Talented shoe designer, Liam Fahy, has come a long way since graduating from the renowned Footwear course at Leicester’s De Montfort University in 2006. While studying the art of shoe-crafting, Fahy was presented with the prestigious Lineapelle Shoe Award for his original and brilliant I-Ashi boots, inspired by Bjork’s futuristic bionic music video for All Is Full of Love.
Featuring a series of metal-like intersecting shapes which fit together to form the uppers, the I-Ashi boot is at once innovative and yet timeless: the original I-Ashi is perhaps best described as a cross between a Victorian Chelsea Boot and the footwear of a Star Wars Stormtrooper.
…one can still see traces of Fahy’s homeland…
Another perfect (and also award-winning) example of Fahy’s effortless blending of the traditional with the futuristic is his Wassili Shoe, which won Fahy a UK Urban Fashion Award in 2007. Inspired by the iconic and distinctly modernist Wassily chair from the 1950s, what’s also evident is the more traditional influence of Fahy’s native Zimbabwe in the fur-lined uppers, which are themselves a rich tan colour.
Prior to his move to England, Fahy spent a whole year living with the Batonka tribe of Zimbabwe, whose home is situated in the remote valleys of the Zambezi River. Fahy cites this life-changing experience as a key influence on his work, and though his AW11 collection is a far cry from his more outlandish and original designs, one can still see traces of Fahy’s homeland in his most recent collection. Take, for instance, the Ami Shoe, which blends opulent gold detailing with a textured grey snakeskin upper and heel. Or, if you prefer, the strikingly sleek Agathe; the black patent uppers of which resemble the armour of an armadillo.
“What every woman likes to wear. What every man likes to see”
It is true that Fahy’s style has become more conventional as he has entered the design mainstream; however his fluent understanding of shape and form, alongside his trademark stacked sole, continue to set him aside from other shoe designers.
Fahy himself cites the perfect shoe as “What every woman likes to wear. What every man likes to see”, and with his AW11 collection offering a host of beautiful footwear, from the feminine to the futuristic, he certainly does not disappoint.