Design & Emotion Blog

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Let the shoe do the talking: expressing yourself through your shoes

A shoe with a message: strange as it might sound, youngsters are using a new shoe as a new form of communication.

The K-Swiss Stripe Shifter has five stripes on the side. Each is changeable in colour and height, creating unique combinations that can be used to convey a personal message. It’s a way to express yourself, a whole new language with its own set of rules. Perfect if you want to say the unsayable.

Since there are so many different combinations, each shoe is unique. The youngsters identified five universal messages: I’m single, Peace, Want 2 Play?, Respect, and I’m in love. These messages form the basis of a language that provides a unique form of self-expression for young people.

According to K-Swiss ‘The rise of this new form of expression reflects the growing importance of the group labelled by trend watchers as Generation C, where C stands for content. They have a strong need to communicate, using clothing, websites and weblogs to express their unique personalities and develop relationships with others.’

Combinations suggested online

People can also contribute to the new language by making suggestions at The unique designs will be featured in leading newspapers in the UK, Germany and Holland. They’ll also appear on a digital “wall of fame” (see picture above).

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