James Straffon x Rapha Grand Tour shoe collaboration

More artwork shoes; this time the new Grand Tour shoes which are themselves a collaboration between Rapha and Giro

by nick_rearden   March 16, 2012  

James Straffon Rapha Grand Tour

A few lucky recipients like our Mat Brett were in receipt of the first Rapha Grand Tour shoes and then frankly wasted their fortnight of the launch embargo placing them like artworks on the mantlepiece for fear that wearing them outdoors would be spotted. I mean, white perforated yak leather shoes even with the most discreet 'Rapha' branding are going to look conspicuous on the Wiltshire lanes in February.

Not the artist James Straffon, however, who saw the potential for proper art. To him the white leather was a blank canvas upon which his trademark decoupage technique could take flight and the Grand Tour name of the shoes was his theme.

Here's Straffon on the Rapha Grand Tour shoe collaboration, in his own words:

"Working on the Rapha Grand Tour shoe was a daunting task. The decoupage needed to sit well with the company ethos. It also had to exist as an embellishment to the already apparent 'beauty' of the raw object, and not speak a different aesthetic language. In addition, much trepidation arose when my usual working method introduced resin-coated sanding papers to fine Yak leather. Not a moment for the faint-hearted. Grand Tour was a journey in itself.

As always, rare, original segments of cycling memorabilia have been sourced, and applied around the form. One flank features the line-up of the very first 'Grand Départ' - back on July 1st, 1903, outside the Café Reveil-Matin, Montgeron, France. Eventual inaugural Tour de France winner Maurice Garin can be seen poised at the far right. The fated 1967 Tour is also honoured, with reference to its Stage 13 - Marseille to Carpentras. Here Tom Simpson left his life on the slopes of the Ventoux. Barry Hoban's consequent Stage 14 victory is also present. Merckx, Rivière, and Géminiani feature, among other subtle applications of familiar Rapha branding."

James Straffon is working towards his summer show - LE TOUR from maillot jaune to lanterne rouge - in which this and the previously featured Bradley Wiggins and David Millar customised shoe installations will be on show among other artwork on the theme of the artist's passion for the Tour de France.

 

 

James Straffon - solo exhibition
LE TOUR - from maillot jaune to lanterne rouge
30 June - 29 July 2012
Snap Galleries, Piccadilly Arcade, London SW1

Details: james-straffon-palette.co.uk

 

 

 

6 user comments

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Now *THEY* look like £300 shoes.

Last night I would have considered trading a very loud baby for a really nice bike.

posted by notfastenough [3096 posts]
16th March 2012 - 21:55

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if they released these or the fiziks as actual models i would lay out the wonga, fizik? rapha? you listening? release these and i will buy them. pinky promise

posted by russyparkin [579 posts]
16th March 2012 - 22:08

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Surprise Surprise Surprise

*facepalm*

posted by Matt_S [182 posts]
16th March 2012 - 22:09

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Can't help feeling that these would cost more than £300 though…

And don't worry Nick, Matthew isn't worried about looking conspicuous on the Wiltshire Lanes, he wouldn't wear those yellow Mavics if he was Smile

Even allowing for a week in Taipei I don't think his pair of Rapha shoes are quite so sparkly white any more.

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posted by Tony Farrelly [4135 posts]
16th March 2012 - 22:29

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Pseuds Corner in Private Eye or what? They're slapping some ugly photo montages onto a pair of impractical cycling shoes - it's hardly profound, elegant or art.

Silly me. You're probably right....

MercuryOne's picture

posted by MercuryOne [1058 posts]
16th March 2012 - 23:45

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Got to say this misses the point of the shoe for me. The whole attraction of the Rapha shoes (ok, I admit it, I do want some) is the classy, simple styling. No euro-yellow or oversize branding. And then someone makes it look like they stuck Gazetta all over them. Weird.

posted by step-hent [672 posts]
17th March 2012 - 8:25

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