Double V

Sometime ago I shared designs on Instagram that Hip Hop legends Run DMC brand management asked me to work up, so they might present them to adidas for their 50th anniversary Run DMC Superstars. The idea pitched was for my interchangeable heel tabs, on the red suede upper. You can see this design and the prototype I later made for Spite further down my articles. The interchangeable heel tabs later appeared on the ATMOS collab. I like to think this was mere coincidence as I know what Mark Twain said about original ideas. One design that we held back for a ‘Friends and Family’ pitch, was this one. It was developed further, but this was the original idea: a Double V Goose Superstar.

If you were around back in the day (mid80s) you’ll know what a Double V Goose Jacket is. The idea was to create a leather upper and sole unit with the V Shaped stitching applied to the tongue. Hidden stripes and some subtle detailing. A simple but high end feel was what I had envisaged.

Over the last year of Covid chaos I was tasked with making a prototype of the shoe for collector and archivist Tim Carr. It was a long process of sourcing materials in ‘Lockdown’ and experimenting with the construction.

The Double V was handmade in my home workshop. This version of the concept uses vegetable tanned box calf across the whole upper. A leather usually found on high end dress shoes. Each part of the pattern hand cut and skived. Each edge was coated and polished. The stripes were glued under the vamp and the slight relief is accented by the stripe stitching. The tongue features the Double V stitch pattern found on the famous jackets. The heel tab is trefoil branded and the counter is heat stamped with the Run DMC logo. I also added some gold detailing here. Inside the lining is one piece calf in grey. The insole/ sock liner is wet moulded vegetable tanned leather with a thin layer of PU and red suede to cover. The laces are faux leather with gold aglets. The sole unit was taken from a factory Superstar, then trimmed and sanded. The leather toe was painted black to match (originally white superstar pure). A rand of the box calf was skived and rolled to form a sidewall and the bottom edge coated and polished. This was hand stitched after lasting and soling. Going forward I think I could use softer leathers to give it more of a padded jacket feel. I found the lining leather too stiff and difficult to last. In fact I had to last these three times, applying conditioner and steam to the underside of the lining.

There are other tweaks I would make going forward and I look forward to making another. That said, I’m pleased with what I have achieved and learned lots from the process.

February 2022

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