Norm Architects is an architecture and design studio known for its minimalist aesthetics. The firm believes in simplicity as a philosophy of life, and we can see that in its various projects. Recently, it has teamed up with KOIO for a sneaker collaboration that aims to explore the interconnection among architecture, furniture making, and footwear.
KOIO, a maker of handcrafted Italian leather sneakers, has developed a new pair of shoes that combines the beauty of a sneaker and an Oxford shoe. You may say Koio x Norm Architects Shoes’ design is something familiar, but this one results from deconstructing the shoe and turning it inside out.
KOIO is known for keeping things more interesting with its partnerships with other brands. Its sneaker brand collaborations tell us not just about Koio’s design philosophy but also about the other brand. The collaboration with Norm Architects resulted in a pair that can be worn for most occasions.
The pair is available in two different colors: Cliff and Black Timber. Versions for men and women are ready in various sizes. The sneaker collaboration is a minimalist silhouette of the classic Oxford shoe with a twist. It has also gained a furniture counterpart that looks beautiful, casual yet classy, in oak.
The Koio x Norm Architect Sneaker is made from Italian leather. The pair is handmade from genuine leather with rubber soles. The shoes also come with hand-painted edges and 20mm OrthoLite Hybrid insoles that are cushy. Near the heel is a diagonal line that allows the wearer to collapse the shoes and transform them into slippers.
The collapsible heel is an exciting feature of the pair. We are familiar with the idea and are probably always doing it but may be adamant because of fear of destroying the shoes. The Koio x Norm Architects Sneaker is convertible so that you can wear it in formal settings and casual occasions. You can use the pair just about with anything, but don’t run–it’s not made for running or workouts. It can’t handle extreme outdoor activities because it still is just a formal-casual pair. Koio x Norm Architects Sneaker is sold for $295.
To complement the shoes, a furniture piece has been designed that can also serve as a storage area for the pair. As a result, it also boasts a minimalist appeal sans the clutter and other elements you usually see in a cabinet. The special bench has been crafted in Japan and it’s made by craftsmen at the design studio Karimoku Case Study. Making the seat more comfortable is the Sørensen Royal nubuck seat cushion.
The solid oak base makes it a reliable furniture piece. All corners come with walnut spline joints that may remind you of the stitching on the sides of the Koio x Norm Architects sneakers. The Koio x Norm Architects Bench in Oak is made-to-order with a $6,000 price tag.