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In addition to a general increase in design-scene attention to sneakers, the last couple years have witnessed a trend of big-name furniture and industrial designers producing shoe concepts for name brands. Puma is the most aggressive supporter in this arena with lines by Yves Behar and Philippe Starck, whereas Nike has favored lesser-known (unknown?) designers with their innovative City Knife line of sneaks.

More or less in chronological order, here's a brief history of the Fancy Design Sneaker.

City Knife I (left) folds into a ball like form while City Knife II folds along the triangles into a compact origami-like shape.

Yves Behar's minimotion shoes to accompany the Mini Cooper feature a removable "driving sock" which, frankly, contributes nothing to the shoe. The form itself takes a lot of hints from Miu Miu's 2001 collection but overall it's a nice fusion of Puma and Mini's unique brand identities.

Although the boots look quite severe in person, apparently they're comfortable. Rumor has it that Starck has been itching to design a shoe for some time now, so it will be interesting to see how successful this line is.

The newest addition to this line up is a summery rubber shell designed by Marc Newson. Famously inspired by the space industry, Newson's shoe exhibits a perforated retro futurism and is named after the First Dog In Space.

--Posted 11/22/04 09:02PM