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Shoes are the one article of clothing most people express themselves with. We’ve seen people in all black or in a business suit, but when you look down at their feet you see a splash of color. It’s that one piece most look at last when we first see a person, but at the same time it’s the one that best displays some creative expression from an otherwise conservative look. Footwear is a booming industry and right now there are plenty of shoes that catch on too quickly and become overly saturated. (UGH to Uggs.) When something unique comes along, it’s good to take a look and find out what it’s all about. So here is Malika Green, a conceptioneer and shoemaker. Yes I just made up the word conceptioneer.
Malika Green constantly pushes the boundaries of what can be done with footwear by utilizing traditional materials to create innovative women’s shoes that are unique, beautiful, and meaningful, while embracing imperfections with humor and beauty. With parallels to surrealist themes, she emphasizes the interplay between the real and the imagined, the conscious and the unconscious, the body and the mind. Shoes may be familiar, common objects, but she dreams of reshaping them into metaphors, shifting their identity and meaning.
Formally educated in 3D Design at the famed Cranbrook Academy of Art in Michigan and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago where she focused on fiber and footwear design, Malika’s exposure to the world of footwear actually started at a young age with workshop training from sculptor Gaza Bowen and fiber artist Jean Cacicedo.
Her art exhibitions have included locations from the US and in Prague, Czech Republic and has worked with an artist collective called “Brooklyn Collective” in Red Hook, where she participated in ongoing exhibitions that included dancers who danced in her special shoe sculptures.
In one form or another Malika has been designing and making handmade shoes for the past 9 years. She has completed footwear design internships with Lisa Nading and the Frye Boot Company. She has also taught several handmade footwear design workshops where she led her students through the process of creating a pair of shoes from their original ideas. Topics in the workshops included pumps, boots, and sandals.
Malika currently lives in Brooklyn, New York, with her husband and baby daughter Lia.
Photos courtesy of Malika Green.