atelje 71 shoesWhen perusing the debut collection of Ateljé 71 (from the duo formerly behind the pervasive footwear line Pour La Victoire), several images probably jump to mind—Steve Jobs likely isn’t one of them. Granted, Jobs wrote the book on sleek and elegantly designed consumer technology, and had a uniform as distinctly his own as Karl Lagerfeld, but a women’s fashion icon he was not. Which, dare I say, is a good thing. But lo and behold, he’s there, in Ateljé 71’s very soles, so to speak. Ateljé 71 cites Jobs as the muse behind its high fashion meets street style (translation “ugly shoe trend”) line, set to launch this fall/winter.

Considering there isn’t a black turtleneck cuff or New Balance-esque shoe in sight (see photo above), the Steve Jobs connection is obviously not for the literal-minded (not that much in the fashion industry is anyway). But the Silicon Valley sensibility is more about combining tech and design. Essentially, creating shoes that the borrow elements from designs that are more practical than pretty, like the comfort of Birkenstocks’ cork-latex blend soles or the durability of neoprene.

Which all sounds very mindful and cool, and I love it when designers draw inspiration from the unexpected, even if it is essentially normcore and the continuation of the ugly shoe trend…which, dare I say again, may be just enough to get me on the bandwagon. Props for thinking outside the (shoe)box—that’s something Steve Jobs would definitely approve.