Q & A Interview: Antoine Delapierre

What was your brief for this shoe?

“The brief for the 172 was to design a fresh, clean sneaker. We wanted to create a shoe that was the ultimate in comfort. So, my brief to bring comfort into details within a simple classic shoe with clean lines.”

What appealed to you about working with SEVEN FEET APART?

“Well it was really about Matt and Ian and their enthusiasm, passion and energy. When they explained more about their vision and the social impact that the brand will have; this really convinced me.” 

What was your inspiration behind the Original 172?

“When I listened to Matt’s background and the reason why the brand was formed, there was a lot of innovation that came across. I wanted to translate it into the footwear. I used such concepts as bridges and architecture. Since the shoe had to be kept quite simple, I focused on details inside the footwear and engineering a system, called the Comfort Bridge. It’s made of neoprene material and it hugs the foot and brings much more comfort to the sneaker.”

What elements have you changed from the classic tennis shoe?

I focused on the inside and there is a lot of thought and work done on the footbed of the shoe. One of the materials we have used comes from PORON in the USA. It’s exclusive to top brands because of the quality of it. It affords a lifetime of comfort for our wearer.

So, this is a classic tennis shoe that has been rebuilt with proper comfort layers?

“Correct, this is a classic tennis shoe but designed and engineered to be the most comfortable footwear.”

In your opinion what makes this style so timeless?

Often in design the simplest are the ones most likely to remain and stay timeless. Speaking with Matt and Ian we agreed that we should work on something as clean and simple, easy to wear and really focusing on the brand and the brief that was given.”

I’d like to talk to you a little bit about colours, why did you choose these colour ways

When it comes to the white, it’s one of the purest ways to show the form of the footwear so white was it’s an obvious choice. W wanted to add in colours with the neoprene Comfort Bridge to highlight the detail we have engineered and also to bring a touch of recognition to the footwear. Red makes it sportier. That’s one of the nice things about the collection; according to the colour we use it gives a different feel to the shoe for a different purpose.”

And then you’ve got the black, which will be very popular with men and Women?

“I think that the black is the one that is the easiest to wear, is the smart one, is the elegant one, the sophisticate.” 

Who do you think will wear the champagne?

“Erm, cute girls?” 

What does the tan say about the man who wears them?

“When it comes to the tan I think it says Ian all over. Ian represents a lot of consumers in that sense. He has a good sense of fashion, minimalist fashion. The tan is a beautiful colour to use with navy blues and instantly turns the man into some sort of connoisseur. “

Who did you have in mind when you designed this sneaker?

"When I designed the sneaker, I had Matt and Ian in mind. As founders, it was important that they wear the product, they believed in what they were briefing and they also represent the perfect customer. The perfect customer is real, dynamic and they are modern men, travellers. I think all this travel and the comfort is associated with the brand and this footwear"

And women?

"In terms of women I think there is a lot of elements we can take from the men, which is travelling, it’s a girl that has energy that is very active. But of course she also cares about colours and details. So, we have spent more time into the colours and the palette is a lot richer than men’s."