Lei Zu Shoe Collection

The Lei Zu Shoe Collection is a collaboration between Nicole Goymann and Christoph John. Hard silk cocoons are softened through boiling water, releasing a single silk filament. By winding the silk strand and shaping it, multiple design options in shoe design were explored. The name “Léi Zu” refers to the Chinese legendary empress, who invented the silk reel.

Goymann and John used silk from the area around Hangzhou, China. The silk was spun on a wooden reel, using a traditional technique. John on the process: “The cocoons are purchased from local silkworm farmers around Hangzhou. We then reel the silk by ourselves in the traditional manner with the silk reel — a tool that was invented in China around 2000BC and is still used today.”

The shoes have soles made from mulberry tree bark, which is the plant that provides the food source for the silk works. The heels are transparent acrylic plastic.

The shoe collection was on display at the Handmade in Hangzhou exhibition.