The Difference A Dot Makes

 

Erik Schedin AW 2015

Comme des Garçons SHIRT X Eric Schedin sneakers autumn/winter 2015

While we may have declared that we’re getting bored with the Stan Smith, we are not entirely off the aesthetic of the plain tennis shoe. The clean, minimalist leather sneaker is, in our opinion, still the most ideal to carry any outfit, any day, anywhere.

One of our favourite reiterations of the court trainer is the version by Swedish designer Erik Schedin, conceived in collaboration with Comme des Garçon SHIRTS. Truth be told, we’ve liked it for three seasons now. There’s something completely alluring about its unabashed simplicity, quite the opposite of the attention-seeking and constantly sold-out Yeezy Boost.

While new sneaker brands try to find their own Swoosh or Three Stripes to distinguish themselves, Mr Schedin prefers something a lot simpler and painterly. For CDG, there are three distinctive markings on the side of the shoe: a dot, a stroke, and what looks like a reverse, compressed ‘C’, all drawn as if with a calligrapher’s brush. There’s something rather Oriental about them too—a quality we rather like.

Erik Schedin leather sneakersThe original Eric Schedin sneakers. Photo: Eric Schedin

Mr Schedin’s success is rather remarkable as it is essentially based only on one sneaker style. As it turned out, this particular shoe was a final-year class project when he was studying at Beckmans College of Design (Stockholm) in 2004. The end product was so defiantly minimalist, with a clear rejection of logo and labels that it stuck out in a sea of Air Jordans and their lookalikes.

In 2008, the designer decided to launch the shoe on his website, with e-commerce offerings of home ware (even cleaning aid!), stationery, and accessories. It wasn’t long before the clean-cut kicks attracted the attention of some of the most important retail buyers, such as those from Dover Street Market.

In January 2014, Erik Schedin paired with CDG’s SHIRT line to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the original shoe he designed when he was still in school. The re-issues came with the added graphics, and proved so popular that CDG has committed itself to a third season. While the first and second were based on white and black respectively, autumn/winter 2015 sees the shoes in blue and green.

Erik Schedin AW 2014Comme des Garçons SHIRT X Eric Schedin sneakers autumn/winter 2014

We’re partial to the blue, which reminds us of Ikea, and, when worn, Lego. While the blue, to us, isn’t terribly bright, it does attract attention since few sneakers get an all-over one-colour treatment these days. Interestingly, Mr Schedin’s original white version is still available at his web store, together with—no points for the right guess—black.

Apart from its design, our love for this sneaker is also based on the comfort it affords. These shoes are truly made for walking. Consider the details: an extremely supple and smooth leather upper, padded collar that’s extra kind to the ankles, padded tongue for dorsal comfort, perforated leather lining, leather insole, and vulcanised sole. The sum is a shoe that coddles the foot. If sneakers can love you back, these are the ones.

Comme des Garçons SHIRT X Erik Schedin sneakers (blue), SGD490, are available at Comme des Garçons, Hilton Shopping Gallery. Photos (except indicated): Jim Sim

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