It is almost required these days that people with a contemporary sartorial sensibility sidestep traditional formal footwear for something that makes a brash statement. Ideally, fashion-forward dressers should don footwear employing at least one fluorescent color, with thick, sculptured rubber soles, and some hybrid sport/casual motif, applied like yachting topsiders: no socks, and pants rolled up mid-calf.
Footwear and accessories fashion brand Cole Haan, which started going with this trend last year, is promoting its low-weight ZeroGrand non-dress dress shoes with a pas de trois featuring dancers from New York City Ballet. The campaign for the Fall 2015 Collection shows the dancers in motion in one of the most famous, if least physically accessible, works of architecture in New York: Eero Saarinen's TWA Flight Center at Kennedy Airport in Queens.
The New York-based firm says the effort, “Prepare for Takeoff,” focuses on the correlation among human movement, the features and benefits of ZeroGrand and the neo-futurist idea of “flight.”
In the photos and a video piece, the dancers move about in Saarinen's stratospheric space, wearing ZeroGrand, paired with two male dancers, also wearing the brand. The dancers were photographed doing improvisational moves around the interior architectural placements of the space — staircases, bannisters, walls and ledges — meant to evoke the incredible lightness of being in the ZeroGrand shoes.
The effort includes a making-of video showing how the dancers worked with a choreographer, and interviews with people involved in the shoot.
The ZeroGrand line, introduced in 2014, follows the 2012 launch of LunarGrand shoes, pairing a dress shoe with sneaker-like soles. As the name implies, the new line is designed to approach zero grams as a limit. They are under 300 grams. Cole Haan, which has had a relationship with New York City Ballet since around 2011, formed a partnership with the three dancers — Sara Mearns and Megan Fairchild, as well as Gretchen Smith — last year to tout its Avery Ballet Studio Collection.