Bangkok-based startup KRAFTKA are aiming to transfer the power of design away from corporations and over to the individual, with their new footwear design platform. The modern connected age has brought about the opportunity for designers and artists to reach a vast audience and be recognized for their talents, becoming stars without the aid of established organizations – unless you class Youtube and Facebook as established organizations..
There’s no doubt that big sneaker brands employ top designers who do a good job of making our feet look good, but the creativity is bound by the limits of the brands – plus, most of the profits end up in offshore corporate bank accounts. Using their production infrastructure and design platform, KRAFTKA’s goal is to expand the boundaries of design, as well as enabling creative individuals to have a share of the profits .
KRAFTKA is launching with their “Sputnik” sneakers, which start out with a blank canvas. Once a design has been chosen through the KRAFTKA application, a high-quality print is transferred onto the sneakers, which are then shipped anywhere in the world
The platform is extremely cool. I just spent the last hour on it designing a pair of sneakers. When you sign up and create a profile; you can upload your cover and profile pictures, and write a welcome note and description like you would on social networks such as Twitter. In fact, KRAFTKA is quite a lot like Twitter.
You can follow and be followed by other users, see how many pairs of sneakers you’ve sold and in which countries, browse and buy sneakers by other designers, reach higher ranks, unlock new features and more.
The design interface provides virtual 3D images of the blank sneakers and allows you to enter text in different fonts and colors, and upload images from your computer. The text and images can be resized and moved to wherever you want them. The left and right shoes, inner shoe and outer shoe, and tongue area can all be designed differently, plus it gives you the option to save drafts so you can come back and finish your design later on. As soon as you hit “Publish” your unique sneakers will be live on the store.
You keep the rights to your designs, and receive $10 USD for every pair of sneakers you sell. KRAFTKA handles the production and shipping, allowing you to focus strictly on creativity. At the moment, all the Sputnik sneakers on the platform are priced at $89 USD.
Over a year of development has gone into KRAFTKA. There are some other print-your-own sneakers websites, but they genuinely aren’t as easy to use or anywhere near as modern as KRAFTKA with its social aspect and design versatility. Also, the others don’t offer the opportunity for individual designers to profit from their sneakers.
KRAFTKA isn’t as complex as the ShiftWear sneakers which we recently covered. They are similar to KRAFTKA, as individuals can sell their own designs, but ShiftWear epitomizes wearable technology as they have an embedded e-paper screen which displays pictures and animations – charged with kinetic energy.
You can get behind KRAFTKA on Indiegogo and get early bird discounts, with an estimated shipping date of March 2016.