After ogling the parade of spiked, laced, fringed, and gilded shoes stomping — occasionally tottering — down the runways over the past three weeks, our go-to black wedges and booties seem rather … uninspiring. Enter Heavy Machine, an unconventional footwear brand helmed by Taiwan-based designers Michelle Wu and Yoyo Pan. After honing their skills at design school — Pan studied fashion at Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, while Wu attended F.I.T. and Polimoda in Florence — the pair launched their own label last year, aiming to create statement-making kicks that won’t leave you limping.
The pair’s sculptural claw, cone, and bent heels echo the styles that typically appear on the runway (only to be diluted before hitting retail stores). Heavy Machine embraces color, texture, and made-you-look-twice shapes. The brand’s signature color-block heels incorporate calfskin, lambskin, and fine and patent leather, inspired by everyday objects and hues: a retro bathtub, a child’s toy, a ripe mango, and more. The duo’s fall collection is available at Helianthus, and spring styles will arrive in January. Click ahead to see a slideshow of their traffic-stopping shoes.