A unique project between handmade pioneers BDDW and FEIT
Photographs Ben Pogue
In a first for both businesses, furniture brand BDDW and footwear company FEIT this week launch a collaborative project that explores and celebrates their shared philosophy.
Both companies are led by design, sustainability, craftsmanship and handcrafted production – and this collaboration represents a meeting of minds between Tull Price and Tyler Hays (founders of FEIT and BDDW respectively). Both extol the virtues of an artistic vision rooted in the handmade – ‘neoluxury’ brands with a focus on craft and integrity as a vision for the future. ‘I consider BDDW to be like FEIT,’ says Price: ‘a neo-luxury brand, who focus on quality not quantity. We both build products utilising a large amount of hand work and even use aged natural materials, in a clean down-to-earth manner – no flash, no big logos, no glitz no glam, just deep-rooted product, quality, integrity and construction, with a held-back design aesthetic.’
‘Ultimately, if people care about how things are made, it’s got to be a good thing’
The project – the first in series of creative dialogues with likeminded brands across design disciplines – consists of a limited run of just 60 pairs of FEIT’s handmade Unlined Hiker and Wool Hiker boots. Why did this collaboration feel right for BDDW? ‘First I am a hiking boot fetish freak,’ says Hays. ‘I have worn this type of hiker my whole life and collect vintage as well as new. FEITs are simply the coolest ever made. The brand, the product the people… the whole thing.’
The boots have been individually hand painted, dyed or embossed at Hays’ studio in Philadelphia, before being sent back to the FEIT workshop for hand lasting and hand sewing. Attention to detail is everything for both men – as evinced by the miniature FEIT x BDDW ‘maker’s set’ of uppers, lasts, soles and even nails – working maquettes of the final designs during the production process – that would just about fit on your little finger.
Both men spell out the design philosophy of their brands with reassuring simplicity (‘Ultimately, if people care about how things are made, it’s got to be a good thing,’ says Hays) – and this can be seen at every stage of the production process, from the initial designs to the custom-made wooden boxes each pair of hiking boots are presented in, individually numbered from 1-60. At the end of the day, says Hays, ‘all the work was put into making something really cool – not a lot of thinking and pontificating.’