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cabinet of curiosities

jelle mastenbroek


Designers perceive the past as a cabinet of curiosities: hunting for special, rare things and/or creating them using vintage elements. For instance, Jelle Mastenbroek created the Splendour Lender: a cabinet like a jukebox. You throw in a coin and this sets in motion a series of plates and other porcelain, creating a strange kind of music. The coin comes back out at the end, since the purink shoes

pose is to entertain, not gain.

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industrial revival

There is a great fasciniation with ‘old’ mechanical industry, yet seen through the eyes of today. Things that used to be purely functional, are now considered beautiful and special. The surreal “Willy Wonka” industrial look of the recently refurbished children’s hospital The Lullaby Factory in London (top right), portrays this very well. slemazine


In Waalwijk, where SLEM is based, people used to make shoes at home for many years. Even when there were already big factories, everyone would still work from home in the evenings and on weekends, just to get by. These times have long gone, yet new methods of production and distribution, such as 3D printing and online sales, allow for new kinds of home production. This is why we are starting a home production project in Waalwijk, with designer Roderick Pieters (shoes on the left).

make it at home 8

crackled finishes


moda paint box fabrics


By combining crackled finishes and colour treatments, tanners create leathers that are actually resembling old paintings.

jiri kolar

ink shoes


soft & pliable The feel of the leather is just as important as the look in this story, it should add to the premium quality. We find soft and souple nappas that can be pleated and folded and feel almost buttery to the touch.


soft & sagging


For boots these ultra soft crinkly nappas are used unlined, so the shafts are sagging. The idea is not to create an eighties slouch boot effect though, but rather a musketeer riding boot look.

daniel radcliffe, serge leblon



paul smith


metallics combined

Metallics are combined in a humourous way, especially for a young fashion audience. For instance, we find metallic jamborees or brushed metals, like we see in the shoes by Paul Smith. The darker metallic finish is brushed off at the toe to reveal the copper finish underneath.

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dr martens

lullaby factory for children hospital


reptile revival

Lorem ipsum dolor sit atmet, consecteur sad dries van noten


croco diles

Reptile prints, such as crocodile, do not seem to go out of style, this is probably partially due to the fact that upcoming markets, such as China and the Middle East have great appreciation for this kind of material. For Western markets we find innovation in new ways of colouring or in the use of croc and other reptile for workwear-inspired styles. dries van noten



neil barrett


rubber dipping After the great variety in finishes for the upper, we now notice a wave of new finishes for the outsole as well, which also relate to rainwear, such as dipping soles in latex rubber. Often the rubber is used for painting the upper as well, creating the effect of a shell toe or strap, as you can see here.



dripping with colour

carol christian poell

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ascension 57


searching serenity


This story might look dark, it is actually quite hopeful and peaceful. The darkness is about finding peace, silence, sirenity and nostalgia, escaping from the daily pressures.

pantone 12-0910 TPX lamb’s wool

pantone 14-1119 TPX winter wheat

pantone 19-14203 TPX moonless night

black skin


Dolor sit atmet, consecteur sad

Dolor sit atmet, consecteur sad

estelle hanania


dark metallics Since this story has such a strong influence from darkness and nightlife, it is only logical that we find a broad range of metallics. These are not too blingy though. Instead they have a fairly matte finish or show depth and changing or dripping colours.

rob goodwin


haider ackermann

matte metallics cinzia araia

We find matte metallic finishes on very rich yet dark colours. These are important for both men and women and for each price segment.


haider ackermann


richness of rubber Rainwear is a big story thoughout, but in this theme it has a luxurious fetish twist, with the use of heavy black rubber or rubber finishes, used for premium styles.

jac langheim

black water


tariq mahmoud

tariq mahmoud

New black patent varieties are created with placed high gloss sprayed finishes or transparent resin droplets on a black surface, making them look permanently wet.


roman liska

wear your hair


bjorg jewelry

tariq mahmoud

Fur can be very luxurious in this story, so we find varieties inspired by human hair, with a very smooth texture and gradient or dip-dye colours inspired by trends in hair styles. We also find new smooth finishes for fur, such as sealing it in plastic, creating visual depth but a smooth surface. hairchitecture


intended decay With black being the most important colour in this story, we find a lot of emphasis on textures. Many of these celebrate the beauty of decay, such as burnt finishes.

aron demetz

pantone 18-3949 TPX dazzling blue

pantone 19-3925 TPX patroit blue

pantone 17-4320 TPX adriatic blue


ashes to ashes

alexander wang

mads dinesen

We find designers either using real burnt wood, or mimicing this effect in new textiles, like the one by Alexander Wang.

