Sixtysix is back with its fifth issue, available worldwide now. Our second issue created in quarantine, Issue 05 features studio tours and conversations with creatives and designers who continue to create, invent, and design despite the isolation and obstacles 2020 has brought.
Opening this issue is Nicole McLaughlin in “The Little Squeeze.” Nicole, who is known for her upcycled clothing—shoes made out of tennis balls Frankensteined together, for instance—didn’t set out to be a designer. She graduated college searching for a creative job and landed a coveted role as an apprentice at Reebok, which turned into a full-time gig. When she saw all of the shoe scraps lying around, Nicole started piecing them together with other found objects. The rest is upcycled history. We sat down with Nicole and talked about how dumpster diving launched her career.
This issue also took us into the Amsterdam studio and library of bookmaker Irma Boom. Known as the queen of books, Irma is a traditionalist. Some may call her avant-garde, even an artist, but she sees it much differently. “The way I make books refers very much to the beginning of printing, to the Gutenberg,” she says. “What I’ve realized is that I’m actually going back to how it started.”
In San Francisco, fuseproject, the design firm founded by prolific designer Yves Béhar, currently sits empty. Yves took us through the vacant office, the space where so many of his well-known ideas have come to life: The Frame by Samsung, the SodaStream Source, the SNOO. Yves is credited for making design a Silicon Valley priority, though, as a designer, he says his approach is “humanist” rather than technological. We spoke with Yves about his creative adaptability, surfing, and how childlike wonder informs his work.
Then there’s Dominic Ciambrone, better known as “The Shoe Surgeon.” Dominic is a high-end shoe customizer. Never heard of it? That’s probably because it’s a genre Dominic has largely created himself, shoe by shoe. He started small, working on a sewing machine his grandmother bought him for his high school graduation. Now, with customers such as Drake, Lebron James, and Justin Bieber, some of his designs go for six figures.
Like Dominic, Dario Calmese doesn’t have a traditional job. Rather, Dario bears many titles: artist, photographer, sculptor, writer, and podcast host, to name a few. He’s become most known recently as the first Black photographer to shoot the cover of Vanity Fair, photographing Viola Davis for the July/August 2020 issue. Lately Dario’s creative efforts have been focused on The Institute of Black Imagination, now a podcast and set to be a physical space in 2022. We talked to Dario about how the institute and his work are building a future for the next generation of Black designers.
In this issue we also speak with Paul Wraith, the chief designer behind Ford Bronco; furniture designer Eny Lee Parker; award-winning film director Bao Nguyen; painter Umar Rashid; photographer Cam Hicks; and more.