September 20, 2011

At Kunitz Shoes, we tend to hold footwear in veneration. Shoes are what we think about, day and night- boots, slippers, sandals dance in our waking hours as well as our dreams. Shoes occupy so much of our lives that we started thinking about how we might want to treat them just a little bit better, to give them a special place of their own where they can tell their stories to anyone who would care to ask. The space would need to be original, and would need to do these dutiful little constructions justice. After all, shoes know where we have been and can very well determine where we will go.

Our designer, Paul Cote, had the idea that we should still use wall mounted shoe profiles to display our shoes. We all agreed that even though we wanted to focus on using antiques for the floor space display, the walls would also come in handy. He wanted to frame the wall mountings, and mentioned a 3” wide wood material would work great. We all agreed, but I spoke up and said “Yes, frames, but in my heart of hearts I see big, beautiful 19th century gilt frames”. Paul blinked twice, and didn’t say anything. Until the next day, when he showed up with three interlocking pieces of framing that would join together to produce the mother of all gilt frames. We were awed.

The idea of framing our display shoes goes along with our whole philosophy concerning footwear. The shoes we feature are for Edmontonians- hard working, determined people who want to look their best but need the quality and comfort that can keep up with a demanding day. We feel that this type of footwear needs to be celebrated, or at least placed in a space of respect. Much like a design museum might feature an exhibit of kitchen appliances as art or an art gallery may show influential advertising artwork, we wanted to place our quality, comfortable and well designed footwear in a space elevated and representative of the position it should hold in our everyday life.

Jake from “Jakes framing” in Edmonton did a fantastic job of getting things mounted. We worked together, getting most of it done in one evening (ok, we pretty much pulled an all-nighter). These are the largest frames he’s ever done, and they look great. Not only that, they have created a space in which our footwear sits proud and respected- like a works of art that are intended to carry you through your everyday.