CHARLES & KEITH has teamed up with Paris-based independent footwear brand both – known for its unique use of rubber in its designs – to create an exclusive collection.
Centred around 90’s punk vibes and urban-chic streetwear aesthetics, the collection takes a contemporary spin on the art of imperfection. Inspired by the ancient Japanese art form of Kintsugi – a traditional method of utilising gold to mend cracks in ceramics or to bind broken pieces together, a metaphor for embracing flaws and imperfections – the effect adopted here, reiterates the function of the accessories.
The collection is available in three colours: black, white, and a unique print featuring gold marble foil overlaid on a lemon-yellow background, specially designed by both.
Traditional Chelsea boot and chunky loafer silhouettes – iconic styles for CHARLES & KEITH – have been reimagined in a new form with both’s experimental curved rubber soles. Grunge streetstyle-inspired platforms are added, distorting traditional perceptions and balancing on and off-duty wear – these sculptural silhouettes aren’t dissimilar to styles that would have been spotted on youths frequenting Camden and Harajuku in the noughties. Seams on footwear are broken up and underlaid in gold or silver, and hammered metal toe-caps invoke an interplay between shattering societal norms.
Bags take on 90s-inspired silhouettes with a futuristic twist: Baguette shoulder bags are given chunky straps for a maximalist effect, while structured bucket bags feature a magnetic closure that folds over to create a sleek elliptical form. Removable charms and chains in a burnished finish play up the tropes of punk subculture, encouraging wearers to explore and express their individuality. A statement buckle, also seen on the loafers, wraps around the body of the bucket bag, imbuing utilitarianism with creativity to reiterate the new generation’s style and identity.
“The blending of our brands’ sensibilities was very natural. Innovation and experimentation form the backbone of our design ethos, and we have a strong collaborative spirit in our roots, as active players in the global creative circuit,” said Fredie Stevens, Design Director of CHARLES & KEITH.“ With both’s expertise and one-of-a-kind rubber technique, we tapped on each other’s strengths to push the boundaries on design and translate this material into a contemporary collection we hope our wearers will love.”
“We are always looking to capture the culture, mood and people of a certain period, and this collection is an ode to the transgressive spirit of punk, reflected in the youthful zeal of the new generation, who have challenged and redefined the boundaries of so many norms,” said both.
The CHARLES & KEITH x both collection will be available on October 7.