Before you read this article, be aware that shoe addicts may have a small orgasm! Yes, we will be talking about a museum filled with shoes. SONS, or Shoes Or No Shoes is a “shoe experience” in Kruishoutem, the green valley of East Flanders. Consisting of 5 shoe-themed collections, displayed within an architectural gem, this visit will be memorable.
Let’s start of with the Ethnographic Collection, amassed by former shoe distributor William (Boy) Habraken, includes 2,700 pairs from 155 countries and is acknowledged by the Guinness World Records as the largest collection of tribal and ethnological shoes. So if you want to be inspired … Next to this we have the Modern Collection. 1,200 Pairs of shoes acquired from artists, many of whom customized the shoes, evoking the question: Are they art or shoes? Shoes or no shoes? These include international names such as Arman, Baselitz, Fabre, Long, Panamarenko, Pistoletto, Richter and many more.
But the one all girls will faint for is the Designer Collection. In other words: unique footwear form 20th-century and contemporary designers including Salvatore Ferragamo, Christian Louboutin and Manolo Blahnik. Luckily these are all behind glass! And if you want to cool down, you can look at the cartoon collection (yes we stay a comic country) or read poetry about shoes in the Authors collection.
If this doesn’t cool you down, then take a stroll around the building. A building designed and built by gallery owner Emile Veranneman and architect Christiaan Vander Plaetse in 1973. Architects Lode Uytterschaut and Johan Ketele revamped the structure for the shoe collections. Outside, they covered the building with lead and inside, they created an unpretentious warehouse look using industrial shelving systems and almost no color.
One more thing: the collections are extended daily…
© I Love Belgium
we love Finnish artist Huber Sasha‘s “staple away” interpretation: