A project that goes beyond the shoe: sole scrap is turned into pictures and lampshades

Shoes have a rubber soul – hence the acronym RBRSL, a project in which the rubber sole defines the entire shoe.

A sneaker that is in effect hand-made, since each shoe is treated with a layer of hand-coated rubber and then immersed in a special liquid rubber that, once cool, incorporates the upper to form a transparent shell.

A process that is entirely ‘made in Italy’, in the Marche region to be exact, and is the brainchild of Valentina Curzi, art director and designer of the collection, who has lived her whole life in contact with footwear in the family firm, Linea Marche. But the project is also attentive to the environment and to upcycling, which allows scrap rubber from the sole to be turned into novel artworks.

Valentina explains why: “The fashion industry is one of the world’s largest polluters. Making an entirely sustainable shoe is complicated, but I believe in the circular economy and so we came up with the idea of using the waste rubber collected during the coating process to make pictures mounted on plexiglass. Or lamps – made, once again, from sole scrap. In addition to the recycling concept, I also wanted to pursue the idea of genderless footwear and of extending the lifespan of shoes to transcend the seasons, space and time”.

The winter capsule collection was presented at the beginning of Fashion Week in the Daad Dantone shop in Milan, where it is already on sale; the summer models feature multicolor soles, obtained by mixing different coloured rubbers together.