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Q&A: Spring/summer 2015

March 19, 2015

mugshot_tiledTracey Neuls reveals the ideas and inspiration behind the new collection...  Q: What were your inspirations for Spring/Summer 2015? A: Sometimes you just aren't in the mood for a subtitled movie with too much subtext. Sometimes it is just OK to be happy and light hearted. The collection for SS15 is fun, bright and will bring a smile to your feet. There is heaviness all around and I think that there is power in a collective, open and friendly spirit. Don't think about matching or what other colours you have in your wardrobe - wear SS15 like a ruby on your finger. Colour stands on its own. Q: When you start thinking about a season's range of shoes do you have a single reference point, or do you draw on a range of inspirations? A: There are times when I feel for a new shape from the last to the heel. But once this has been set, I build a season with consideration to colour, texture and design - all are interconnected. At the moment, there is so much 'design' around - everyone is a cobbler, framer, clothing designer or perfumier, and yet there are very few specialists left. As a homage to the roots of footwear, I use a very classic Derby style of shoe wherever possible; in the Geek, Boy, Denis, Ali, and Peep shoes, for example. I love the fact that this style is perfectly timeless. It feels so contemporary yet it was made popular during the mid 1800's! Q: How much is the development of your designs affected by new materials or developments in manufacturing technology? A: I like to really push the factory manufacture wherever possible. Many footwear brands buy their components off the shelf in a ready-made fashion, but everything we do is created from scratch - and this means we can really tailor the production process to get the perfect results. An Italian colleague once said that "making shoes is not like making a sandwich," and somehow that struck me as the perfect explanation for a very complex construction process. One of my favourite styles from this collection is the Boy which has textile integrated within the moulded rubber sole. The textile cannot be controlled and it folds, rips, melts into whatever form it will as the rubber is poured around it. Every shoe is individual and unique - something impossible to achieve with mass production. Not to mention the fact that the resulting texture is absolutely beautiful. Q: When you design a shoe, do you have a very clear idea of how you want it to be worn? A: Never. Fashion and trends dictate how something should be worn. I prefer that the wearer puts their individual spin on the footwear. I began my company by naming it TN_29, a deliberately ambiguous name that allowed people to put their own stamp on the shoes. For me, the primary consideration is the wearer who actually puts on the shoes; the line of the curving leg as it moves from your knee, over your calf, into the ankle and over the shoe. The shoe should be a continuation of the body’s line, never an obstruction. Q: Do you see each collection as an evolution of the previous season, or does it feel like starting afresh every time? A: I think there is always part revolution and part evolution in each collection. Timelessness is important to me; to continually renew and discard the past doesn't sit well with my conviction that shoes that should be worn for their lifespan, not a fashion lifespan. Q:  It's not fair to ask you to chose a favourite, but is there any one style, material or colourway that really stands out for you from this collection? A: I love the Sing shoes. I wore them with patterned socks throughout the winter and am now daring to wear them with bare ankles as the weather improves! They feel like me. And I’m especially looking forward to the new linen stamped white versions which will be coming in just in time for summer.




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