but with all the detailing and craftsmanship that Feit is well known for.”

In a departure for both brands, a limited number of shoes will feature a rustic, hand-painted pattern of rich red and black. The colors, which punctuate Toogood’s spring 2017 collection, are pulled from a painting by her 4-year-old daughter titled “Pigs in Mud.”

Though Toogood describes the spring ’17 collection as…

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