“My name is Anthony Nathan and I’m 30 years old. Work with design and art since I was 15 years old, and I’ve been working at Öus since 2011. Here I work as a graphic and product designer, and I work on the creation and development of every collection or product. I developed my relationship with sneakers right here, I used to draw some products and stuff, for other small brands I had. I always looked at Öus differently, because of the quality, it’s weight, and all the stories behind everything we do here.
This sneaker represents lot to me, I could have picked any of the sneaker I help develop, but this one is special because it tells the story of a Saint shoemaker, Saint Crispin. Here we have a date of birth, we have our Saint, a bunch of things that helps us tell the brands story. Anyway , this sneaker was made in 2011 and it was it was one of the first ones I worked on.
There is this chapelry out in Franca called Paróquia São Crispim. We went there out of nowhere, there it was, a 3m by 4m frame. We photographed it, edited the image, and transferred it to the leather.”
Nathan, what’s your relationship with sneakers in general?
I have a relationship with products that tell a stories, that have something more within them – when it’s not just a sneaker with an upper and a outsole. I like it when it has some special detail like a phrase or it’s made with some special material that tells something about the sneaker. So to me it’s about Design, function but it’s also the stories.
I usually donate a lot of them, I used to have a lot of sneakers put away at home, but one day I realised that there was no use for all of them, so I get a lot of new shoes but I give a lot of them away.
Did you work with sneakers before you started working at Öus?
I already had two small local clothing brands, that weren’t even registered or nothing (laughs), I used to draw the products, do collabs with other artist and etc. But not with sneakers, everything I learned, I learned here and going to the factories – if you don’t go to the factories you lose a lot you know, the process , the materials.
Sometimes you draw a product, but after, you realise that it is unproductive. You need to know what’s viable, how difficult it is to execute a certain process, what works and what could go wrong, and with that you learn the difficulties of producing certain things. Like, I haven’t learned everything there is to know (laughs) there’s a lot of stuff.
One thing is for certain, no other product has as many material as a sneaker – there’s foam, paste, the upper can be out of any kind of fabric and etc. Being so that, every component has a factory and every factory has like 50 workers. For every sneaker that is made there’s around 300 to 500 people involved in the process of making one.