If the shoe fits

In the last few weeks the design industry has celebrated a plethora of graduate work and Design Week has been impressed by the ingenious projects the students have come up with.

Zoo shoe photographed by Hannah Goodrham

Source: Hannah Goodrham

Zoo shoe photographed by Hannah Goodrham

This week, I was sent a self-initiated project – the Zoo shoe – from Loughborough design student Ben Flannaghan, and while I don’t mean to come over all Dragon’s Den-like, frankly I would back it.

It may be because of my love of shoes and the fact it would save me space in my wardrobe and money in my pocket, but the shoe in question has a far more innovative appeal.

Zoo shoe photographed by Hannah Goodrham

Source: Hannah Goodrham

Zoo shoe photographed by Hannah Goodrham

The Zoo shoe has an interchangeable upper layer, so you buy the sole and tongue and then zip on a new ‘skin’ (as Ben calls them) to suit your style that day. The great part about it is that you design and personalise your own skins.

Zoo shoe photographed by Hannah Goodrham

Source: Hannah Goodrham,

Zoo shoe photographed by Hannah Goodrham modeled by Courtney Newman

‘I developed the shoe as a customization project that aims to orientate the design process around the customer,’ says the industrial design student. ‘I realised while the top of a canvas shoe has a quirky pattern, the sole doesn’t change. If you split them up via a zip, it allows people to design their own upper layer.’

Ben is also hoping the Zoo shoe will catch on as an advertising tool like the T-shirt, which is often used as the clothing of choice to promote bands, artists, clubs and companies.

Zoo shoe photographed by Hannah Goodrham

Source: Hannah Goodrham

Zoo shoe photographed by Hannah Goodrham

The project was part-funded by the Loughborough Enterprise Office, which has nominated it for the Student Enterprise Awards at Loughborough University. The winner is to be decided by public vote on 15 September.

Ben has created wearable prototypes which feature on his website www.thezooshoe.co.uk. Watch the video below to see how the Zoo shoe works. Boot-tiful!

Video:

Zoo shoe by Ben Flannaghan

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  • World Man About Town November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    Coincidentally, I wrote an article about young design graduates that you can read here:
    http://worldmanabouttown.wordpress.com/2010/06/21/graduating-with-flying-colours/

  • Jaz November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    I think that this design is awesome, especially for boys as they tend to wear trainers most of the time. However, the sole and tongue could get worn out quickly so some really tough material needs to be used.

  • ben November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    Please see http://www.thezooshoe.co.uk for more pictures and information about the project.

  • mbt shoes November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    We offer sports shoes sale mbt shoes uk ,like mbt shoes

  • clippingimages November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    Fantastic model …………….

    http://www.clippingimages.com

  • Edward November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    It sounds great ,except your 7 years to late first patent
    In 2003 (ZL 03 2 03911.5) and this was after many years of research by Piipiinoo in China.
    We own the trade mark in Australia
    Check us out piipiinoo.com.au .
    the shoes are sold in several countries around the world and have been for a number of years
    Piipiinoo have been supplying Spain for a number of years (neltec).
    In the US Mastshmellow skins owns (Zipz TM )
    And they have had a trade mark since 2006/2007 they are also sold in several countries around the world.
    checked out both.
    Thanks

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