18 December

Empreinte Design, the label that transforms shoe soles into objets d'art

 

Passionate about sneaker culture, Clémence Chasselon transforms the soles of iconic sneakers into veritable works of art.

By Laura Catz

Fashion, food, art… street culture has filtered in everywhere. One of its leading totems is of course the sneaker. Collaborations, customisations, ultra-personalisation… and now the humble shoe that’s gone from the gym out onto the pavement is trading its streetwear accessory status for that of objet d’art. Clémence Chasselon has chosen to approach it from a very particular angle: the sole! Fascinated by the graphic details that characterise the rarely seen underside of every shoe that makes contact with the ground, this self-confessed Nike addict works mainly with the American label’s most iconic designs: the Air Max 1, the Air Force 1 and not forgetting the Air Jordan. Legendary shoes whose history she knows off by heart, and to which she pays tribute by transforming them into works of art. After creating a mould of the sole in resin comes the personalisation: flowers, powder, pigments and sequins, elements that she sparingly increments, to create a unique design object.

 

 

The details of these soles have been super studied, they’re legendary!” enthuses the young artist Clémence Chasselon. “The typical destiny of a sneaker sole is to get worn down by walking the streets. By choosing to capture it for eternity, to keep it intact, hung on a wall, is like a snub to the principal advocated by sneakerheads, their ‘Rock it, don’t stock it.” With her Empreinte Design, this 22-year old fine arts graduate from Marseille is completing an artistic enterprise begun five years ago with her first project: The Freshest Customs. Same media, same combat: the personalisation of designs, done in tandem with her boyfriend – the ultimate sneaker addict and trained graphic designer – in an attempt to flee the uniformity that’s corrupting street culture.  

 

 

Creations available on Etsy.com

 

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