Rokas Bernotas let us into the world of Polyforma:
How was Polyforma born?
Polyforma was born from a desire to find out about traditional, artisanal shoemaking techniques and applying them to create something new and fresh for a modern consumer. While we hand-craft all our shoes in Italy, Berlin is our base and that’s were all started.
What inspires you to cool sneakers?
It’s always a mix of many things. But most our inspiration comes from other good design, architecture and contemporary art, as well as nature and of course from people around us that surround us in our city and in our travels. Besides external influences, other strong part of inspiration comes from within, every new model that we make has a relation to the way we feel that moment in time. A state of mind is always a driver for creativity.
What is your view on fashion world and trends today?
To be honest, we believe that fashion is a dirty business. We live in a consumer society and fashion is in a forefront of it. Of course there are many fashion brands out there that do a great job changing our perceptions towards fashion, but considering the whole picture, the industry contributes greatly towards social and environmental issues that our planet faces right now. We like to consider Polyforma as a design brand rather a fashion one. We aim to make a good design that can last a lifetime, with no intention to chase fast fading fashion trends. Yet we have to be relevant so we can’t simply ignore fashion world.
Can you name your favourite Polyforma design piece at the moment?
We just introduced a new colour way to our collection - deserto colour. It’s the lightest colour the leather can get by tanning it in a natural way (if leather is tanned without toxic chemicals (vegetable tanning), it’s impossible to obtain very light colours like white). So we love all shoes made of deserto colour as the leather gets nice patina with wear - the colour becomes much richer and darker over time, making the shoes more personal and unique to the wearer.