A new identity for the original pennyloafer.
Aurland Skostørrelse (Aurland Size) Numbers
Product photography campaign shot in the Aurland Skofabrikk.
Aurlandskoen (or the Aurland Shoe) is the original pennyloafer. The loafer shoe-shape was inspired by the Norwegian Tese-shoe and the moccasins worn by the Iroquois people in America. The Tese-shoe and the moccasin were both constructed by pulling a piece of leather up and around the foot from below. A Norwegian shoemaker named Nils Gregoriusson Tveranger (who had just returned home after spending time in America) began joining these traditions together, creating the iconic design of the Aurland shoe. Between 1930 and 1970, the small village was the home of nineteen workshops. At its peak in the 50's, the villagers produced close to 100,000 pairs a year.
Norwegians travelled to America during the 30s (wearing this shoe). Around the same time one of the biggest American shoe manufacturers at the time made their own version, naming their new loafers after their inspiration: 'Weejuns', short for Norwegians. It's clear that the shoe represents a conversation between America and Norway.
So it makes sense that Oslo based, Byggstudio and Los Angeles based, New Work Studio collaborated on the branding.
Our work with Aurlandskoen grew out of a collaboration between the Aurland Skofabrikk and Norwegian fashion brand, HAiK. HAiK was partnering with the factory to create shoes for their own line, and became very interested in exposing the shoes to a broader, international audience. Norwegians are familiar with this brand because they grew up with it, but in recent decades, it had gone from being an everyday utilitarian shoe to a souvenir of Norwegian culture. A bit of a relic. We worked to create an identity and strategy to reintroduce it to the world as the original pennyloafer (a great story that so few had heard). We focused on the creativity of the people who were making the shoe, the quality of their work and the landscape of Aurland. We did not rely on heritage brand status as many are doing these days to legitimize the quality of their product. Most brands who claim hand craftsmanship can't deliver on that promise. If you order a pair of loafers today, they will be made by 10 people at the Aurland Shoe Factory in the fjords of Norway.
The Aurlandskoen logotype was drawn by designer Ian Brown. It was inspired by a hand-painted Aurland Skofabrikk sign found in a photograph of a shoemaker's workshop from the 50s or 60s. Aurlandskoen has their own sizing system and instead of hiding this fact, we chose to celebrate it by asking Ian to draw a family of numbers for the sizes printed prominently inside the shoe. We were inspired by the stories of why people put coins in their loafers, and became fascinated by the look of Norwegian currency itself. The choice to base the numbers on Norwegian currency also helps to point to the (penny) loafer tradition starting in Norway. It wasn't an American penny that went into the first loafer, it was the 1, 5 or 10 øre.