March 12, 2012

DIY: Raf Simons Chain Shoes

Let this be my homage to Raf—when I saw him with teary face and hands forming a heart at his last curtain call for Jil Sander, I remembered those chain derby shoes he sent down the men’s runway for Spring 2012 and thought I’d recreate them for my dear readers.  The lovely folks at Giorgio Brutini were kind enough to send me a pair of their standard cap-toe oxfords (the same ones used at the Tim Hamilton Redux Fall 2012 show): vaguely clowny, with a slightly upturned round toe cap much like Augustas, but rubber-soled and infinitely more affordable.

Giorgio Brutini cap-toe oxfords, the perfect canvas for this project

Raf Simons did the chain shoes in many different iterations: partially chained in gold, chained flat all around the outsole in silver, chained upright all round a pebbled leather shoe.

Raf Simons Spring/Summer 2012 chain shoes

I decided to do the first; the cap toe on the shoes I have will help define the chain detail, and really, I don’t want to be walking around the city with chains trailing my feet after having come off at the sides, which are highly likely to bend and cause the chain to snap off.  Here’s what I used:

plain black lace-up shoes, hot glue gun, memory wire cutter, chain trim

I mocked up the chain on to the shoe to see how it looks, taking note of which link I need to cut.

I cut the chain with the memory wire cutter. I suggest investing in a good one; using regular home pliers will ruin them, and you can use the cutters for a variety of jewelry projects.

I laid out the cut chain and cut another segment of the same length.

I started to attach the chain on to the shoe with a hot glue gun, two-inch segments at a time. I tried to keep the glue on the base of the shoe to minimize having it seen through the holes of the chain. I continued all the way around.

I did the same process on the other shoe, cleaned up the stringy fuzz that you get when hot-gluing things, and gazed at my new babies with pride.

DIY Raf Simons Spring 2012 Chain Shoes

You see, Raf, much as I love you, I just couldn’t bear to spend fifteen hundred dollars on a pair of shoes I can DIY in fifteen minutes.

10 Comments

  • Toni Tran
    March 13th, 2012 at 4:31 pm

    Loving the DIY idea of adding chains to your shoes!

  • Patrick Wilson
    March 16th, 2012 at 12:18 pm

    Good job!!!

  • mat
    March 21st, 2012 at 1:09 pm

    you are the king of diy’s my man

  • elroy
    August 22nd, 2012 at 8:31 pm

    amazing! hide and go chic! its raf on a budget!

  • truebluemeandyou
    December 7th, 2012 at 10:32 pm

    My readers and I love “big bang for your buck” DIY projects – and this is one of them. I posted a photo of your final shoes and a link back to your blog on my Tumblr blog. Would love to see these as shoes for women!

  • Izzy
    December 8th, 2012 at 12:03 pm

    thanks!!

Who Linked To This Post?

  1. Just Dandy | Haberdashion
  2. Twin Shadow | The Dandy Project
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