The Volvo Ocean Race ends in Galway, Ireland in July 2012. This is a gruelling round-the-world yacht race that started over 8 months ago, stopped in 10 countries, covering 39 000 nautical miles. I don’t pretend to know anything about yachting or sailing, but one of the yachts in the race (the Team New Zealand yacht) is sponsored by Camper. Camper is a Spanish company with many interests, like yachting, restaurants and hotels, but it started with shoes.
The company Camper was founded by Lorenzo Fluxà in 1975, but the origins of the company started a century earlier. Lorenzo’s grandfather, Antonio Fluxà was a skilled cobbler and in 1877, Antonio sailed to England to find new and innovative ways of industrial manufacturing. When he returned to Mallorca, he opened a shoe factory and introduced the first machines used to manufacture shoes. Antonio worked with leather and the best leather craftsmen.
Camper is the first brand of shoes to show me that shoes do not have to be a mirror image of each other to make up a pair. People are mostly used to a pair of shoes being made up of two shoes, identical but a mirror image of each other. Camper successfully challenged my concept of ‘a pair of shoes’ with their Twins or TWS range of shoes. These are shoes where the left and right side of the shoes are different from each other, and yet when put together, they still form a pair.
My pair of Camper shoes is made in Spain. Camper has since moved their production to China, so I can’t comment on Camper shoes made outside of Spain as I haven’t bought any Camper shoes in a while.
Camper makes funny, quirky and fun designs in their Twins range. My pair of Campers are in the style of Mary-Jane wedges. The right foot says ‘He loves me…’ with fluttering white daisy petals, while the left foot says, ‘He loves me not’ with a white daisy flower losing some of its petals.
Camper also taught me that it is possible to fall in love at first sight with a pair of shoes. I fell in love with my Camper Twins shoes in a print ad. I went into the shoe shop searching for that pair of Camper shoes. Even the price tag, which was over NZ$300 (or over RM700 – and this was some time ago) did not put me off. I bought the shoes without a second thought.
Yes, Camper shoes are expensive, but they are long-lasting and comfortable and I love the fun and quirkiness of the Camper Twins range.