Nendo Marker-Shoes

Calfskin and Marker Pen Shoes Combine the Natural and the Artificial

Tokyo-based design company Nendo may work across the fields of architecture, interior design, graphics and fashion, but they’re certainly not getting too big for their boots with their latest design, marker-shoes.

“For me, the role of design is about solving problems and finding new solutions,” Oki Sato, founder of Nendo tells us. “Also, it’s about the stories you find behind the objects, whether it’s product design, architecture or graphics. It is all the same to me. I define our designs like this: simplicity, story, routine.”

These delicate but dapper shoes comes in three designs for both men and women, with each design featuring three colours to choose from.

We caught up with Oki to talk to him in a little more detail:

The Plus: As Nendo’s concept, it states that you want to make people feel the small “!” moments in our days. How are you aiming to do that?
Oki Sato:
I try to look for the small things that are hidden, things that people don’t really care about or things that people have already forgotten.
I think it’s those small things that make people’s lives so rich and comfortable. It’s always about giving people a small smile in the end.
I’ve noticed that rooting work in everyday life really helps me. If you keep on repeating things every day you notice the small differences, and I feel those small differences become my design sources in a way.

TP: What style were you aiming for during the designing of the shoes? How would you describe the eventual style?
Unlike dye or paint, the soft, fine calfskin absorbs the marker ink in moderation, for a finish as transparent and limpid as watercolour, a distinctive look made possible by combining the natural texture of calfskin with artificial marker colour.

TP: What will your next project be?
We are currently working on nearly 400 projects! We are shifting more into architecture. We are working on a big shopping centre in Bangkok at the moment. We are designing a station with parks, cafes, theatres and so on, very close to Kyoto in Japan. We are going to start working on private houses as well. So that is one thing.
The other thing is that we are going to start working more in branding and consulting. Design-consulting for a lot of big Japanese companies.
It is getting very dynamic. It is not only about designing one single object – we have to design the entire company and we have to take care of space design, objects, branding and whatever. It is really expanding.