You won’t find Kermit Tesoro’s heels in your local mall—just as you won’t find a Picasso in any old home goods store. Tesoro’s designs are pieces of wearable art that challenge our preconceived notions of footwear design.
Hailing from the Philippines, Tesoro first became involved in footwear while searching for shoes to match his clothing designs. Finding inspiration in personal experience and a new found design awareness, it makes sense that Tesoro fell into footwear design in such a natural way. For Tesoro, shoes are “the exclamation point of our clothing sentence.”
At twenty seven, Tesoro already has a plethora of accomplishments and acclaim to his name. He is renowned for his unique designs, and is a favorite amongst celebrities—including Lady Gaga. His shoes can be spotted at Spielzeug Welten Museum Basel in Switzerland and at MoBA Netherlands, in fashion publications, and Rockstar Chic, a trendy coffee table book on fashion in New York.
“In my opinion, I think the real challenge is outmaneuvering my comfort design sensibility,” says Tesoro. Clearly, Tesoro’s designs are not for those looking for a simple, everyday shoe. The heels he creates are special and bursting with personality. Take his “Oil Spiller” heel, which is featured in Rockstar Chic. “Oil Spiller” looks like the type of heel worn by a fashion editor in a post-apocalyptic world. It sports a large platform that stretches out towards the back of the shoe. This genius design compensates for the lack of an actual heel that extends to the ground, offering stability and balance. Made of leather and acrylic, the heel legitimately looks like dripping oil—it’s absolutely mesmerizing.
Perhaps his most famous and recognizable heel is the “Polyposis,” made of wood. “Polyposis” is truly a work of art—and the perfect summer-inspired heavenly heel. It’s designed to look like the tentacles of an octopus are organically wrapping around the foot. Painted in jewel tones to match the richness of a deep blue ocean, the shoes even feature painted suckers. There are no extra straps or supports besides the sculpted tentacles; those serving as the platform, upper and heel.
“The idea of Polypodis has always been inside my mind,” says Tesoro. “But I was clueless where to begin and how to compose my imagination to reality without compromising the expression. I think, if you love a pair of shoes enough, you’ll find a way to wear then.”
Heel lovers can get an inside peak into Tesoro’s creative process by following his Instagram, @kermittesoro, where the designer posts progress pictures from concept to construction.
Tesoro is currently working on new designs, but is in no rush to debut them. Like a true artist knows, art cannot be forced and it cannot be rushed; the designs will be ready when they’re ready. Although unsure of what the designs will be and where the inspiration will come from this time, one thing that can be counted on is that innovation is sure to be included. When asked if his designs were meant to be worn or admired, Tesoro answered perfectly, “I’ll just leave it to the audience.” — Kelly Armetta
WANT MORE AMAZING SHOE FINDS? CHECK OUT OUR LATEST EDITORIALS
Thought-provoking, controversial and awe-inspiring, welcome to the wonderful world of performance artist Marnie Scarlet.
Known for their eclectic designs and fantastical collaborations, Irregular Choice has done it again with their new Mickey Mouse & Friends collection.
Inspired by the celebrated Teva’s silhouette, the Brazilian footwear brand launches Melissa Connected.
This season Christian Louboutin takes a trip back in time to the swinging sixties. Psychedelic colors and free-spirited shapes pave the way for a sensational season.
Amidst the Fuori Salone at Milan Design Week 2017, Brazilian footwear brand, Melissa Shoes, has unveiled the Melissa FEM.IN.INE Collective: an art exhibition featuring two innovative installations in collaboration with Italian female artist Chiara Dynys and Francesca Pasquali.
As the weather heats up, we catch up with Malvados' Jennifer Rainnie to talk beach wear and big launch news!
Malvados will have you dreaming of warmer weather with their new Summer Campaign Video featuring Madi Louch.
Referencing subdued romance, WANT Les Essentiels unveils its Injection collection.
‘Lille Elskling’ is Norwegian for little darling and the idea behind the latest Elskling collection from A. ANDREASSEN.
They came, they saw, they partied. Here's a round up of all the action from the Las Vegas Convention Center’s show—FN PLATFORM, WWDMAGIC, SOURCING @ MAGIC and WSA @ MAGIC.
Next week (Feb 21-23) the footwear industry heads to Las Vegas for FN PLATFORM. From foot massages to technological innovations, we find out what's in store from those in the know.
Luxury shoe designer Giuseppe Zanotti has partnered up with Jennifer Lopez for a highly anticipated capsule collection of footwear and accessories.
Welcome to the wonderful world of Bernd Serafin Thaler; where the heels are high and the rules were made to be broken.
Committed to honoring the "cobbler and the craft," BED|STÜ's approach to footwear creates shoes that are as individual as those who wear them.
When asked to list some of the shoe designers who inspire us, Julia Kaldy immediately came to mind.
Sit back and relax in these conversation-worthy Rocking Chair shoes from Kobi Levi.
Created using stainless steal and leather, these Bridge Shoes from Art and Design graduate Naomi Hertz, push the boundaries of footwear design.
It's time to summon a little Amazonian strength, what better way than with these amazing heels from Italian footwear brand Conspiracy?
Thirty years ago, Vivienne Westwood unveiled her SS85 collection entitled, Mini-Crini featuring the Rocking Horse Ballerina shoe. It was a turning point in fashion.
London footwear designer Michael Azu, talks innovation, design and the allure of expansion.
Fall in love with the latest collab: Melissa X Jason Wu ankle boot.
Check out the winners of the FN Platform 2016 Glass Slipper Awards.
We get a sneak peek at Safa Sahin's latest jaw-dropping collection.
Leslie Gallin, UBM Fashion Group's President of Footwear on what to expect from FN Platform NYC.
Technology meets fashion with Silvia Fado's latest design, Ray of Liberty heel.
Explore the darkly whimsical side of footwear with designer Anastasia Radevich.
We catch up with Albanian-American designer Elona Appleby of James Carletons.
Portuguese footwear brand Guava have released their Miami collection