I love a good shoe. Plus I love quirky shoes. Camper shoes, therefore have been a firm favourite of mine for many years, as I’m sure my friends will agree. I loved my first pair so much I even had a journal entry for them on the day I bought them in 2002! This particular pair of shoes were worn so much that they have ended up in a state of dereliction, yet I still can’t bring myself to get rid of them because they are, for me, modern design classics.
Over the years I have
bought collected many shoes designed by Camper, each pair has been loved and cherished and worn as shoes should be. Now, like my original “He loves me, he loves me not” pair, they are all rather battered and faded, yet I guess they could now be considered vintage! So what else can a Camper shoeaholic do but go along to see the current Design Museum exhibiton, exploring the world of Camper and their shoes; a celebration of the 40th anniversary of this independent, family-run business.
The exhibition traces the design process from the idea, the construction process, the designs and the advertising; each section drawing on the company’s extensive archive. It also explores the history of the company, from the traditional shoemaking of Mallorca to the globally recognised brand of today.
Throughout the exhibition, the overarching sense is of fun. It explores how the designers play with ideas and different materials to create their original shoes, which is best demonstrated in a display of prototypes.
The small display dedicated to the “Twins” range also caught my eye, for as you can probably tell from my shoe showcase above, “Twins” have been my main purchase! This landmark concept, where the individual shoes in a pair are separately designed, was instrumental in building the company’s identity and remains an integral part of their range today.
Alongside the historical archive and the shoes of today, there is also a glimpse into the ideas for the future – although I’m not sure comfort comes into these new ideas! I was reminded of the “Mojito” shoe, so maybe we will all be wearing deconstructed footwear in the not so distant future.
The exhibition packs a lot into a fairly small space and I left after a couple of hours with a strong (fortunately for my bank balance, resisted) urge to go shoe shopping. If like me, you love shoes, or just love seeing really good design then walk, don’t run, on over!
p.s. I really can’t remember all the actual names of the shoes, so some of the names in the photos are just the name I have called them over the years or a descriptive name! If you can update me on any of them, please do.
©Chez l’abeille 2015
13 May – 1 November 2015
Life on Foot
Camper at the Design Museum