mads dinesen

aron demetz

migration 118


back to nature This proposal for a product was one of the most controversial at the recent Dutch Design Week, even though it relates to times that are not that far behind us and is daily reality for the majority of people outside the western urban world. It is a DIY slaughter box for a chicken that has exactly the same space as chickens have on an average large farm. It contains a live chicken and instructions on how to slaughter and cook it yourself. It was accompanied by a video showing designer Matthew Vos slaughter a chicken. People say they want to know where their food comes from, but do they really...?


new view on fur This story has a strong primitive streak, taking inspiration from primeval times when humans were hunters or gatherers. Killing our own food now seems alien to us in the western world and most of us do not even have an idea of what it is like to have a farm. Yet many of us would like to change that and get reacquainted with the source of our food, for reasons of health and sustainability. That is why is no coincidence that we find a lot if varieties on real fur in this story, yet they also show our alienation from primitive times, since most of them have a man-made or downright surreal edge. platinum

raw hide


meret oppenhein

gds japan pavilion

Fur is used in a very rugged and primitive way, as if the user patched up a hole in the shoe using a piece of animal skin. The purpose is to make it look raw rather than neat. As you can see this happens in all segments. charles freger, wilder mann



like you never felt before After adressing fur and hair, the next step is of course: felt! We see a big rise in the use of felt, because the needs for sustainable, wintery, primitive and folky materials are all combined in this material. Apart from wool felt, we now find varieties using other yarns and fibres, such as hemp and coconut.

eun yeong jeong

compressed felt


liz ciokajlo

liz ciokajlo

For her graduation from London College of Fashion, designer Liz Ciokajlo wanted to explore the limits of 3D printing. She was frustrated with the lack of natural materials suitable for 3D printing. Eventually she decided to keep the idea of using only one material, but decided to make the shoes in felt made of natural fibers. They are almost made in one piece, to create a heel it liz ciokajlo

liz ciokajlo

was compressed and reinforced with resin.

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christopher raeburn

batik camo

christopher raeburn

Batik or paint spatter fabrics in natural shades give a natural camouflage effect that is also very suitable for casual canvas footwear.

christopher raeburn

dazed & confused slemazine 16/32 blink

hallucination 169


seen too much or not enough This story is largely caused by over stimulation of the senses. Nowadays we get so many impulses at all times of the day, that we either can not deal with it - and shut off - or we can not seem to get any rest and our minds are working overtime to process everything. Yet this also creates a hunger to see more and to keep being surprised, which is not easy with all the input we are already getting. So we find a rise in the use of psychedelic drugs, to either help us cope with all the input or even enhance it, creating the surprise and wonder we might no longer find in reality.


nikoline liv andersen

fantasy furs

Lorem ipsum dolor sit atmet, consecteur sad minki cheng


fur hurts Fur is totally reinvented, using different kinds of plastic that are sharp and hard, protecting you from the outside world like a hedgehog.

ashley downer



minki cheng


patching & quilting ted sabarese

anne vaandrager


patch working

bart hess

Figurative patch work is taken to new heights, by repeating cut-out and/or puffy shapes on top of another material.

anne vaandrager

bart hess

gerda steiner and jörg lenzlinger


toy story

jeffrey campbell

But patchwork adds another dimension now, actually using ‘patches’ as compartments for toys and others gadgets. We will find this for both uppers and outsoles.

rose blair

ashleigh downer

laser-cut lace


nikoline liv andersen

sophia webster

Figurative elements are laser-cut and used in highly decorative ways and shiny materials, turning your shoes into a new kind of adornment.

nikoline liv andersen

ashleighwebster sophia downer

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the new face of the future


experiencing new dimensions

pantone 14-5002 TPX silver

pantone 19-4203 TPX moonless night


Dolor sit atmet, consecteur sad angela chrome by simon danaher

dipped in liquid silver Dolor sit atmet, consecteur sad

thomas lagrange


nature up close & personal Taking a closer look at what we think we already know, opens up a huge source of inspiration that leads to both visual and functional innovation for materials. As science progresses, we are learning more about species we are already familiar with and at the same time we are amazed by recently discovered animals, whether they live in the abyss or in tropical forests.

U.S. geological survey bee inventory and monitoring lab

elizabeth dunn

cinzia araia


iridescent textures Some iridescent materials can look cheap and plasticy; applying texture to tone down the shine could help solve this and make them suitable for a wider audience.

todd bretl

todd bretl


frail & fragile alexander james

earl stewart


The choice of materials for 3D printing increases and with that the possibility to make certain highly fragile shapes and meshes. Earl Stewart created an entire footwear collection out of cellular structures that were printed in a variety of materials, both hard and soft or in combinations.

frame of veins Dolor sit atmet, consecteur sad

earl stewart

alexander james

alexander james

Preview material direction 2016  

This is a preview of SLEM's full footwear material forecast for 2016, including direction for both leather and synthetics. The forecast is f...

Preview material direction 2016  

This is a preview of SLEM's full footwear material forecast for 2016, including direction for both leather and synthetics. The forecast is f...