Bastien Gregoire Chevrier
An exploration of modern society’s flaws through sneaker customization.
Modern society is becoming more and more dependent on the image one projects to the surrounding crowd. As long as they are not directly confronted to a problem, people tend to care more about superficial concepts such as one’s appearance than more serious matters on which our attention should be focused. At the center of this cult of superficiality is fashion, and while clothes can be used to make strong statements, more often than not, they end up being used as mere reflections of our social status. This is why I chose sneakers, a category of clothing that has been getting indecent amounts of exposure lately, as my canvas, bringing back into focus important societal issues by occupying a space which, while usually dedicated to frivolity, still racks up far more attention than the issues here presented.
The first theme touched upon is the issue of the carceral system and the arguable moral guidelines dictating which crime is worthy of imprisonment, and which action is not. Some of the signifiers on the shoe are fences behind which only lies darkness, bullets symbolizing the trade of weapons, or market of death, which is not only legal but extremely profitable to some including governments backed lobbies, and a front dip symbol of the unwashable taint weighing on the current carceral system.
The second pair focuses on the loss of privacy in the digital age. Some of the signifiers are a camera symbol of digital surveillance, binary code spelling ICU, and the stripping off of the Nike swooshes, revealing “private” parts of the shoes which were never intended to be publicly seen.
The third pair is a critique of disinformation and the general lack of critical thinking regarding media propagated informations. Some of the signifiers present are TV static on the sides of the shoes, censorship bars over the Nike swooshes, and a cut line running across the theoretical brain of the shoe with the instructions “remove brain”.
The fourth and last pair is a reflection of the monetary system in which we evolve. Signifiers on the pair include currency stripes over the Nike swooshes reminiscing of Euro signs, 1% and 47% written on the separate shoes, alluding the the fact that 1% of the population owns 47% of the global wealth, and the 777 of the jackpot turning in the 666 of the devil on the second shoe, warning us that great wealth comes at a cost. The black and white color scheme was picked to better transmit the seriousness of the issues at steak and to keep the shoes from becoming purely aesthetic objects. Many aspects were considered in the design process, up to the lacing, which is different and conveys meaning in every pair, from a web to