The Stain You Want: Benjamin John Hall’s Self-Destructing Shoes

It’s been nearly two years since Benjamin John Hall birthed his first shoe collection, a high-concept affair involving ersatz umbilical cords and amniotic sacs. Now he’s back with another labor-intensive, intentionally messy collection, this time exploring experimental dyeing techniques employed by the wearer. Who better? Think user-generated spray-dyeing and hammering porcelain cartridges at toe’s end.

For his new shoe art, the British cobbler says he was influenced by the Destructivists of the 1960s, artists who destroyed objects during live performances. He cites the New York artist Raphael Montañez Ortiz, who played piano with an axe, and the K Foundation (formerly the acid-house band KLF), who, in the 90s, burned a million British pounds in cash. The difference being, as Benjamin points out, that his shoes aren’t fully destroyed, but live on in their “newly tainted forms.”

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