Back to introducing new brands! Properly introducing, that is, since shoes by Deux Souliers have already been featured in our sidebar kiosks.
Well, where do I begin? Deux Souliers means “two shoes” in French. That simple.
The brand strives to create an experience that is natural and effortless to help their customers feel a special connection with their DS shoes.
The brand’s motto is: “Moving forward is as easy as placing one foot in front of another. A pair of shoes is all you need.”
Created in 2010, Deux Souliers follows two maxims: art and craftsmanship. It’s the equivalent of having your head in the clouds and your feet firmly on the ground. A very Spanish thing. The shoes are designed in Barcelona and made in Menorca. Two shoes, two places to make them.
Shots from DS‘s Fall-Winter 13-14 collection campaign.
Deux Souliers shoes featured in La Monda magazine fashion editorial, June 2013.
The first thing that I noticed was the industrial aesthetic, by which I mean that the design reflects the desire to show how the shoe is constructed. Each element that goes into the shoe is not only given its fair share of attention, it’s put on the pedestal and celebrated.
The production process, on the other hand, is the opposite of the industrial assembly method. It’s markedly artisanal. As we have mentioned many times on this blog, Menorca is one of the traditional seats of Spanish shoe making. That said, the people behind Deux Souliers make sure that “traditional” should not be mistaken for “old-fashioned” or “outdated”. It’s all the opposite. The brand embraces any new technologies that improve on time-tested methods.
In short, the Deux Souliers vision of both craftsmanship and design is decidedly futuristic. The artistic director, Nunu Solsona, is very active giving workshops on shoe design and technology to aspiring shoe makers, car designers (finding a lot of parallels between shoe and car design), and a variety of other people and organizations.
Students at the shoe design and production workshop at the Camper facilities in Inca, Mallorca.
At Inescop – Spain’s Insitute of Footwear Technology, testing new ideas.
Automotive designers learning how to make shoes from Deux Souliers.
Now, for the shoes. Below are some examples from the DS FW14-15 collection, as seen on the Deux Souliers website.
“Light Strap”: boot-like shoe with a frontal cut and adjustable elastics on the side for a better fit. 2 cm light cork platform and 8 cm heel. Rubber anti-slip sole. Natural cow leather lining for freshness. All natural 100% cow leather.
“Tender-Tight”: boot-like semi-wedge shoe from natural cow leather with a fantasy olive-striped elastic. Rubber block for lightness and flexibility. TPU rubber anti-slip sole. Natural cow leather lining for freshness. 100% all natural cow leather. (TPU is a hybrid material – a mixture between hard plastic and soft silicone).
“Chelsea“: boot-like heeled shoe with a toe cap. Heel height 8,5 cm with a 2,5 cm visible platform. Side elastics for a better fit. Anti-slip rubber sole. 100% all natural cow leather.
Snazzy bootie: I love the slit in the front!
Leather blucher with decorative straps for a boot-like fastening. Natural cowhide lining for breathability. Sole with welt and sewed anti-slip footprint. 100% all natural cow leather.
“Sprinter” in navy: a laced shoe with a 1,5 cm interior platform and 5 cm heel. Decorative stitching that showcases the cut of the shoe. Contrasting welt. (Welt is a strip of leather which is sewn around the bottom edge of a shoe). Natural leather sole. Cow leather lining for freshness. 100% all cow leather.
“Ankle semi-heel”: Boot-like shoe with a 1,5 cm interior platform and 5 cm heel. Natural cow leather, elastic cut-ins on the sides, and an ankle strap with a double roller buckle for a better fit. Natural leather sole with rubber injected for water resistance and flexibility. Cow leather lining for freshness. 100% all cow leather.
And from earlier collections:
This pretty loafer with a 3 cm heel and an interior platform in bone & black. Front made from a wool-based fabric. From the DS FW 13-14 collection.
I love how the Spanish incorporate wool and felt in their shoes – it makes for a very soft, yet stylish experience. See another example (by Castañer) here.
A luxurious white leather platformed moccasin from the DS SS13 collection.
From DS SS14 collection:
Backless sandal with side openings and a cross-strap with a double roller buckle for fastening. Leather sole. Padded and lined insole with natural cow leather for freshness. Natural leather welt and sole with rubber injected for water resistance and flexibility.
Chunky heeled sandal with open sides and elastics inserted into the ankle strap for a comfortable fit. 8,5 cm heel with a 4,5 cm light cork platform. Rubber sole for durability. Natural cow leather lining for freshness.
Summary: these shoes are not only well-made, from quality leather and new innovative materials that increase comfort, but they are also very interesting to look at. They are not the pretty-pretty kind – they are cool avant-garde shoes. Well, it’s no wonder: Barcelona is Spain’s capital of cool.
I don’t know about you, but I can’t help but crave Deux Souliers. Of course, they are not cheap: the prices hover around 200Euros. At the same time, considering their quality and uniqueness and compared to average prices for European shoes, they are not very expensive either.
Deux Souliers has an online shop on their website, where you can purchase some of the shoes from their previous collections. The shipping fee for North America is very reasonable, but, of course, we have to keep in mind the customs charges.
The DS FW14-15 collection is currently only sold in physical stores. In Europe, Russia, China and Japan.
For us, North Americans, YOOX.COM carries some Deux Souliers shoes from earlier collections. But very few at a time.
Here is an ankle-boot from DS FW13-14 collection, currently on sale at YOOX.COM (click on the image to see what sizes are available):
If you are in Barcelona, visit the Deux Souliers design studio at C/ Sant Salvador 114, in Barcelona‘s uptown neighbourhood of Gràcia, a tight-knit and fiercely independent community that puts on a hugely popular street party every year in August. Read more about Gràcia here.
Finally, check out the wicked video art that Deux Souliers produces in partnership with other artists. I watched these videos on Vimeo and was mesmerized.
Here is one, with some time-lapse cinematography of an ice block melting and a shoe emerging from it. Pretty awesome.
Sandal #2 Brown British Green from Deux Souliers on Vimeo.
All photographs, except YOOX.COM, courtesy of Deux Souliers.