Like Gaynor Mindens on Speed

Ok so this popped up on the twitter the other day:

And I was like omg WANT! WANT!
I mean just Yum, look at them, they have that certain quality of BAD ASS that pale pink satin pointes lack.
And the Nike brand just throws in another level, like they’re probably all springy and cushy like a running shoe.
Great name too. Arc Angel. Want!
Then read down a little further and was like, wait- whut?
This is not a real ad! This is a portfolio! Adult Beginner has been totally fooled!
So once I got over my huge disappointment at not being able to immediately fly into the car and zoom over to my local Nike store and Demand to be brought several pairs to try on Immediately, I started thinking about the design and the guy who designed it and if he is a dancer and if his focus in this project was the shoe design itself, or the graphic aspects of the ad,
Because it looks like this is the kind of thing we called a Paper Project when I was in school, where you do full color designs, detail drawings as needed, swatch all fabrics, basically it’s fully designed on paper but never intended to be produced in real life.
When I was in school these projects would end with a big class critique, during which our teachers would rip the designs to little shreddy shreds and our classmates would try and make up for the public crushination by pointing out the things they liked.
Consideration of budget never entered into these paper projects or thir critique, which is one of the ways in which art school does Not prepare you for the professional world.
But anyway, so I was wondering all these things and then was like, Dude, this is the Internet, why wonder, why don’t I just ask the guy?
So I did.
And was delighted to receive an email from Guercy Eugene that same night, answering my questions about his dance back ground and his ideas about the open heel, and he has such an interesting story that I thought you might like to read it too:
(also he apologized for his English, which is not the first of several languages he speaks)

“I was actually a ballet dancer back in middle school for about 3 years. I attended a magnet school (South miami middle school) which supported kids who had talents in dancing, art, theater, and music. We learned a variety of dancing from Ballet to contemporary dancing and even tap dancing. It was quite an experience for me. i was the only guy in my graduating class in ballet, but i knew that this was where i wanted to be. My parents came from a very poor country (Haiti) so an opportunity like dancing at a magnet school gave me a chance to clear my mind. I then got into art. Fortunately when graduating from middle i was accepted to a school called Design and architecture senior high school where my main concentration was Product design, which brought me to where i am today designing products, mostly footwear. I kept in contact with most of my friends that continued ballet dancing that attended the new world school of the art and they gave me some insight on what i could do to improve the training for ballet dancers. So ii started sketching and keeping in mind that minimalism is key, and that adding more materials to that product will make it worse, so i ended up deleting the heel which provides more ventilation, dancers wont have to buy a new pair every year because all you would have to do is adjust the strap. I also added a d3o element that would protect the dancers foot on impact. This material is a soft gel like material, but when hit it harden and turns into a shell that can take a large amount of pressure.”

I was pretty excited and shot back some more questions, but didn’t hear back which is fine, he is a student after all and probably too busy doing real work to answer questions from crazy shoe-crazed Internet-crazies.
This d30 stuff is apparently also used in high-impact body armor. Interesting idea.
The heel I wonder about: considering how much time dancers en pointe spend not actually up on pointe, seems like the edge would be painful and I wonder if the shoe would feel secure, not to mention that the stretchy band at the back of th heel might want to slide up into the Achilles tendon without any shoe-back keeping it down and away.
These are all things I would have checked while I Totally Danced Around the Nike store.
Oh well.
Keeping an eye out.
You hear me, Nike?
And a big thank you to Guercy Eugene, for making this cool design, and for answering my questions. Thanks man!

About adultbeginner

Had my first ballet class Ever at the advanced age of thirty-two. Yikes.
This entry was posted in Ballerina Class, and other pointe-y stuff, OMG outfits you guys! and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

17 Responses to Like Gaynor Mindens on Speed

  1. Laura says:

    OTOH the open heel would eliminate that bit of fitting weirdness that always seems to exist around the heel of a traditional pointe shoe. Mine always want to slither off when I’m on flat or demi-pointe and then they go slightly bunchy on pointe. But then I’ve always wanted to see the major athletic shoe companies unleash their skills and materials on ballet/pointe shoes, so I am totally rooting for Guercy Eugene!

  2. Three big cheers for Guercy Eugene! I would definitely give this (or any similar) product a try when it becomes a reality. Hopefully it will! Athletic companies definitely do need to get in on the dance shoe scene, and designers with a background like Guercy need to be driving it.

    These also totally excite me as a runner just as much as they excite me as a dancer. They look like they might actually be durable and comfortable enough to use anywhere, not just in the dance studio.

  3. I would TOTALLY sport those. Awesome.
    When I first saw this last week on facebook it was mostly followed by comments from dancers screaming about how awful it was. Aside from the fact that there isn’t a regular shank (?) I thought it looked pretty badass!

  4. @SheffieldDancer just mentioned on twitter that there is a traditional pink satin pointe with the d3o material currently on the market: the Juliet d3o by Capulet. Just occured to me that if this stuff hardens on impact that means its soft when you roll through, but hardens for hops en pointe and stuff. Neat!
    Also if you google d3o, you’ll find the Official Website for the product, and if you go to the footwear section you can be amused at seeing the delicate Juliet d3o holding its own alongside all the heavy construction worker boots, miner boots, and ambulance/police boots. Speaking of bad ass.

  5. Jess says:

    That shoe looks really awesome! But it also looks like it would be a nightmare to dance in. D30 makes a really bulky shoe, and it sounds very loud landing a jump. Eliminating the heel also dramatically cut the shank to the point where I don’t think it would even be safe to dance in. It doesn’t even come up to the arch! You could probably pique but I don’t think you could roll onto pointe like that. I would love to see them used in another style of dance for tricks, though, they look really cool. Too bad they aren’t real. :/

    • Yeah, arch support and adhesion to the foot would be a problem.
      I like to think all that would be worked out during the Research and Development phase of production. Wonder who they’d get to test drive!

  6. Ashley says:

    My two cents worth but the partial sole looks like after a while it might hurt my arch or even cause a bruise or sore. Looks like you won’t have the ability to customize to your specific foot shape or needs. the D30 aspect is interesting but what’s making me hold out is the lack of sole. Would love a shoe with the longer lasting material though as long as it doesn’t compromise movement across the floor. I’m getting a mental image of super traction causing me to end up on my face because my pointe shoe stuck a little too well to the floor. ugh.

  7. Black Sheep says:

    Regardless of mechanics or the actual feasibility of such a shoe, I think it looks bad a$$! Kinda makes me want to dance dressed like a ninja or in motorcycle garb. Too cool!

  8. bippidee says:

    If it was just a lack of heel it would be ok, but there is absolutely nothing in the arch, which is where most dancers need the most support. They do look really cool, but completely and utterly impractical!

  9. Blondie says:

    Um, I want these. Like now. Think, they could include the padding inside the shoe for you! I also want them to light up, because I’m obsessed with putting lights in things that shouldn’t have lights in them..

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