Native Shoes is a Vancouver-based brand with a big, bright presence in the footwear world. Their HQ is the sort of studio where you want to kick back with a green juice and contemplate colourful footwear as the sun streams in through floor to ceiling windows (while Native's creative team works diligently around you, sorry guys). Read on for more about their design philosophy, the much-anticipated Apollo Moc, and what 'Future Classics' Native is introducing in the coming seasons.
What was the inspiration behind creating a unique shoe from somewhat unorthodox materials?
The design philosophy at Native is based on classic silhouettes merged with innovative materials and construction to create 'Future Classics.’ This approach made the introduction of the Apollo silhouette very natural for us.
The Apollo Moc was inspired by the oldest footwear silhouette known to man, the moccasin, which we then fused with future fabrics and new technology in design. The Moc incorporates an injection molded EVA outsole, a one-piece microfiber upper, and rubber heel and toe inserts to keep you upright on this planet.
Native has collaborated with Vancouver company The Juice Truck on a pair of custom print shoes, and with Japanese designer Issey Miyake. How do you select brand partners for collaborations?
Many of our collaborations and special projects are inspired by our own roots and connections in design and culture. We work with brands that we love and that we feel are most closely connected to our design principles here at Native.
We are in our fourth season now with Issey Miyake and are excited to see the collection grow outside of Japan. The new Fall release of our Issey Miyake Pleats Please x Native Shoes Apollo Moc will be available worldwide at Issey Miyake stores. We’re excited to work with brands that inspire us and that we can grow season after season.
Native’s online identity is defined by colourful graphic design and creative photography. How is visual art important to the Native brand?
We’ve been described aptly as a “creative agency that makes shoes.” That couldn’t be any more poignant. Creativity and design are at the core of our brand and are exemplified throughout all of our work.
What’s next for Native?
We’re about to release the Fall/Winter '15 Collection that will see new additions to the Apollo family including embroidered patterns on both the Moc and Chukka. We’re also launching a new ‘Future Classic’, the Apollo Rain, an ankle high rain boot with elastic side panels.You can expect to see more ‘Future Classics’ in our upcoming Spring '16 collection which sees new treatments, patterns, and innovative construction techniques embedded within the line. Stay tuned!