Driven by their love of the art of shoemaking, Nicole and Tina started Amend, a Swedish shoe brand that exudes just that. Artisanal products and timeless designs made to order. An age-old tradition available to men is now available for women.
When Nicole and Tina first met a decade ago at the Academy of Cutting and Tailoring in Stockholm, they mainly bought their shoes in charity shops. They dreamt of traveling around Europe buying up second-hand shoes at flea markets so they could take them apart and design unique footwear creations they could then sell in their own studio. Inspired by the original idea, the rise of slow fashion movement and their personal passion for artisanal work Amend was born in 2015.
“We like the old, classic men’s shoe brands; when artisans and designers have practiced and practiced on the same types of shoes for a very long time, the results are incredibly good in the end! It takes time to work out good products, especially shoes, because shoemaking is a demanding craft. There is such self-confidence and credibility behind these classic brands; the people who create them really know their stuff in terms of products.” says Tina.
Every shoe from Amend is meant to live for a long time. Or as Nicole puts it: “We are not making shoes for just one season. Our shoes are meant to have a prized place in your closet and on your feet for many years to come.”
Achieving perfection requires collaboration – and time. Amend creates its product in close collaboration with the many experts in the field of artisanal shoemaking. After a design is created, the sketches are handed over to their factory in Marche, Italy. Every style is then closely evaluated and tested. The result is a classic, hand-crafted product manufactured with great care and deep attention to detail. And with one key driver, according to Amend’s right-hand-man Ennio: “Never forget that the customers have to wear the shoes.”
In Marche, the knowledge and expertise of artisans has been handed down over many generations, and several hundred years. Amend celebrates that legacy by creating their unique versions of contemporary classics – styles that lasts over trends, crafted from high quality materials.
A long-term approach runs like a scarlet thread through everything Amend does. Choosing quality over quantity is consistent with sustainability science. Current research from the Mistra Future Fashion program, a Swedish research program run by scientists, suggests that extending the lifetime of clothes and shoes reduces the negative environmental impact of fashion consumption. Essentially, we can reduce the impact by half simply by using a garment or a pair of shoes twice as long.
Made-to-order makes the buyer much more of a proactive consumer. The process is more demanding but the results is a product that the consumer will like and care for on a whole different level, because they were actually an active part in making it.
“Made to order is not only special because it is customized for the consumer, but it also cuts down on unnecessary waste. By making what someone has ordered we ensure that the product is wanted and gets used, and that there isn’t an overstock of inventory that goes unbought and unused. It shows respect for the product, craftsmanship, the consumer and the world at large.”
Nicole and Tina are utterly convinced that craftsmanship, attention to detail and small-scale production is what will define luxury shoes in the future. Creating long-lasting sustainable products using carefully selected, premium quality materials.