Having a background in various subjects including, but not limited to, Chinese history, art history, ceramic production, ancient Eastern trade routes, and European social history is certainly useful when it comes to having an expansive understanding of the aura surrounding blue and white, pattered porcelain. But, people without a background in any of these subjects will at least be familiar with concepts like ‘Ming vase’ or ‘fine china’ being synonymous with fancy, old, and expensive (if not priceless.)
Chinese pottery had a longstanding tradition of exquisite beauty, long before it made its way to the west, but the arrival of the intricately patterned blue and white porcelain of Jingdezhen touched off a full-scale mania that would become a global phenomenon.
What made blue and white porcelain the object of such intense, consuming desire was its craftsmanship. The production process was, at the time it made its way to Europe, completely unique. A century or so and some noteworthy industrial espionage would lead to works of comparable quality eventually being produced on the continent, but as is so often the case, the original can never truly be matched.
In the world of sneakers, the ability to stand apart is a prized quality, especially as its popularity continues to expand. Boston’s Bodega and Amsterdam’s Filling Pieces are two entities that have successfully set themselves apart, thanks to a dedication to craft and a unique perspective.
The stitched leather and vulcanized rubber of the Mountain Cut may replace glazed and fired ceramic, but the essential point remains the same, having something beautiful that few if any other people can get their hands on just touches some kind of primal nerve in the human brain.
To that end, Filling Pieces x Bodega present a tribute to perhaps the original global hype craze with the most contemporary manifestation of it. The result: the blue and white porcelain sneaker. Available in limited supplies, naturally.
If a size is not listed, it is sold out.