“Cross-Court” for Filling Pieces

Winner of the “From-Home Workshop” Contest

In May 2020, the Amsterdam-based Street Fashion brand “Filling Pieces” put together a from home workshop, where up and coming designers were invited to redesign their iconic “Low Plain White Court” sneaker. I decided to enter on a whim, and was chosen to participate.

The original idea for the shoe came from putting on the Courts that were sent to me by Filling Pieces for this contest. I immediately hopped on my bicycle to grab a breath of fresh air during my time working from home. They were light, comfortable and a dream to ride around in.

There was only one problem: the Courts were all white, and I was biking through the trails of Golden Gate Park, getting them all muddy.

I thought, what if there was a way to create a removable cover for them so that I could rip trails during my commute while still showing up to the office looking fresh. 

April 2020
From Casual to Rugged

Phase 1

The first step was to do a bunch of sketches just to get my ideas down; the good ones, and the bad ones. I decided my first move was to give the shoes a more outdoor, rugged look. I did this by cutting up some boot soles that were donated to my footwear class back at CCA.

I had a ton of webbing sitting around from being in the right place at the right time when an outdoor gear company went out of business and saw this as an opportunity to feature them in the design. All of the materials used on the shoe are scraps or reused materials. Nothing was purchased for this project specifically. (I also found my Juki on the sidewalk as well) I began to tape the shoe up, thinking of pattern pieces and lines that would convey a fun and inviting feeling.

Phase 2

Once I had decided on the pattern, I took those tape patterns off of the shoe and cut them out of fabric to see what colors could work on the shoe. There are some photos of early explorations into how the cover would attach to the shoe in the folder as well. Here I pivoted from the red and white colorway to a white, blue, and sunburnt yellow colorway. I decided to use a blue thread on the sunburnt yellow suede to tie the colors to each other.

Phase 3

I removed the red webbing and replaced it with blue. I began to construct the shoe, first sewing faux stitched and then gluing them to the shoe itself. This is when the design really started to come together, and I began focusing on the details and hardware.

Phase 4

It was time to figure out the cover, and how it would attach to the shoe. I was challenged with only using what was in my garage. I found some interesting nails and also a riveting kit.

I stuck the nails into the sides of the midsole, but in my sketches, I call out that they would be custom hardware, over-molded into the midsole during the molding process. There was an opportunity to incorporate a logo here as well.

For the anchors on the upper, I figured out that by using a rivet that was too long, it would protrude from the shoe enough to hook an elastic band around. I mocked up a quick test and it held strong.

I took an old jacket and cut out the cable that sinched around the jacket hem. I used this as the elastic that would hold the cover onto the shoe. I mocked up a quick prototype out of white canvas and it worked perfect

Putting it all together

Final Phase

The final phase was to rebuild the cover with durable, waterproof material. I had found some rubberized Cordura that had been donated to CCA from Nike and decided it would be great as it was very durable and easy to wipe clean.