New Material Award 2009–2018 
New Material Award 2009-2018

Elisa van Joolen

Invert Footwear

Elisa van Joolen is a designer and artist based in Amsterdam. Van Joolen aims to subvert and upend the traditional and unsustainable processes of value production by appropriating branding and reintroducing borrowing and sharing as ways to change up a wardrobe.

The Invert Footwear collection consists of de- and reconstructed pairs of brand-name sneakers. Van Joolen turned donated sample models of Nike skate sneakers inside-out and created new matching soles from cheap flip-flops. Her recombination of mass-produced shoes forces a refreshed gaze; we see them as ‘new’, independent from huge brands and marketing campaigns. In addition, the inversion process reveals the hand-sewn seams that are normally hidden from sight; the craftsmanship of factory workers is thus literally exposed, preventing the ignorance of blind consumption. Many brands have an abundance of items – from overproduction, backstock, samples and rejects – that are no longer used and are usually destroyed. Invert Footwear flaunts the hidden narrative of waste by creating a covetable object from rejects, by creating value from traditionally unvalued items. It asks consumers to look for tell-tale signs that a human, not a factory machine, made their clothing and to understand the inherent value in the hand-made.
year: 2014
Materials: Fashion, Waste, Social Design