MAKE SUMMERTIME FOOTWEAR
You’d be hard-pressed to find an
THAT ALLOWS YOU TO SWAP
COLORS, FABRICS, AND STYLES.
accessory infused with more passion
and personality than shoes. Despite
this, we’re offered a relatively limited
number of styles and models. Unless
you’re super rich (unlikely) or a shoe-
maker (even less likely) you probably
haven’t considered custom footwear.
However, making your own shoes
is easier than you think.
I’m talking about creating new,
interchangeable uppers that reflect
your creative vision, from material
Photograph by Garry McLeod; illustrations by Tim Lillis
choice to pattern. By cannibalizing the
soles from pre-existing footwear, you
can make a pair of strappy shoes with
unlimited styles that you can swap out
as fashion sees fit.
» The average American woman
has 19 pairs of shoes, but wears
only four pairs regularly.
» Old tires can be recycled to
make soles for shoes.
» In the 80s, Units were a line
of clothing that sold modular
one-size-fits-all pieces that
could be mixed and matched
in different combinations to
create new outfits.
Thomas Maiorana is a creative strategist based in San Francisco. He first developed this way of making shoes
while getting a master’s degree in design from Stanford University. He’s always happy to share new ways to create