This weekend, I gave myself the assignment to make quick mock-ups over lasts. The idea was to refrain from judgement and see if any ideas came of it. It was a timid start, but maybe in the future I’ll have the courage and imagination to get more wacky.
So on a number of occasions, people who’ve seen my sandals ask if they’re Cydwoqs. I really, really, really dig that brand, so I’m partly flattered that someone would mistake my stuff for theirs, but partly embarrassed that it looks like I’ve copied their designs. Shortly after I started making sandals, I stopped looking at their website because I didn’t want to steal ideas from them. In any case, my output is nowhere near the quality of their shoes and I can’t even begin to achieve the graceful lines of their collections.
I do own a couple pairs of Cydwoq sandals and a pair of their Mary Janes (kinda), and at first the shape of the soles of my sandals was inspired by those, without ever taking a direct tracing. Those soles never worked out—they were too wide at first, and even as I narrowed them in smallincrements, they were always misshapen somehow. The sole shape I currently use over and over is actually swiped from these sexy-ass shoes that I can’t wear without spraining an ankle.
Since I’m a hard walker and don’t take care of my shoes, both of my Cydwoq sandals were falling apart. So I partially dismantled one to see how it was constructed.
Austin Kleon, author of Steal Like an Artist, writes, “A wonderful flaw about human beings is that we’re incapable of making perfect copies.Our failure to copy our heroes is where we discover where our own thing lives. That is how we evolve.” I don’t know yet about my evolution, but I know my copies aren’t as nice as the Cydwoq originals! I guess I just want to acknowledge my sandal hero.