Filling Pieces merge accessible streetwear and oh-so-dreamy high-end fashion to produce footwear that has engendered cult global status. You’re going to want to get your hands on a pair of these, but the question is, which? There’s only 450 styles to choose from in the new AW16 “Srefidensi // Independence” collection… (the name refers to Philibert’s native country of Surinam, FYI, where the population reclaimed control of their country from Dutch imperialists in 1975. You learn something new everyday, right?)
Set up in 2009 by Guillaume Philibert, the Amsterdam based brand originally had limited access to suppliers and materials and was restricted to using luxury standard cup soles. Seven years later, they’ve created their own custom Filling Pieces sole innovations, pretty snazzy, and the latest collection has 14 new silhouettes and three choices of sole.
A key development is the evolution of the classic low top, the new manifestations of which now include premium Italian leathers, suedes and nubucks in both classic and distinct colourways. The new silhouettes also feature unique embroidered neoprene uppers and re-imagined lacing techniques.
The brand aspiration to gradually replace standard-ol’ cup soles with custom Filling Pieces soles – made from the finest quality vulcanised rubber, we’ll have you know – is evident in the “Thick Ripple” and the “Astro”. The Astro sole is a blend of athleticism and luxe that features an elevated heel, a slightly lowered front and the interplay of strong lines. The Thick Ripple adds a raw, masculine, outdoor feel to the signature Filling Pieces Low Top silhouettes.
Rural Iceland provided the prefect backdrop to the campaign’s evocation of liberty. The vast Arctic desert landscapes, craggy cliffs and volcanic rock formations exemplify that feeling of space, something we city-slickers have come to treasure, in a refusal of confinement that the very concept of freedom suggests. Lotte van Raalte – an emerging photography talent – captured the essence of the collection beautifully in a campaign that is at once minimalist and yet expressive.
The distinctively chic, unpretentious simplicity of Filling Pieces footwear encapsulates the brand’s refusal to prescribe to consumers. Depending on the wearer, each pair of shoes take on a unique vibe, so they really are the sartorial expression of independence that the brand sought. We want them all. But where to put 450 pairs of shoes?