The sneaker design workshop is part of a three-day online event hosted by student organisation New Fashion Society (NFS). 15-year-old sneaker designer Moos Polak (or Mr. Moz) joined the zoom on Wednesday at 8pm from Amsterdam. It was not easy to invite him and host the event online, Lotte van den Bergh, the host from the New Fashion Society explained. Partially because he is famous and busy designing sneakers for celebrities. Partially because of the corona situation. “We’ve been preparing the event about intercultural streetwear since last October, but it was postponed again and again due to corona. Now we finally get to have it online.”
The workshop is a kick-off for multiple events about intercultural fashion design and cultural sensitivity in streetwear. “Streetwear is so common, it’s everyday fashion on the street. We want to bring forward the idea of intercultural elements used in the design and invite the designers to explicitly discuss about cultural sensitivity in their designs. Culture in fashion design is so important, yet intercultural elements in it have long been a niche topic”, Lotte explained.
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All the participants were required to bring a pair of shoes they wanted to work on. Mr. Moz got a couple of high-tops Nike Air Force One with a fruit-themed sketch on it. “It’s my favorite type of sneakers to work on, but it would be better if it’s a low cut one, you have more space to work on”, he told the participants. “This pair is going to my personal collection. It’s actually not my size.”
Fruit theme lovers
He raised the shoe closer to the camera: “As you can see, the pineapple is almost dry, and I’m almost done with outlining the banana. But maybe you can’t really see it clearly on camera.” He turned on the torchlight on his phone to show the vibrant cartoonish fruits. Participants were impressed: ‘wow’s’ and ‘cool’ popped up in the chat.
While he was waiting for his strawberry to dry up, the participants had the opportunity to ask some personal questions. When asked how he reacted to getting picked up by media, he softly giggled: “To be honest, I was scared. It was a lot of pressure. I felt that it was coming too fast. Now I’m handling it better. Because I was just 13 or 14 years old when I really started. That was like a big shock.”
More fun on the way
At the end, some of the participants showed their designs, ranging from a dragon sketch to little hearts. Business student Louise Damm, who drew the little hearts, enjoyed the workshop really much. “I had enough time to follow his steps and finish my design, and it was nice that the artist answered questions while we designed our sneakers. All in all, I thought it was a great success.”
The sneaker workshop was the first part of a three-day event about intercultural aspects of fashion. On Thursday night, the New Fashion Society is screening a documentary and on Friday you can watch a panel discussion about cultural appropriation in fashion. Go to their website for more information.