The Man Behind the Original Dad Shoe Launched the Next Viral Sneaker
Tourniaire-Beauciel grew up in the town of Romans-sur-Isère in France, which is home to storied footwear labels like Stephane Kélian, Charles Jourdan, and Robert Clergerie. His is a wildly impressive résumé: He started with Jean Paul Gaultier in the early ’90s as the assistant of accessories and special shoes. “From him [Jean Paul Gaultier], I discovered it was people from the street who could be interesting in terms of fashion,” he says. Afterward, he spent a few years in Spain making shoes but returned to France to reconnect with the luxury market. He went to Phoebe Philo at Chloé and headed up the label’s footwear label. “It was a challenge to start a brand from nothing with Phoebe at Chloé because before Phoebe, Chloé didn’t sell shoes,” he recalls. After that, he went to Maison Martin Margiela, where he worked alongside Nadège Vanhee-Cybulski and Demna Gvasalia, while also simultaneously working with Riccardo Tisci at Givenchy. Eventually, he went to Ferragamo for six years and then back to Balenciaga, now led by his former Margiela colleague Gvasalia. Currently, Tourniaire-Beauciel is also the creative director at Clergerie.
While Tourniaire-Beauciel has a storied career, he had long had the idea to create this highly technical shoe, which he has named the “Bump’Air,” in the back of his mind. During the early ’90s, he first imagined a shoe with a distinct air bubble sole and even created similar chunky-soled items back in 1997. “I call them the grandfather of the current shoe,” he says. At the time, however, he had no access to the technology he needed, which could be found only in China: “It was impossible to go to China in the ’90s to find a partner who could accept a fashion product with small quantities.” It was only within the past few years that the designer was able to meet with the right Chinese suppliers to create the bubble-pumped sole as well as the shoe’s equally technical upper; Tourniaire-Beauciel paid special attention to the comfort factor, which he compares to that of a “slipper.”
As for the future of Shoes 53045? Tourniaire-Beauciel wants it to be an inclusive label. He wants not to make another fashion sneaker but a shoe for everyone. “I want to see kids, women, men, and old people with this shoe because everybody deserves comfort and playful fashion,” he says. “I want to bring you joy with this brand.” In other words, it was well worth the wait.