Friday, February 20, 2015

The 'Himalayan' Sneaker: An Iconic Collabo Between Camper and Bernhard Willhelm!

(Photo Credit:
Four weeks ago, I welcomed a great, new sneaker to my shoe collection.

Wait - that's such an understatement. The real truth is this: Four weeks ago, my shoe game reached a new height of coolness, creativity, and comfort with the addition of an artistic "sneaker."

Thanks to being introduced to this Mediterranean brand by my boyfriend ("Babe, there is this line of cool sneaks I want us to both try!"), I couldn't imagine my wardrobe without my Camper Himalayan kicks now! And as a journalist by nature (and degree), I immediately knew that I had to get the ins about this awesome brand firsthand.

Turned out the original pair my boyfriend chose for me were a bit snug on my wide 'ol feet (and the line runs slightly small), so my visit to the Camper store at The Grove in LA was the perfect opportunity to chat with one of its team members. And to my delight, Dachelle Boehm (retail area manager for the west coast of the US and Canada) was there to give me the goods!

"Romain Kremer just became our creative director, and the styles are shifting and becoming more fashion-forward, which is really cool," said Boehm. "We're known for having comfortable, quality walking shoes. So everything is meant to be very comfortable and look very premium."

(Capturing the beauty of the "Himalayan" shoe...)
Not only did I also learn that Camper is a family-owned company based in Majorca, Spain and began making shoes 130 years ago (!!!), I learned that my particular shoe is a product of the creative collabo between Camper and innovative German designer Bernhard Willhelm.

Per Boehm, "The Bernhard Willhelm's have a huge cult following."

Nope - not surprised in the least. As you can see, the unusual features of this shoe are waaaay fashion-forward, epitomizing the designer's unique and edgy style. Willhelm's career in fashion is one that is internationally notable (launched his first women's collection during Paris Fashion Week in 1999, just after college, and designed his first menswear outfits in 2000).

Eventually, upon receiving accolades, becoming the creative director for Roberto Capucci fashion house (2002-2004), and opening his first boutique in Japan in 2006 (his women's line is licensed under the Japanese company, Bus Stop), Willhelm joined forces with Camper seven years ago, according to the designer's website. The "Bernhard Willhelm-Camper-Together" special lines of shoes began in 2008, providing both men and women interesting options in footwear.

(His and hers!)
I loooove that my Himalayan shoes turn heads anywhere I go. From the grocery store to the mall, it's now odd not to hear, "Hey girl, cool shoes!" Often pairing them with all black or a black-and-white ensemble, I let my Himalayans take center stage with each outfit.

While the cost of the Himalayan shoe costs sorta an arm and a leg for the common fashion lover, the details are worth the purchase ($275 regular price).

Awesome features of this shoe: padded tongue, thick laces that wrap around the entire shoe, anatomic insole that gives extra comfort on the heel (and a little bounce!), rubber layer for a good grip, and striking contrasts of color.

If you're in the LA area, I suggest stopping by The Grove to inhale the artistry of the "Together with Camper" line. I also just noticed that Willhelm is currently presenting a solo exhibition at MOCO Pacific Design Center in LA, which will last through May 17, 2015 ("When Fashion Shows the Danger Then Fashion is the Danger"). That's definitely on my radar and making its way to my calendar as we speak.

So what else can I say about my favorite new shoe? Just that I'm officially one "Happy Camper."

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