As one of the freshest, youngest brands on the block - Filling Pieces lead by the creative eye of Guillaume Philibert has created a name for itself in the footwear industry as a major contributor to the growth of independent footwear brands. Celebrating its fifth anniversary this year, simple and effective are the key adjectives to describe Filling Pieces and the labels accomplishments including their latest collar with sneaker heavyweight, PUMA.
What is Filling Pieces’ take on the Blazes of Glory?
We have a lot of detailing in our shoes, it’s what we’re known for. There is a lot of detailing in this shoe and luxury fabrics built into the shoe. For example, the laces, the toe cap, the buttery soft lip around the shoe. We added elements to make it a more luxury, high-end shoe and if you look at all of the details on the shoe. For example, the four or five layers on the toe box we changed to three layers to give it a slimmer, narrower look which is a real Filling Pieces design. The strap across is also something we use in a lot of our shoes. It’s more athletic, which fits to our collections. Then if you look at the rest of the shoe there is a lot of padding. For example, on the lateral part and that’s what we are known for in the heel area of the shoe. The tongue is our signature piece, the cut is designed for wider pants that you can sit behind and for slim fit pants to sit over the tongue. All of the texturing is in leather which we felt had a better look to rubber.
How would you suggest they are worn?
The shoe looks very luxury, then all the athletic tooling gives it a sporty look. Personally of course we have a certain preference of how to wear it, shown in campaign shots. With it being a high end shoe you can wear it out and also to the gym. So you can wear it anywhere.
Did PUMA give you a brief on what you can do with the shoe?
We were able to change the whole outfit. But when we thought about it, we though it wouldn’t be PUMA anymore and that wouldn’t be right. So we chose a PUMA shoe and we designed the fabrics, the tongue, the toe caps and the detailing. In terms of fabrics, it has had an upgrade. When it comes to Filling Pieces, we are a small label and that’s why we are very flexible with who we can use for fabrics. PUMA being a larger corporate company have restrictions of licensed suppliers. So we obviously had less options with PUMA, but that only made us become more creative with any limited means that we had.
Was it easy to give away your designs traits to another label?
Actually the shoe pays tribute to the Blaze of Glory. The Blaze of Glory I remember from 1993. I have been working on the shoe and the silhouette for the last two years but I believe what Yassine and his team did to the shoe is about paying tribute to the style and to the generation because it comes from 1993. So it celebrates the style and the brand. So for us it’s not giving away a style, it’s bringing the style and a new to a new consumer.
Is there a reason you chose to execute it in black and white?
Yes, the whole idea behind the shoe was to have lots of detailing. So we could have gone crazy with colours but if you look at our lines it’s all fairly calm colours that we do and it black is something you can do in so many different ways and fabrics to give the shoe another type of contrast. We felt that the black and white shoe would be the strongest colour-way and with the detailing we wanted it would make it that bit more special.
Was there any specific inspirations you drew from for this collaboration?
The major inspiration was from the best of the Filling Pieces collection. From the strap to the toe caps, these are details from our bests we took to the Blaze of Glory.
Do you use anything from your architectural background?
In terms of designing shoes, I always get things from an architectural point of view when it comes to techniques and lines. Also when it comes to concept, technique and functionality in architecture are very important. I think how PUMA designed it already was great, we just made it slimmer and more accessible to our consumer.
What do you think about working with PUMA?
Guillaume: Working with PUMA was great because they showed us how as a big company there is a lot of creative people and smart people with ideas of how to create the shoe. They have more restrictions than Filling Pieces, but in terms of creative minds they don’t have any restrictions.
Did you have an idea in mind before you began?
Guillaume: I never expected it. I’m very grateful to have had the chance to work with PUMA. As I said before, we’re always working towards the future. We came together two years ago and there was this moment of joy when the opportunity came about. Then we spent years working on it before release and I think the coolest moment was when I put it on and people on the streets liked them. It was such a big project for us.
Article and Images Courtesy of PUMA