Co-designed sneakers

by: Mirjam Visser, 2011-06-07 05:07:41 UTC
Sustainability Aspects: !SYOU encourages creative industry by recruiting creative talents who co-design the !SYOU brand. By competing in a pitch the best co-designers are chosen and receive an assignment + business support for their creative business plan

The Story

colombian collection

!SYOU is a new way to think about sneaker design. A fresh sneaker concept mixing on-the-edge design, high quality materials. Designed by Co-Design. A creative and commercial handshake across the world. The first batch of co-designed, first edition !SYOU Burkina Faso sneakers have recently landed in Europe.

Every pair of !SYOU sneakers is the product of a creative partnership, part-produced using locally sourced materials and feeding a fair share of the retail price directly back to the artists, photographers, designers on the ground, helping to stimulate creativity and economic development.

!SYOU business model

  1. They believe in the importance of the Creative Industry: ‘(..) A vibrant society gains meaning and direction from its creative thinkers. Studies show that creativity spurs economic growth; Breakthroughs in understanding are essential to the task of building a world of opportunity. Creative thinking…will lead us to a more dynamic future.’ (—Thomas J. Vilsack, Governor of Iowa)
  2. Local creative talents are important. They are in touch with the local heritage of a country and see things from a unique perspective. Traditional crafts, designs, ideas and methods are the strengths they bring, the inspiration and energy that boosts a brand. By working with local talent, the local creative industry is supported and strengthened.
  3. In the context of !SYOU, local creative talents play a crucial role not only from a corporate social responsible perspective (profit flows back to good cause), but also in a integrated co-design way.

How does it work?
In every country the creative process starts with a ‘talent call’, an open pitch for an assignment. From these submissions !SYOU selects three talents in separate disciplines to co-design the collection of shoes and its marketing material.
Being selected as a !SYOU talent means three things:

  • A talent who has won the pitch gets the assignment to co-create the !SYOU-brand in his or her discipline. The talent will paid for this assignment.
  • A !SYOU talent is invited to apply for a micro investment of a maximum of € 2.000,- to boost or start up a business.
  • A !SYOU talent can benefit from the !SYOU community by promoting him or herself on the !SYOU platform and be connected to opportunities like: new assignments, mentorships and exhibitions.

In the context of !SYOU, this means that each model is the result of a country specific co-design process. For every collection, another country is selected. !SYOU co-designs by designing, photographing or writing together with cross-cultural artists, designers and other creative professionals.
For example, a young talented photographer, Francois from Burkina Faso worked together with famous Dutch photographers Petrovsky & Ramone. Designs from the local talent Wilfried de Paul are used in the first edition sneakers designed by !SYOU designer, Esther van Oirschot. And the blog of the !SYOU website will be partly written by Ramata, a Burkinabe journalist.

Local production
Locally sourced materials are important, not only vibrant and inspiring to use in products and design, but also a way to stimulate the local economy.
As many local materials as possible are sourced to ensure a share of the retail price is directed back to the local economy. All materials are chosen on the basis of sustainability and authentic design. !SYOU aims to be a fully sustainable sneaker.

The return model
By using a return model a share of the profit from a product is used to flow back into the country the product is made in.
In the case of !SYOU, 10% of sneaker sales is directed back to the local creative community. This means approximately €15,- will be invested in innovation and the growth of creative enterprises and entrepreneurs. €10,- of every shoe will be directly invested by supporting local talents and their business plans. Finally, €5,- will be spent on talent specific advice, connection to networks, participating in exhibitions, etc.
A talent is supported for one year, three talents are selected per collection.

The idea and energy behind !SYOU comes from a growing gang of creative thinkers and entrepreneurs on a global journey. Special mention to founding fathers Butterfly Works and DAY.

Product: !SYOU
Designer: !SYOU
Manufacturer: !SYOU
Category: sneakers


Burkina Faso collection
the business model
Women collection
colombian collection
Burkina Faso collection
by !SYOU

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