The Tod's shoe that thinks it's a car
By now you would’ve heard of Tod’s No_Code. But did you know that it’s not just the ‘shoeker’—that bantered portmanteau of ‘shoe’ and ‘sneaker’ that we see emblazoned on Tod’s billboards—currently donning the feet of global nomads?
Conceived by Tod’s chairman, Diego Della Valle, No_Code serves as a division within the Italian luxury brand that’s dedicated to innovation: a space for designers to collaborate and create new products that fuses craftsmanship with new technology and, of course, that are all made in Italy. Such is the Tod’s way.
After the commercial success of Shoeker 01 and Shoeker 02—the No_Code footwear is now a bestselling product for the Italian luxury brand—the Shoeker 03 is ready to be unveiled.
“The shape of the toe is the same as Shoeker 01 and 02. We have continued to base the No_Code silhouette off the classic Italian lace-up shoe that Tod’s used to make,” explains its Korean designer Yong Bae Seok. “Because, although we want to make something different, we still want to respect the heritage of the brand.”
It draws existing Tod’s customers in with its familiar profile and leather detailing, but with the introduction of an EVA rubber sole and mesh vamp, it strikes a chord with a new generation of men looking for a comfortable and stylish shoe that’s just at home in the office as it is in a café or, indeed, navigating a busy terminal—be it at a jetty, train station or airport.
“Shoeker number three was born after I met with my design hero, Marcello Gandini, one of the world’s most important car designers,” says Yong. “I showed him my initial drawings for the Shoeker 03 and he said that he loved it as the silhouette reminded him of a miniature car. It had similar proportions. When it comes to car design, beauty of shape and proportion tends to follow the 6:4 ratio. For the shoeker, I made the vamp-to-heel ratio 7:3 as I wanted a sportier silhouette, but it’s very similar. So I took what Gandini said about the shoe being a small car and added details to that effect.”
For Tod’s Shoeker 03, traditional tied shoelaces have been replaced with drawstring laces featuring a Tod’s embossed push-button stopper (for quick fuss-free access); the mesh upper of Shoeker 02 has been swapped out for neoprene with more leather detailing (giving the shoe more structure and, thus, creating a vamp profile akin to a car’s body); and, our favourite, the Tod’s ‘T’ detailing on the side of Shoeker 02 has been ditched in favour of an elastic band featuring micro Gommino dots (a nod to the brand’s iconic Gommino loafer but, also critically, resembling the grille on the front of an automobile). If you know, then you know.