Inspiration can come in many forms. For the team behind Super Special Sneakers, inspiration came from a 1950s Czechoslovak production booklet. Within its pages, they found a simple design — a hiking boot that had been lost to time. In this sketch, they saw an opportunity. “We found the sneakers’ production documentation in an old factory book while looking for timeless designs — the quest that continues to drive us,” the team details.
While the Canvas Originals are the team’s first foray into the fashion industry, the creative minds that revived this classic look have a long history with design. “This is our first fashion project,” they start, “[but] we specialise in product design, with some of our projects being awarded with Red Dot and A Design awards.”
Speaking to this design skill, the shoe has been rethought from its original sketches to be more up-to-date with modern times. While the original sketch was light on details, the new and improved Canvas Original is a fully realised project, incorporating updates and special conditioning to ensure the shoes will be both top-quality and long-lasting.
“We made a few add-ons for better and more convenient lacing,” the team explains. “We added two additional laces, black and yellow, and also extended the seasonality for the canvas sneakers by adding a specially-developed water repellent wax for bad weather conditions.” While the original shoe was designed as a hiking shoe, the team now says the shoe can handle a range of weather conditions: “We believe Super Special Sneakers can be very versatile in their use both on and off the grid,” they explain.
To enhance that versatility, the label offers two variants of the classic design. The first is an all-black version — a classic look brought to life by both the label’s expert detailing and its variety of swappable coloured laces. For the other variant, the label presents a white, natural shoe, with the uppers of both shoes being composed of canvas and the soles being composed of long-lasting vulcanised rubber.
While some things have been updated from the 1950s original for the modern consumer, other details were too good to change. The basic design remains the same as the vintage original, and the shoe itself is even produced in the same factory as its original. “Super Special Sneakers are produced on the same old production line dating back to the 1950s,” reveals the creative team. “It is probably one of the oldest in the world.” This tradition allows them to maintain incredible quality. “[The sneakers] feature the same great choice of natural heavyweight cotton canvas and rubber that goes through a unique vulcanisation process.”
When one orders a Super Special Sneaker, the team promises “EU-made quality, a real factory smell, passion and attention to detail — great geometry that has stood the test of time.” Additionally, by using cotton canvas and vulcanised rubber, the company avoids the Earth-threatening pitfalls of the present day footwear industry. “[We use] natural materials as opposed to all the plastic used in the shoe industry,” they explain.
For the future, the team hopes to discover other vintage designs to bring to life all over again — and they already have some in the works. “We are excited to work on reviving and redesigning new models of classic sneakers that will be available soon,” the team shares.