The Quick Road to Street Style

Above, Peter and the Wolf gets a street style makeover on designer Philip Sparks’ custom Quick shoes. Top, Lisa Tant’s mix of leather and lace.

A lot of gauntlets being thrown around in the fashion industry this week. On Wednesday night The Bay reopened a gorgeous, fully re-imagined St. Regis Room to a crowd of fashion oglers, betting high on attracting the Holt Renfrew customer and their python leather wallet.

Then last night Town Shoes made an impressive move to distinguish itself with the addition of Quick Shoes brand from Holland. Think Puma meets K-Swiss – a healthy blend of street style and sporty sneaker. (The brand actually began in 1905 making wooden clogs.) The added twist came with a handful of Dutch streetwear artists who accompanied the line to Toronto to add some flare to both the launch and the shoes.

Their assignment? Customize sneakers for Toronto’s top tastemakers based on a personal theme. The Dutch streetwear artists used paint and the occasional applique to give each pair a unique tie to its new owner. Most participants chose themes that invited a somewhat obvious artistic interpretation – “Dior” for Robin Kay, “military style” for Phillip Bloch. Some of Toronto’s fashion literati opted for less translucent instruction like The National Post’s Nathalie Atkinson’s “surrealism, Schiaparelli, sporty” and journo David Livingston’s “simplicity”.

The fun of the evening was discovering how each theme played out in paint, and the brilliance of Town Shoes was to keep the designs secret until the launch. In order to see your shoes, you had to show up. (F-list creator Leesa Butler’s “water” shoes will debut at the Green Gala in Toronto, March 5, 2010.)

It’s doubtful Flare magazine’s Lisa Tant will be seen sporting her yellow and pink 80’s-punk-meets-ethereal-laced high top sneakers. But you gotta give Town Shoes credit – make that street cred – for bringing something different to the table and to Toronto streets.

We hope the kids take notice!