Church's X Noir Kei Ninomiya
British brand Church's has joined forces with avant-garde designer Kei Ninomiya on a fierce footwear collaboration
In partnership with Church's
The designer's use of volume, textures, quite unbelievable materials and supersaturated colours (black is the focus, hence the 'noir' name tag, but white and, increasingly red are explored in relation to black itself) are not only visually arresting, but quite emotionally moving too.
It's no wonder then that Ninomiya is a star firmly in the ascendent, with his most recent collections helping him break out of the 'one to watch' box and into fashion's firmament proper.
A former pattern-maker at legendary avant-garde label Comme des Garçons who twice dropped out of university, Ninomiya's evident talent was such that his former boss, Rei Kawakubo herself, encouraged him to start his own label within her stable of brands in 2012.
Shannon 11 x Noir Kei Ninomiya, £875
In his pursuit of the new, Ninomiya has built his own language: manipulating, slicing and splicing fabric before joining it not with stitching but alternative methods such as metal rivets and wires, with fabric threaded, snapped, wound, clipped, tufted and frayed into elegant and inventive garments.
This visual signature carries through to a new collaboration with British heritage shoemakers Church's, which debuted on the autumn/winter catwalk back in March. Taking the classic Shannon Derby as its base, Ninomiya explored extreme embellishment: metallic studs and thread carve out an ornate diamond pattern, safety pins create 3D flower clusters on one style and daisy-like blooms on another.
Shannon 12 x Noir Kei Ninomiya, £845
'Church’s is the premier shoemaker and known for their strong craftsmanship and techniques, so I was eager to partner with the brand for the FW20 season,' said Ninomiya. 'It is my first collaboration for the runway and I am so thankful to have had the opportunity to work with their wonderful team.
The re-designed red and black shoes with the applied metal embellishments were a great complement to
the collection, and further pushed my exploration of gradations of the colour red to create black in a new
way, and by using elemental materials such as metal thread.'
As one of few luxury shoemakers which still manufacturers in the UK today, Church's was singularly equipped to provide the technical innovation and craftsmanship needed to bring this collaboration to life.
The perfect marriage of old and new with plenty of punk thrown in for good measure, the shoes come with a colour-matched sole and laces creating something truly special that will bring personality to tailoring, denim and even evening-wear.
The Church's x Noir Kei Ninomiya collection is available now, click here to visit the brand's website and learn more