French born, Dalston dwelling designer Soléne Roure has worked with the likes of Nike, Puma, Louis Vuitton, Alexander McQueen and Lululemon, but this week announces her debut collaboration with children’s footwear brand Bobux.
We caught up with her to find out more…
SM: Can you tell us how the collaboration with Bobux came about?
Soléne Roure: The innovation & design manager at Bobux had seen some of my work and contacted me through my website. We had a number of Skype conversations and I met other members of the team in London. The enthusiasm of the Bobux team was instantly infectious and I was very excited to be working with them. They gave me a lot of creative freedom, too. They truly care about kids’ feet from an ergonomic point of view, which is very important to me.
SM: What was on your mood board when designing the collection?
Soléne Roure: Whilst I have a lot of experience designing footwear, it’s my first time working on kid’s product. It felt like a new world full of possibilities! Bobux wanted me to use my influences from working in the sports and fashion industry, and inject them into a unique product.
I was looking at what mums were currently wearing, the shoes they were into, and I wanted to make a version for the kids. So I looked at slip on sneakers. They are practical, modern and stylish. I wanted to design a shoe that could act like a blank canvas, to hold lots of colour and graphic combinations. The sole however, is very curvy, and I thought it was an interesting hybrid look. I hadn’t seen that successfully done in a slip-on before.
We created graphics that almost look like a texture from far away, yet are quite intricate when you look up close, allowing kids to engage with the playful details. Meanwhile the adults can enjoy a tasteful graphic. You’ll see it more in our future collection.
I also wanted the graphics to look like they were created by a kid. Kid’s artwork can be very similar to modern art, in the best way possible! I am excited to explore this further, in the future.
SM: Bobux are obviously known for their ‘barefoot freedom’ in children’s shoes – did this pose any limitations on your designs?
Soléne Roure: Yes, it’s a difficult balance. It’s all about communication and my job ultimately is about problem solving.
Thankfully, the Bobux team held my hand. I’ve learnt a lot about kids’ feet! Thanks to their technical and ergonomic expertise combined with my creative efforts we were able to come up with the best design possible as a team, without compromising ‘barefoot freedom’.
SM: If you could shrink your own feet down to kids’ sizes, which shoe would you pick from the collection?
Soléne Roure: I think I would wear the Xplorer City white/black+ (with the yellow sole). I was always a bit of a tomboy growing up.
SM: And have you had any feedback from children on wearing your designs…?
Soléne Roure: Not yet, the collection only launched yesterday, we’ve had some great comments on Instagram and Facebook though so I hope people will enjoy them.
SM: Will this collaboration be the start of a beautiful relationship with Bobux..?
Soléne Roure: It’s looking pretty good, yes! I don’t know how much I’m allowed to say about this, actually. My first collection wasn’t supposed to come out for a few months yet. Bobux was so excited though that they arranged an early release of some of the styles! That means we have more shoes coming out very soon! I can hardly wait, as these are some of my favourites so far…
View the collection online here…