Wikipedia defines a ‘Mashup‘ as a:-
“song or composition created by blending two or more pre-recorded songs, usually by overlaying the vocal track of one song seamlessly over the instrumental track of another.To the extent that such works are transformative of original content, they may find protection from copyright claims under the ‘Fair use’ doctrine of copyright law.”
Over the last decade the ‘Mashup’ creative approach has also been applied to product design including footwear. Resulting in interesting and striking footwear designs. With the retro trend destined to tail off it looks as if it will likely be succeeded by the increasingly popular ‘Mashup’ style.
Released in 2003 the Visvim FTB was probably the first significant athletic footwear ‘Mashup’ design. Mixing an ethnic moccasin upper with a running inspired EVA and rubber sole. This design told a fresh compelling story, mixing traditional construction and materials with a technical sole. Merging cues of an ancient Native American running tradition with a modern running silhouette.
Today Visvim is arguably the leading ‘Mashup’ fashion brand.
In 2003 Nike began investing more resources in the fashion side of their footwear business. They developed the Nike Sportswear category to combine athletic and fashion design and also did a few collaborations with Visvim.
Adidas also released a similar moccasin inspired ZX700 a few years later.
Following the collaborations with Visvim and with a clearer understanding of the ‘Mashup’ potential, Nike developed the ‘Remix’ seasonal direction for the entire Nike Sportswear line.
The Nike Free Hybrid Boot was one of the notable footwear designs of this theme.
In 2011 Cole Haan a Nike owned company released the LunarGrand shoe that combined a Nike Lunarlon sole with a traditional wingtip upper.
Prada created the ultimate ‘Mashup’ brogue, merging 3 contrasting ingredients, wingtip, espadrille and sneaker.
Later turning the volume down for the rest of the line.
Givenchy approached the ‘Mashup’ from a dress shoe perspective on their Wingtip Sneaker Boot, as did Bape leaving the traditional leather sole and putting a twist in the upper pattern.
Mark McNairy pops the welt bright yellow and Be Positive add an Air sole to their Brogue design.
D2 Squared integrates a Goodyear welt inspired rand.
Manolo Blahnik collaborated with Timberland to create the Okla and Grey Ant with Teva to create these unusual hybrids.
However following the path of music ‘Mashups’, could the large variety of imitation Nike high heel shoes also find protection under the ‘Fair use’ doctrine of copyright law?
With ‘Mashup’ design culture taking roots, what footwear combinations will be next?