The footwear equivalent of calamine lotion, lace-up plimsolls have barely changed in the last fifty years. Comfortable and calm in equal measure, their beauty lies in their unwavering versatility – clean and simple, they really do go with everything. Unfussy, utilitarian and truly unisex, we are rarely sentimental about their upkeep – preferring instead to wear them to death, enjoying every last thread of that canvas upper.
Loyal Studio Nicholson fans will already be aware of the ongoing collaboration with Moonstar. It’s a partnership spanning back to 2015 and each season there’s a new iteration to choose from. Made in the city of Kurume, which sits at the foot of the Minou mountain range in southern Japan, the Moonstar Company has been operating continuously since 1873.
Remembering her last trip to visit the Moonstar team at the end of 2019, Studio Nicholson founder Nick Wakeman explained why she finds the industrial environment so inspiring, “For me, factory visits almost always kickstart the imagination. It's the so-called 'back end' of the industry that interests me, rather than the catwalks of Paris – I've had some of my best ideas under blaring strip lights, walking amongst the tinnitus inducing chorus of hundreds of sewing machines. Sometimes I think the nature of how things are made is almost as important as the finished product, and that’s definitely true of the Moonstar plant, which is a haven of brilliance, pride and calm.”
For Summer 2021, three is the magic number. There’s the familiar Merino Moonstar in a new military inspired Army or laid-back Limestone and a brand-new all-weather rubber high-top boot in Dove. Each and every pair are fired in a kiln, giving the sole a uniquely flexible and highly durable finish. With sturdy rubber toe-caps and tonal eyelets, these cotton-canvas bad-boys have timeless appeal. Playful, anti-fashion and reassuringly boring, they force the notion of normcore up a notch – fresh and banal in equal measure, they’re a sporty, colourful punctuation mark for the modular wardrobe.
Leanne Cloudsdale is the Studio Nicholson Editor-at-Large