In the last 10 years, performance footwear has grown to become key in showcasing design and technology trends. With shelf life for footwear following the fashion industry’s fast pace of turnover, innovative materials, design cues and colors change every season, providing a great source of inspiration for the automotive industry. As witness to this, Thomas Lumley decided to use the technologies and aesthetics found in performance footwear to create a super lightweight performance car.
Sneaker culture is a growing phenomenon, with more and more people collecting sneakers on a global scale. The use of materials and technologies in footwear has really excelled in the last few years with manufcaturers such as Nike, Adidas and New Balance developing more conceptual ideas. Companies are making footwear lighter without compromising on design and function. This is something that is also happening in the automotive industry, with more thought being put into vehicle weight reduction.
The BMW GINA concept and the Adidas Audi ‘the Kobe’ basketball shoe were two of main pieces of inspiration for Lumley’s project. The GINA showed that fabric could be used on a vehicle exterior and the Kobe basketball shoe was designed by Audi and incorporated the design language of the Audi TT at the time. The AF-99 concept incorporates both aesthetic form and breakthrough technology/materials from the footwear industry.