February 13, 2022
Tracey Neuls' first brand was called TN_29, launched when she was 29 years old. She didn't want people to wear a name, she wanted them to be themselves. Self-expression, good quality and originality are still the driving keys behind her footwear today.
Designed over a decade ago, Tracey Neuls reinvents her Geek style for each collection in a multitude of colourways, textured leathers, and innovative fabrics. As we celebrate the launch of our most recent incarnation - the Geek Typewriter - we reflect upon some of our favourite Geeks from then to now.
The Geek hovers somewhere between a traditional lace up and a sneaker shoe, and as such can be quite the chameleon. 2010 saw a witty take on the brogue, with bouncy rubber sole and patent detailing. Originating in Ireland and Scotland for outdoor, country settings, the original Brogue was designed with perforations intended to allow the shoes to dry more quickly in wet climates. Gradually the shoes became more suited to smart occasions and business, and the perforations became merely decorative. Our Geek brogue 'homage' was a super comfortable update of this classic shoe, with a contemporary twist.
Our trompe l'oeil printed faux snake or animal skin designs often have people believing they are the real deal - but we assure you it is always cow hide, the same source as the leather, cleverly designed for faux effect. 2014 saw the Geek Tea Pony introduced. Again, this is cow hide, actually really easy to maintain and care for. The natural oil in the hair means it can easily be left to dry and then brushed out to clean.
Throughout the years we have utilised various processes to create unusual textured leathers. Sand, glass and heat bubbles have all been worked into the leather, whilst scoring and embossing can be applied alongside print to create fantastic faux snake or iridescent scale effects. This Geek Grey Snake is a wonderfully subtle effect, and goes with just about every outfit.
Design is art for everyday life - we need not expand upon the inevitable closeness and interdependence of the two. Much of Tracey Neuls' inspiration is drawn from art and she is a big admirer of the Le Gun collective started by RCA illustration graduates in 2004. Their inimitable collective drawings synthesised individually unique drawing styles into a new aesthetic. With idiosyncratic punk pop irreverence there was much to connect with Tracey Neuls own brand of expression. 2015 saw the launch of the limited edition Geek Le Gun. One of many great TN collaborations from the past decade.
Texture is the feel, appearance, or consistency of a surface - the quality of something that can be decided by touch... Naturally we are drawn to experimenting with all aspects of the shoe - touch and feel are no exception.
Like a painter who mixes sand into paint we create conceptual textiles and leathers that reflect the ground we walk on, mirror the fabrics we wear; the surfaces we touch. This is Geek Tarmac, the effect of which is created with a heat process to the surface of the leather. Reflective tabs at the back made them the perfect urban counterpart.
Ben day dots originated in 1879 and were used within the printing process to create shading and secondary colours out of the four process colours of cyan, magenta, yellow, black. They have an integral place in design history and broad usage in popular culture, from the printing of comic books of the 50's to 70's to becoming the hallmark of Roy Lichtenstein's paintings. So it is no surprise that this iconic design motif served as inspiration for our Geek Matrix print.
AW18 saw the introduction of an adapted Geek toe shape. We decided the dipped in shape of the former design could be refreshed with a more streamlined curve.
Imagine a sneaker lined with the finest Italian leather, the softest cow hide upper, the most luxurious show-stopping materials - even velvet! These two designs proved incredibly popular - with people forever asking us to bring back the Hot Pink.
After a decade of the classic Geek, 2020 saw a sister born, in the Geek Platform design. The same great sneaker-shoe hybrid but with heightened sole unit. The new style is an effortlessly chic, post post-punk shoe for contemporary life.
Whilst there seemed little occasion for heel-wearing in 2020, what better way to incorporate some added height and sparkle than in a classy, comfortable platform sneaker. These are literally ideal for every occasion, never fail to raise a smile. A fresh glitter, moon-like surface for taking great strides in - about as contemporary as you can get.
Having featured cow hide many times in the past, 2021 saw the Geek manifest its inner zebra, with stripes printed onto the hair, atop the new platform sole unit.
Punky, fun, comfy statement shoes for all you go-getting party animals.
This brings us up to the present date. We are delighted to launch the product of our open call Geek competition for LFW 22.
Geek Typewriter. The artwork for this shoe was created exclusively on a manual typewriter. We're sure you agree it is a fantastic mix of tradition and innovation. Read more about the artist Keira Rathbone here, and check out our current range of Geeks here. There really is something for everyone.
“Being yourself is the ultimate in originality.” Tracey Neuls
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