For the sneakerheads out there, this design concept will probably make you cringe. But for the Modscape team who have a love for all things modular, these modular shoes are intriguing.
Inspired by the epidemic of fast fashion and fashion waste, design student Lucille Nguyen considered the possibilities for replacing part of a shoe rather than the whole pair, and set to work creating a greener, cheaper and more customisable version.
The result is a series of working prototypes called Up-Part shoes. The shoes would be sold as a kit of parts to be crafted together by the user. Lacing or straps stitch the modular components together – each featuring different colour and textures.
“The challenge of this concept was to find an easy and recognizable way the user would attach the shoe together,” says Nguyen. “We are used to attaching our shoes with laces or straps, so I pushed these gestures just a step further and made the connection technique part of the sneaker personality.”
Nguyen suggests modular design can improve people’s emotional attachment to their garments too. The design enables the wearer to easily adjust the style themselves. It is hoped that this added interaction, personalisation, and creativity will help to strengthen the bond between wearer and garment.
Selling the sole and the upper part of the shoe separately would allow either to be replaced when damaged, thus limiting waste. Pairing organic fibres with biodegradable fastenings means the parts can be recycled at the end of their functional life.