Today, the unique Van Gogh shoes from Brabant (the Netherlands) made their debut in Annecy. The shoes were worn by producers Hugh Welchman and Sean Bobitt during the world premiere of their animated film “Loving Vincent“. With the purchase of these shoes, the producers contribute to the conservation of the Van Gogh monuments in Brabant, the region where the painter was born and where he spent the majority of his life. The custom shoes were designed by Tomas Snels and made by Van Drunen Shoemakers.
The makers of the film ‘Loving Vincent’ stood out with their shoes at the world premiere of their film during the Annecy Festival in France. By wearing the special Vincent Van Gogh shoes, they made a tribute to the painter who was the source of inspiration, and the main theme of their unique animated film. By wearing the shoes, they also made a contribution to the conservation of the Van Gogh monuments in North Brabant (the Netherlands). This is the region where Van Gogh was born, in 1853; where his love for nature started, and where he developed his unique talent.
The first meeting between the shoemakers and the film makers was in Nuenen, the Brabant municipality where Van Gogh painted his first masterpiece ‘The Potato Eaters’ in 1885. There, on March 30th, there was the Salon Van Gogh, with Hugh Welchman and Dorota Kobiela as table guests. They were very enthusiastic when they learned of the unique collaboration between designer Tomas Snels, Van Drunen Shoemakers, and the cooperative heritage sites of Van Gogh in Brabant. When it became clear that buying a pair of the Vincent Van Gogh shoes made a donation to the conservation of the many Van Gogh monuments in Brabant, they became ambassadors for the shoes.
The Vincent Van Gogh shoes are the brainchild of designer Tomas Snels, who got Maarten van Drunen from Van Drunen Schoenfabriek (producer of the brands Gijs and Durea) and Van Gogh Brabant interested in the idea. There are many designs based on Van Gogh’s paintings, but the exceptional quality and cooperation make this product very special. In 2016, Van Drunen Shoemakers, together with fashion designer Addy van den Krommenacker, made shoes inspired by the work of Jheronimus Bosch. Maarten van Drunen expects that the Vincent Van Gogh shoes will get a lot of spin-off internationally. As well as the men’s shoe, a ladies model has also recently been developed.
The shoes will begin production this summer, and will be available to shops and individuals from the autumn of 2017. Frank van den Eijden (Director of Van Gogh Brabant) hopes that there will be many shoes sold, all over the world: ‘these shoes don’t just tell the story of the Brabant craftsmanship and of Vincent Van Gogh, who spent the majority of his life walking in the Brabant countryside. We can also literally take steps to ensure new sources of funding for the conservation and development of our Van Gogh monuments.’
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