Rory Fuerst and the inception of Keen’s Uneek

We fleetingly skimmed round Welcome Edition and brought the rain to Paris with us too so everyone felt at home. More interestingly we stopped off at the Keen Uneek exhibition where we were able to bag some custom Uneeks and have a chat with Rory, the innovator behind the sandal that has become a cornerstone to so many summer wardrobes.

The concept is simple; Two cords, one sole – but the road to formation was slow with plenty of hurdles. Rory’s vision was to work with rope and not dilute the design with the addition of stitching or flat materials. He demonstrated this by picking up what he later realised was a paper copy of his calendar for the week and lacerating it with scissors to illustrate how flexible something becomes when perforated and how counter-intuitive it can be use flat materials to house a subject as contoured and unique as a human foot.

It took Rory three days to realise his idea in physical form, this prototype then became the first in a long line of iterations and four years later we arrive at the coveted Uneek. Rory described the walls hit along the way when it came to navigating manufacturing, materials and just running short on creative flow but the message is still the same. Challenging the text-book way of making things can be exciting, fruitful and might just result in the most comfortable sandals in the world.

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