THE ATELIER OF FOOTWEAR ESCAPISTS; WHEN THE LAST CONSPIRACY MET ECCO LEATHER

By Marlo Saalmink

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Dialog.

Let’s imagine a connection between two shoemakers. One most profound and sincere.

Knowledge always paves the way for innovation, with technology as its faithful compatriot.  During the recent menswear season, I came across a unique collaboration, a dialogue of extremely mindful souls. When Danish footwear engineers The Last Conspiracy, met with the knowledgeable leather artisans of the ECCO Leather labs, something simply clicked. Tucked away in Dongen, a small town in the Netherlands, one can find truly unique place, a massive lab of leather innovation, pushing the boundaries of this ever so versatile material. Dyes, constructions, cuts, glues, stitches and treatments are all tested and proofed meticulously. This is no ordinary research lab.

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Cue, The Last Conspiracy, with Roald Nore at its helm, a true explorer of footwear solutions and proud shoemaker himself. Here is a man, who reads leather like nobody else, grasping its structure, limits and characteristics limitlessly. During his time in Dongen, Roald knew, there was something great to be developed here.  Therefore: a concept was drawn up: to conceive an innovative tactile sneaker, fueled by Danish engineering.

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As with any piece made by Roald, the process itself is most interesting. Construction begins with hand-picked aluminum tanned cow leather, which is welted by strong stitches, applied by the steady hands of local artisans. The atelier mixes traditional techniques with contemporary elements, thus merging past and future.  When it comes to the shoes foundation, its sole, one can only marvel. This one is constructed by directly moulding it onto the last, rounding each curve carefully. The final assembly is conducted by hand, by injecting high-tech tactile rubber gradually alongside the base. In this process, the sole is shaped with the utmost precision, steadily grounded until the rubber is fully set.

This is the moment where sole and upper then become one. Now, ready and fully integrated to maintain a sense balance whilst supporting movement. A proposition set here in mono shading, to direct all focus towards the proud craft of footwear construction. Call it a new take on technologic craftsmanship. Fresh, new and made to last.

Engage and roam.

For more on the project: www.thelastconspiracy and www.eccoleather.com

 

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