Porcelain isn’t just for tableware—the ceramic material can be used for sneakers, too. Adidas recently collaborated with German porcelain design house Meissen to create a hand-painted ZX8000 running shoe made from leather and ceramics. The gorgeous, ZX8000 Porcelain is inspired by the opulent Meissen Krater Vase, a historic ceramic piece designed by Ernst August Leuteritz in 1856.
The porcelain shoe is part of the adidas A-ZX series, a collection of reinterpreted ZX8000s made in collaboration with artists and designers. Meissen’s shoe is particularly elaborate, with real porcelain pieces stitched onto the sneaker’s tongue and heel counter. It features 15 of the vase’s 130 different patterns, including colorful floral designs and dragon motifs. Each element was hand-painted by a team of four highly skilled Meissen painters, but even in the hands of the talented artisans, the shoe took six months to complete.
“The manufacturing process has been very complex and took us more than a year to finish the product,” says Till Jagla, adidas Global Head of Energy. “The team has been obsessed to create the perfect object. When I think about this project, this is actually what I liked the most: the love, the passion and the dedication, which have led to an overwhelming result.”
The Meissen painters had to pay particular attention to detail, as they were working with a new, more challenging material. Dr. Tillmann Blaschke CEO of Meissen explains, “[It] was especially challenging as no mistakes are allowed due to the fact that the colors immediately are soaked up by the leather so no corrections are possible.”
The ZX8000 Porcelain is a one-of-a-kind art piece, and is currently being auctioned off via Sotheby’s. With less than seven days left to make a bid, it’s currently sitting at $6,500, however, it’s estimated to reach up to $1,000,000. The final sale amount will be donated to the Brooklyn Museum to support access to arts education for youth in NYC. And while you might not be able to afford the original, adidas is currently designing a wearable ZX8000 Porcelain shoe directly inspired by the art piece. It will be available for purchase from December 11, 2020.
Check out the beautiful ZX8000 Porcelain shoe below.