NEON x SEOUL SHOE STREET
Client : British Council and Seoul Metropolitan Government
Location : Seoul, Korea
Status : Completed 2017
Shoe makers : Jung-Soo Youn, Ki-Hwang Ko, Dong-Woo Kim, Hyuk-Nam Kwon
Shoe wearers : Michael Madjus, Luz Celeste Lopera, Kai Lobjakas, Julita Bhagat, Lie-Sang Bong, Courtney Johnston, Manuel Henriques, Thahab Alosaimi, Atty Tantivit, Patrick Murphy
Photography : Jamie James Films
As part of the UK/Korea 2017-18 season, NEON were commissioned by the British Council and the Urban Regeneration Center of the Seoul Metropolitan Government to undertake a month-long residency in the Seoul Station area, which includes the historic Seoul Shoe Street. Currently at threat of extinction due to rapid gentrification and the demand for fast fashion, Seoul Shoe Street is an example of the global issue of the decline in local skilled manufacture.
In ”NEON x Seoul Shoe Street” NEON collaborated with 4 local shoemakers from Seoul Shoe Street to develop a collection of 10 bespoke and customized shoes for 10 international design professionals. Each pair of shoes was designed in consultation with both the wearer and the maker and reflects their specific tastes, lifestyles and environment.
The aim of the project is to raise international awareness about the traditional maker area in Seoul and create a buzz around handmade Korean shoes. The project is based on the belief that handmade bespoke objects can instil a deeper and more meaningful emotional bond with the user leading to them wanting to keep the object for longer.