Fashion and Cars: The Matching of Soles and Souls
Shoe collections for this year's spring season drew heavy influence from the glamour and opulence of 1950s hot wheels. Oozing sex appeal and status for men and women alike, the legendary chrome-finned Chevrolet Bel Air inspired summer clothing and footwear collections in Italy and elsewhere.
Even not-so-fashionable yet practical shoe categories draw design inspiration from automotive technologies. After spending years studying people's relationship with footwear, Italian writer and shoe design analyst Andrea Silvuni believes you can learn a lot about a person's character from the shoes on their feet and their choice of wheels.
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"In the same way Chevy Bel Air's stood for luxury and power and showed you were doing well, rocking your Italian designer heels will reveal your inner power and provide others a window into your personality," Silvuni said. "No matter the type of shoe, there are always reasons behind that choice and how they convey who we are and what our mood is."
Every shoe and car can provide a window into secrets of personality. Choice of color, style and other design details of cars and shoes can say a lot about a person.
Urban city cars, like the Chevrolet Spark, draw on inspiration of everything from open-toed flip flops to motorcycles and are driven by unconventional owners open to new experiences and adventures.
Striking design elements of ballet pumps can be found in Chevrolet's global small car - the Sonic - with an aggressive-looking front, compact taut side panels and a rising shoulder line, appealing to multiple markets from Europe to the United States and the Far East.
"Like cars, shoes share the design language that conveys aspects of a personality," said Silvuni. "The sloping roofline, concave shoulder lines of a Chevrolet Cruze and a well-appointed wedge create a dynamic, sure-footed stance in the same way."
With the explosion of the muscular multipurpose crossover vehicles, designers have adopted a bolder look with a low roofline and high sweeping waist, incorporating sportswear-inspired interior features to meet the exact demands of cross-trainers and adventure-pursuing families.
Chevrolet and Andrea Silvuni mapped the design language of car models and shoe types, reflecting a person's personality and characteristics:
Shoe Style: Flip-flop
Wide open stance, accentuated by strong, clean body sides free of cladding.
Car: Chevrolet Spark urban city car
Owner's Footprint: Laid back, open toed and not traditional. Challenges convention and open to new experiences. Never sure what will happen tomorrow but sees every experience as fun and functional.
Shoe Style: Ballet Slippers/Pumps
Aggressive looking front, compact taut side panels and a rising shoulder line
Car: Chevrolet Sonic
Owner's Footprint: Comfortable in all environments, sweet and dependable person who is also kind and considerate. Prefers a lifestyle free of frills.
Shoe Style: Wedge-Heeled Shoes/Platforms
Concave shoulder lines, short overhangs at the rear with a dynamic stance
Car: Chevrolet Cruze
Owner's Footprint: Stylish and sure-footed with logical solutions to any problem. No nonsense in relationships; values reliability and trust. A social butterfly.
Shoe Style: Brogue
Expressive design with a wide, athletic stance
Car: Chevrolet Malibu Owner's Footprint: Conservative, reliable, trusting and incredibly calm under pressure. An ambitious, stylish and bright person. Also sophisticated and detailed, carrying an air of achievement.
Shoe Style: Cross trainers
Sharply sculptured athletic stance with angular shapes that emphasize sporting intent, with a sleek, rising shoulder line
Car: Chevrolet Equinox
Owner's Footprint: Athletic, assertive and a flexible leader quick on his or her feet. Gets things done and feels powerful as a result.
Shoe Style: Super-high heeled stilettos
Low-slung V-shaped nose and aggressive ready-to-pounce stance
Car: Chevrolet Camaro or Corvette Owner's Footprint: Sexy, confident with a wild streak. Knows where sex appeal can get them.
"Digging deeper into the anatomy of shoes and cars, we are able to identify many engineering commonalities," Silvuni said. "Advances in automotive and tire technology inspire footwear designers to develop rubber soles that help you grip the sidewalk on a rainy day and protective waterproof shoe coatings that can be found in vehicle seat materials."
(Press releases: GM)