The name David Tourniaire-Beauciel might not ring a bell, but chances are, the shoes he created do not need any sort of introduction. We mean, which fashion fiend worth her salt does not know the Triple S sneakers or the Tabi boots? These are just two of the footwear designs from Balenciaga and Maison Margiela respectively that were his brainchild.
In a career spanning 25 years, Tourniaire-Beauciel who is now the creative director of French shoe brand Clergerie, not only kickstarted the ugly sneaker trend but he has also amassed an impressive repertoire designing footwear for some of the top luxury fashion houses in the business. The last saw him working for brands like Jean Paul Gaultier, Chloe, Maison Martin Margiela (yeap, when it was still under its namesake designer), Givenchy, Salvatore Ferragamo, and Balenciaga.
And where ever he designs, you can expect the shoes to possess a sort of futuristic-meets-sensuous quality about them. Think a pair of gladiator sandals-meet-mules at Salvatore Ferragamo that came with laces that run the length of your calves. Or how about the infamous Pantashoes he created from Balenciaga that meld a pair of pants with boots and reinvented the way we thought of shoes as a novelty item?
The man’s latest foray is his most personal project yet and highlights Tourniaire-Beauciel’s knack for hybrid designs. Together with a former LVMH and Kering executive named Aurelia Ammour, Tourniaire-Beauciel launched his new direct-to-consumer brand earlier this year that’s cheekily named Shoes 53045 – because 53045 spells “shoes” when flipped upside down. The brand will make its debut in Singapore at Club21 Forum and the Club21 x Play Comme des Garcons at The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands on August 7.
For its debut effort, the brand is focusing its effort on a star product: a high-tech sneakers hybrid with bubble air soles dubbed the Bump’Air that are ridiculously witty because they are inspired by bumper cars. But they are also smart because they check all the marketing buzzwords that appeal to today’s woke consumers. Leather-free construction? Check. Unisex design? Double check. Democratic sales model? Check, check, check. It is reported that the brand will expand to other product offerings like moccasins and loafers in the future.
The idea for chunky double wedge soles – one half is perforated while the other half is made of clear bubbled plastic – has actually been brewing in his mind for two decades. But it only came to fruition recently thanks to the availability of a technology that hails from China. In an interview with trade rag Footwear News, he reveals how the shoes are made by an athletics factory in China. “Often when people say something is Chinese-made it is pejorative but the knowledge is in Asia; I’m proud to say we are made in China.” Ehem, globalisation and free trade? Check that.
The six designs that are part of the launch also hit the mark for their photogenic and statement-making quality. Available in six eye-popping colourways like Acid (yellow), Flame (orange), and Ice (blue), the shoes exaggerated proportions make them the perfect kicks to go viral on street style. Already It girls like Gigi Hadid, up-and-coming pop princess Kim Petras, and Japanese model Kozue Akimoto have been spotted wearing them. Now that they’re available here, they’re bound to bubble over with +65 sneakerheads.