Chic and minimal. That’s Summer Totems by footwear brand OCEEDEE. The Telegraph chatted with Neha Kumthekar, co-founder, OCEEDEE and Anshul Sood, CEO and co-founder, OCEEDEE, about their spring-summer 2022 collection and their NFT debut.
Summer Totems looks so chic. Tell us how you incorporated Stephane Parmentier’s works in your creations?
We looked into contemporary totem sculpture by French designer Stephane Parmentier, Tabou, which became the source of inspiration for our spring-summer collection. Drawing from the abstract and organic forms of Parmentier’s work and transposing it with what symbols of summers mean to us, we derived motifs that encapsulate the ideas of constructed organics, condensed to impart a sense of curated memories.
How did you get introduced to his work and what about it made you want to interpret it in the shoes?
We inevitably take or keep a part of our memories in our lives, whether they are souvenirs from a museum, a pen from your mom, or a selfie from a mountain cliff. Condensed in a symbolic seal, these keepsakes become the face or the identity of those important epochs of our lives. Toying with this idea, our design team came across the concept of totems.
However, the real challenge was to visualise and assimilate the traditional forms of totems into OCEEDEE’s design language. In this process of research on modern and contemporary adaptations of totems, we came across Stephane’s work. The constructed organics of his sculpture flowed well with the minimal and modern design language of OCEEDEE, forming the motif of classic summer silhouettes in this collection.
The collection has stylish pairs. Can you take our readers through the range?
Designed in step with today’s changing way of life, the elegant shoes reflect the dynamic needs of modern women. Epitomising true versatility, each piece in the collection complements just about any ensemble under the sun.
For instance, the classic ballerinas, Brisa for flat lovers who want to run about their day in style plus comfort or our iconic gladiator sandals, Ophelia, for someone who loves making a statement, the collection has a design for every kind of shoe lover.
Be it the ballerinas, pointed pumps, open mules or evening sandals, every piece is an enduring icon crafted with a contemporary touch.
What are your summer footwear buying tips?
Playful, comfortable, stylish. Experiment with colours. Our newest house accent, soft powder blue, which beautifully offsets subtle ivory, is a perfect choice to elevate the elegant crisp of summer staples like white linen trousers or pleated skirts.
Leather allows breathability, allowing comfort for longer wear. At OCEEDEE each shoe is handcrafted in ethically sourced and cruelty-free leather. Block heels are signature, especially with summer ensembles, offering style without compromising on comfort.
Tell us about your summer memories.
Neha: Being a Bombay girl, summer nostalgia calls for beach visits enjoyed with cold orange candy or gola to seek relief from hot and humid summer weather. Another summer nostalgia is the beginning of summer vacations and cousin meet-ups at our grandparents’ house.
Anshul: Summer has always been about travelling to the mountains.
You have also ventured into NFTs (non-fungible tokens). What has been the experience like?
To mark our seventh anniversary, we have taken a step into a new digital innovation by being the first Indian footwear brand to launch their NFTs and be a part of the metaverse.
Paying homage to our launch year, our genesis drop, the Digital Dots, is a collection of 2015 unique NFTs that offer exclusive entry into our first-ever membership programme, The O’Club. The NFT owners receive exclusive digital, physical, and experiential privileges as they enter the OCEEDEE universe.
This journey into Web 3.0 has been quite exciting and futuristic. Today with digital identities the lines between digital and physical realities have blurred significantly. Especially in fashion where people are looking to enhance their digital identities as much as their physical ones. At OCEEDEE innovation has always been at the core. With this next step into the metaverse, we are excited to explore creative possibilities while building a strong community in the physical and our digital universe.
The space is still very new in India, but partnering with the right experts in the industry like WazirX NFT marketplace and CryptoSauga Club (India’s first 10K NFT project) has helped us to understand the mindset of the crypto world and also as a brand bring more value-driven project to the community.
How are you rethinking strategies going forward?
The way forward is clearly defined with a strong focus on offline distribution, sustainability, storytelling, and community building — IRL and Web 3.0.
A thing or a person who is synonymous with summer for you...
Neha: Alphonso mangoes shout summers.
Anshul: Himalayas are synonymous with summer