By KUPLUTHAI PUNGKANON
SUMMER time is sneaker time and international brands are celebrating the arrival of the holiday season by unveiling their latest collections, innovations and inspirations.
A pioneer in technology meets functionality, family-own Danish brand, Ecco has come up with a hybrid sneaker, the Ecco Omni-vent, with breathable textile uppers that make them as good for pounding urban streets as rural paths. The air-channels have been modified to give them a more rugged appearance, which adds to the shoe’s athletic styling. Excess heat and moisture can escape, while perforations in the uppers create the optimal inner climate for the foot.
Thomas Meng, the brand’s regional director in Asia Pacific, says that Ecco has expanded across the world. “Our popularity owes a lot to the brand’s heritage, which encompasses passion, innovation and a love of raw materials, as well as to our production facilities. We have our own tanneries, and a production facility in Ayutthaya. We have been working in Thailand for 26 years and are full of praise for the craftsmanship of our Thai workers. Maximum production capacity is as many as 75,000 pair of shoes per week,” he explains.
“Leather innovations have also played an essential role. The Ecco Omni-vent, which is crafted from Ecco leather, is one of the high-end materials developed by the Ecco Leather Studio. Fluidform Injection Technology creates an integral, long-lasting and seamless bond between the upper and sole without any of the complications that have been associated with stitching and glueing. With the signature Ecco anatomical fit, which closely follows the curves of the foot, the wearer is assured of comfort. Whether walking on city pavements or hiking up a hill, the robust rubber outsole enhances natural flexibility while improving grip in all weather conditions.”
The fashionable and stylish brand from Spain finds inspiration in the beauty of furniture and home decor and turns these into different unique shapes and forms for its newest collection. In a nod to the “Camper House” campaign, creative director, Romain Kremer draws on the design of everyday furniture and juxtaposes this in pastel shades of lemon yellow, blue and green matched with classic black and white.
A new take on the washing machine, the Nothing sneaker becomes a fashionable must-have item, while the structure of a heater is behind the outsoles of the Pix lace shoe. The Courb sneaker meanwhile is inspired by the simplicity and style of a pasta strainer, the curves of sanitary ware are expressed in the Kaah’s chunky design, and the Runner Four sneaker is inspired by classic dog toys. The overall design keeps its identity of unisex, multicolour, comfort, and quality intact.
The much-loved French brand debuted its street style Wildcard sneakers collection by inviting Thailand’s leading street artist, Parinya Pichetsiriporn aka Benzilla, creator of 3Balls, to create an exclusive design at the launch event, which was joined by rapper “Twopee” - Pitawat Pruksakit, Dharmthai Plangsilp, and Guntee Pitithan.
Lacoste sneakers can be worn to play sports or simply to look chic. The Wildcard sneakers are inspired by the vintage design of the iconic 1990s LT 150 sneakers but given a modern touch of tennis elements. The footwear has a triple-layer sole for better shock absorption while the soft leather with mesh details make them flexible and comfortable no matter where you are walking.
“Adding street influences into the design makes this collection stand out and fun to wear. The three designs for the collection are the result of the blending of the iconic Crocodile logo with my signature aliens,” says Parinya.
One of the most popular Japanese brands amongst Thais, Onitsuka Tiger introduces a range of sneakers on the theme “Summer of Love”. Thai superstars Patchrapa “Aum” Chaichua, Naphat “Nine” Siangsomboon, and Rasri “Margie” Balenciaga joined models for a sneak preview of the latest collection, which is co-designed with Italian designer, Andrea Pompilio.
“Stripe Summer” encompasses the Mexico 66 SD and Mexico 66 SD MR sneakers, both of which are environmentally friendly thanks to the use of metal-free leather and come in soft shades.
“Sporty Holidays” launches next month and features this year’s highlight, Tiger Horizonia, designed by combining the elements of trail sneakers, shoe soles and curved toe areas. The sneakers feature FuzeGel on the heels and OrthoLite inside.
“Honolulu on My Mind” will be launched in May and boast coconut-printed designs. And then there’s the distinctive Tsunahiki 2.0 sneakers with a no-strings design and contrasting colours.