Trainers are arguably the most overtly designed product on the market. Ahead of mobile phones and CD covers, they seem to me to be the most design-dependent style accessory around.
As an outsider to the world of the foot ornament, I am constantly surprised at the variations in shape, materials and styles that the fashion footwear world effortlessly churns out and sells to a welcoming audience. The new re-model of the Offspring shop in London’s Neal Street successfully breaks away from the predictable restraints of most footwear stores.
There are no corporate sporting allusions here, as you would find in Nike Town; this shop is fun and stylish. Polycarbonate wall panels with LED signage, a resin floor in-set with memory-forming rubber and two glowing silver birch trees made from translucent resin are the keystone items of the design by Jump Studios. The counter consists of grass and reeds inset into resin blocks, while seating and product displays reinforce the concept of a re-birth of the Offspring brand.
Jump Studios describes its design concept as ‘a new and energetic marriage between technology and nature’. A brave statement indeed. But this is a very considered piece of retail design and both Offspring and Jump should be applauded for their vision. Oh, and by the way, Offspring sells great trainers!
Callum Lumsden is managing director of Lumsden Design Partnership