René van den Berg, shoemaker of the Fashion Week’s runways

Curious how René van den Berg wound up making shoes?

René van den Berg was inspired to design shoes due to his love for the work of H.R. Giger, the Swiss artist who created the Alien and artwork from the eponymous 1979 Ridley Scott film.  Nowadays he’s inspired by his everyday environment, where there is so much visual information available online.

René van den Berg

René also gets his inspiration from materials and techniques, the possibilities with 3D printers are quite endless these days. René ended up making Haute Chaussures after his own shoe designs were noticed by Thierry Mugler.  René has made runway shoes for Mugler for 5 shows from 1997 until 1999.  Since then he has produced countless shoes for couture and Haute Couture shows.

Although today, traditional shoemakers do still exist and we can visit their shops, true craftsmen like René van den Berg, continuing his family tradition of shoemaking since 1902, are very rare.

Building on his thorough background as an orthopedic shoe technician, René set up his workshop for tailor-made shoes in 1992. He combines his creativity and designer skills with extensive knowledge of feet, materials and shoemaking techniques. I love René’s specialism of designing and manufacturing custom-made shoes for creative professionals and private individuals.

René van den Berg’s latest runway project is the runway clogs of Walter van Beirendonck.  Walter van Beirendonck designed the clogs and René crafted the distinctive van Beirendonck style, the results of which can be seen on the SS19 catwalk.

Among others, René has collaborated with Walter van Beirendonck, Thierry Mugler, JANTAMINIAU, Ilja Visser, Chris Donovan, Klavers van Engelen, Anouk Wipprecht, Heineken, Leanie van der Vyver and Joop van den Ende Theaterproducties.  In order to preserve the craftsmanship and techniques and ensure these are passed on to the next generation of shoemakers, René teaches traditional shoemaking at the DSA, the Dutch Shoe Academy, Centre of Excellence for craftsmanship.

All shoes are figureoutable

Mara, fashion-, lifestyle & jewellery freelance writer, is covering for you the depth of Dutch designers, brands & innovations around the world. As a stylist, she meets professionals in Fashion, Lifestyle, Shoes and Jewellery. From time to time she loves to write about beauty, exhibitions and travelling. From The Netherlands, located in Den Bosch

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