Shoe designer uses engineering with a twist to come up with this mojito

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 06 February, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 06 February, 2013, 1:40am

Cocktails and high-heeled shoes can often be a dangerous combination. Other times, they can be life-changing. Such was the case for London-based engineer and bridge design specialist turned women's shoe designer Julian Hakes.

Hakes, along with many pairs of his shoes, was in town on Monday for a cocktail party in his honour hosted by Sassy Hong Kong at Lan Kwai Fong's Rula Bula pub and restaurant.

The event was a chance for people to try, and buy, a pair or three of Hake's singular shoes, which are truly unlike any other women's shoes you are likely to have seen. One, called the "mojito", resembles nothing more than a twist of lime; it is a spiral of a shoe, more modern art than traditional footwear.

So, why is it called the mojito? "I was drinking on the day that I designed it," he explained.

And the thought process behind that lime twist appearance is more science than art.

"I always wondered if a traditional shoe is only the way it is because of the materials that existed when it was designed. What would happen if you started again? I don't think you would start with a traditional shape. You would look at the way the foot moves, the way the body transfers load, and then it's how to manifest that in a shape. It was an investigation into materiality, form and design technique, and that resulted in this shoe."