"" wondermomo: THE VAEL PROJECT Footwear (USA)

Monday, January 10, 2011


You know what they say - shoes are like the punctuation mark on the statement your outfit makes. So have a -you have been warned- GINORMOUS post on more footwear that can add punch and excitement like an exclamation point.

Upon first glance, The VAEL Project looks like a misspelled venture for an alliance of cattle-raisers dedicated to bring delicious baby cow-meat to
the masses. While we’re all for the promotion of taste (literally), the more fashion-oriented part of our brain is delighted to inform you that the VAEL Project is actually a small San Francisco-based company producing high-end shoes and such for the "wandering global creative class" (yes, like you, and you, and you also, not to forget you and you).

The VAEL Project is inspired by the freedom of mobile societies. As founder Coleman Horn explains it, "This is a brand born of experience; this experience typifies how my peers and I live on a daily basis."

Using top-shelf components like Italian Vibram soles (can’t beat that!) and premium materials (that include American hides, vegetable-tanned leathers and high-quality canvas), The VAEL Project’s lineup of boat shoes, boots and sneakers is nothing short of impressive.

Take, for example, the Maine fishermen-inspired Deckard-Mid, in which VAEL finds a way to use canvas and still communicate a prestige and a premium look. Slightly rounded, lower than your usual ankle boot or boat shoes, with a bit of old-fashioned air, and adventure-tested white Vibram soles, this standout design from VAEL offers rugged good-looks while also staying functional -- just perfect for a stylish nomad like, say, the enigmatic Detective Rick Deckard?
Bonus: faceted leather laces made from American hide, and a leather tab on the heel that makes it easy to put on and take off.

Building on the Deckard, VAEL then created the Dory, its version of the canvas boat shoe. Here too, VAEL developed a process to treat the fabric with a weather-proof coating. Slip-lasting construction means that the shoe is lighter and good for those with rigid feet who need more motion. A Vibram cupsole further ensures a comfortable ride. Among the cool features of VAEL shoes is the full-grain leather lining and full-grain leather-covered EVA sockliner.
The Dory also has leather thong laces are made from American hide.

In The VAEL Borg, meanwhile, classic court sneakers are reborn for the next generation. Its supple leather upper -as well as its leather lining and sockliner- makes this VAEL style both luxurious and practical, and the recognisable Vibram cupsole again ensures quality and comfort throughout.
We also appreciate that VAEL found a way to not only manipulate colours but also to combine textures in a manner that feels fresh and original, culminating in a single cohesive shoe.
On the Borg, the American hide leather thong laces are secured in place by nylon military lace holders.

In short, if you are looking for something classic yet just different enough so that you don’t have to worry about swagger jacking, then The VAEL Project is definitely worth a check.
Plus, remember, all VAEL Project shoes come equipped with a durable Vibram sole for maximum comfort and performance.

And the price… ahhh, ‘tis like a small slice of heaven on shoe earth :-)

Trivia: The VAEL project founder Coleman Horn has enjoyed a prolific career that has encompassed creative work for Nike, Polo Ralph Lauren, M3dium, and as creative consultant for “Elizabethtown”, the film by Paramount Pictures and Cameron Crowe, where he created props, and character development for lead actor Orlando Bloom’s part. Take a look at this interview with Horn to give you a better idea of his work.

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