North America

The product: Sneaker, the evolution of the species

Man running
In a world of constant change, the metropolises are on the vanguard and at the same time the “laboratories” where new visions of the society of the future are experimented. A future that has now become reality, where nature must reaffirm its rights daily by competing with spaces that are dwindling as man lays claim to expanding settlements. Our cities are “asphalt jungles”, territories crossed by “rivers of automobiles”, mutant sites where agglomerations of buildings resemble forests. An endless struggle, always striving to attain a balance of different forces and energies: a flow that fuels creativity and pushes us to imagine a young and dynamic city, brimming with input and opportunity.

These are the themes that inspired the XI edition of the “Footwear Design Contest”, this year focussing on the concept of “Young Wild City”. The competition, organised by the Politecnico Calzaturiero in Padua, called for the design of a unisex sneaker using a polyurethane sole created by professional designers Renzo Tramonte and Linda Lipari, and produced thanks to the support of BASF Italia. The company, a European centre of excellence in the polyurethane systems for footwear sector, for this occasion once again made available its extensive experience in the Research and Development of an extremely versatile and high-performance material, ideal for unleashing the imagination.

An opportunity successfully seized by 67 participants in the competition who demonstrated their know-how and talent in interpreting the theme proposed, in terms of both technology and creativity. The proof can be found in the elegant originality of the models on the podium, a sort of gallery of images of what’s to come in fashion. Original ideas sprouting from an overwhelming capacity to interpret the here and now, that culminate in the winning design signed by Marco Degan. Materials printed with reptile skin and animal feather patterns associated with technological Microlite: a primordial world that co-exists with modernity, in a fascinating hybrid where the sneaker also takes on the shape and function of a sandal or a boot. The perfect footwear, flaunting a fantastically bold look for taking decisive strides in the modern urban jungle.

BASF Italia Spa

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