INTERVIEW: Kiboots Gives Unique Vintage Rugs a Major Makeover
Nov 23, 2011 - by Amanda Gabriele
In a world of mass-produced fast fashion and wasteful production methods, it can be difficult to find unique clothing created in a sustainable manner. Feeling the same way after traveling the world and experiencing the beautiful crafting of local artisans, Jovanna Kruitbosch and Martijn Lugtigheid founded Kiboots in the summer of 2010. Inspired by the original road tripping footwear of 1960s hippies, Kiboots are constructed of leather and one-of-a-kind vintage kilim rugs, handpicked by the designers themselves. I recently met the Amsterdam-dwelling duo to talk about what inspires them, the importance of an eco-friendly business and why they chose to craft with carpet.
Kiboots are colorful, handmade boots created with vintage kilim rugs. What about this material spoke to you? Is it easy to work with? The hunting and collecting for the most beautiful rugs is very rewarding and brings us to the most beautiful places around the world. The varieties of sun dyed colors, patterns and structures are never ending, and it's incredible to work with such a diverse product. The kilims we use are vintage, handmade and tell thousands of stories about their makers and tribes.
Working with kilim is a different story and a challenge every time. The rugs we find create our collections, not the other way around. They comes in thousands of different weave structures too, so cutting them can cause problems from time to time. Some of the kilims are extremely damaged which makes it hard to cut identical pieces for the left and right feet.
Using vintage rugs for your boots reflects your commitment to sustainability. Why is this eco-friendly mentality so important to you and your company? Did you feel the need to give back in some way? We believe it's common sense and decency to produce with respect for mother nature and for the good of the people we work with. We take so much and there are so many beautiful fabrics that can be used and recycled in a new way. And the outcome is a gorgeous boot, so it's a win-win.
They are quite beautiful, and each pair of Kiboots is pretty much one of a kind. Does this have an overall positive effect on your brand? In a world that became so mechanized, we believe handmade quality has beauty and personality that is impossible to replace. By using a different kilim for every boot, we can create new collections all of the time. It's in this way we stretch the life-cycle of our boots and collections where as other companies must create and produce new collections each season.
Kiboots was born and bred in Amsterdam. Are you inspired by your beautiful city when designing? What else inspires you? In some ways it definitely did. Amsterdam is a creative and liberal city and famous for its nightlife and summer festivals. Our Kiboots took flight last summer during festival season in Amsterdam, and from there we were able to reach the rest of the Netherlands and Europe.
But most of our inspiration comes from traveling. As we lived and worked all over the globe, we became inspired by local art, crafts and traditions we're losing in this fast pace modern society.
Who is the Kiboots wearer? When a customer steps into a pair, what personality traits do they take on? The Kiboots wearer is as diverse as our boots. Kiboots stand for the freedom of doing what you love - freedom of expression and individuality. Many of our fans tell us their boots almost become a part of themselves as they realize there is no other identical pair in the world and never will be.