Countdown to ‘Watch our Steps’ at the Dutch Design Week, 1 day to go!

This week we will be counting down to the start of Dutch Design Week 19-27 October in Eindhoven, where SLEM will present ‘Watch our Steps #2’: the next generation of shoe designers. SLEM is proud to present ‘Watch our Steps #2’, the second edition of its spectacular annual exhibition of the best footwear graduation works from academies around the world. After the great success of last year’s first edition, even more schools have decided to participate. Among the newcomers are big names such as Fashion Institute of Technology from New York, Bezalel Academy of Art & Design from Jerusalem and Domus Academy from Milan.

One of the graduates is Matthias Winkler. When he entered the Manolo Blanhik competition for Royal College of Art students in London, he found inspiration in the rich artisan practice of eighteenth-century Russia. Paired with his AW14 Inuit boot, Winkler’s designs will make a powerful, lasting impression at SLEM’s “Watch our Steps #2” exhibition. Be sure to visit them tomorrow at the Dutch Design Week in Eindhoven, as well as their enormous selection at their headquarters in Waalwijk.

Two locations
We would not do the designers and their wonderful works any justice if we would try to squeeze them all into our booth at Dutch Design Week for just one week, which is why we decided to select one shoe of each designer to present in Eindhoven, while the major part of the exhibition will be shown in our own inspiring SLEM building in Waalwijk until at least mid November.

At Dutch Design Week SLEM will present its new range of courses that are suitable for both students and professionals who want to further their knowledge of footwear, including the latest techniques. For instance, SLEM will offer a course in 3D design for footwear using Rhino, taught by experts from 3D Portal. To celebrate this continued collaboration, 3D portal will scan designs from ‘Watch our Steps #2’ and print 3D miniatures of them, live in our booth in Hall 3 of the Klokgebouw in Eindhoven.

Global Footwear Design Award
As part of “Watch our Steps #2” we will also present the second edition of the Global Footwear Design Award. The verdict of an expert jury – consisting of footwear professionals such as designer Charles Bergmans and owner of the Virtual Shoe Museum Liza Snook – and the public votes at both locations of the expo will determine who designed the best graduation collection of 2013. Instead of money, the winner receives support and advice from SLEM’s huge professional network, to help kick start their career.

We are happy to announce that SLEM was able to help last year’s winner Aku Bäckström to a job in Shanghai, to design the concept for a new unique men’s footwear brand and Roderick Pieters, who received a special mention, is setting up an international training program together with SLEM!

Award & Graduation Night
The Award Night will take place on October 25th at SLEM in Waalwijk, between 19:30-22:00 and will be hosted by the head of the expert jury: Victoria Koblenko, actress and shoe fanatic. That evening she will also hand out the diplomas to the first graduates of SLEM’s fulltime international master class, which will have it’s second edition in 2014. On the 25th there will be a shuttle bus leaving at 18:00 from Dutch Design Week to SLEM Waalwijk. Admission to the Award Night and the shuttle bus are free, but we do require visitors to register in advance at [email protected], since we have limited space and participants of ‘Watch our Steps #2’ are served first.

SLEM Waalwijk (untill November 17th 2013)
Raadhuisplein 1-2, 5141JT Waalwijk

Dutch Design Week (19-27 October 2013)
Hall 3, Klokgebouw/Strijp-S, Eindhoven

Photo: Matthew Winkler’s shoe for RCA Manolo Blanhik.