Yes, Soulier is the ancient French for shoe. Still, more than just common footwear, the word evokes a well-designed, unique and crafted piece. In an era of mass production, Deux Souliers stems from the intention of recovering the timeless quality and the skillful simplicity of craft. Inspired by this mission of creating a footwear brand balancing the old manner and the industrial sophistication, artisan Nunu Solsona created Deux Souliers in partnership with Albert Folch, Folch’s art director and founder. The project moves away from the impersonal and low end mass production often disguised as standardisation of goods. Pursuing both excellence in the product and in the way of communication, we focused on conveying this with the naming of Deux Souliers.
This may sound like an old adage, but photographing shoes ain’t easy. We started planning the art direction for the first Deux Souliers campaign and we faced the issue of bringing shoes to a new visual perception. We wanted our communication to be far from commercial aesthetics: a bit weird, rough but compelling. We were eager to show a diverse femininity, playing with imagination. We wanted to show the product in its wholeness while using the physical presence of the human body to create action and tension.
It was a slow process. The first shooting was still somehow bringing shoes to life by portraying them in a living context, tied to a conventional way of representing products. But we soon realised that shoes should be at the center of the action, by subtracting the reality and focusing on a more abstract, yet intriguing form. All the colours are fading to paler and less-intrusive tones; the models —often non-professional— are partially hidden or camouflaged. They are mere wearers whose movements forge a performative atmosphere; action and context never take over the central role of the shoes.
“Art direction should be infused with the product’s personality and attitude. With this in mind, we decided not to work with a commercial format, instead using an impactful and sometimes harsh visual language. The shoe is brought to the core of the tension, with the aim of emphasising the foot in the beauty of the body’s proportion.” Nunu Solsona, Deux Souliers founder
For Deux Souliers, Nunu Solsona can count on many synergies between important professionals and makers. In the early days, graphic designer Albert Cano created the company logo, set in the geometric sans-serif Nobel; Marçal Vaquer was entrusted for the product photography, while photographer Esperanza Moya directed the very first Deux Souliers shooting back in 2010. With the help of make-up artist Meritxell Selva and other professionals who collaborated in the shooting sessions, photographer Teddy Iborra developed all the fashion campaigns for Deux Souliers throughout the years. This was when the brand communication started to unfold and slowly define as a passionate quality brand, engaged in a continuous visual research with the primary aim of exploring the frontiers of craft and fashion.
“It’s always interesting to work with Albert Folch in any project. We literally destroyed seduction as a concept, using models as true elements of composition.” Teddy Iborra, photographer