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Thursday, 29 May 2014

Rhino inspired shoes stomp US market

FUNCTIONAL: Sole Creatures rhino design aims to bring attention to the plight of the endangered species FUNCTIONAL: Sole Creatures rhino design aims to bring attention to the plight of the endangered species

CPUT students were at the forefront of creating an innovative product taking the US by storm.

Sole Creatures is an animal-inspired children’s shoe line developed by conservation enthusiast Gary Flax who identified CPUT students as the creative brain power he needed to get his project off the ground.

Flax travelled from Johannesburg to work with Industrial Design students and after an elimination process, four students assisted him in the development phase of creating the one of a kind range.

Using Biomimicry technology, Sole Creatures design features an exterior as tough as rhino skin, non-slip soles featuring the animal’s print impression and the general look and feel of a rhino in the design.

img-Rhino-inspired-shoes-stomp-US-market-2TREAD: The sole of the shoe leaves a rhino footprint behind

Other styles in the range are inspired by whales and elephants.

Flax says he is indebted to CPUT for the assistance he received in the planning and implementation of his dream.

“If we don’t do something fast about poaching we are going to lose all of the rhinos. I aimed to make an attractive but comfortable shoe that would train and educate people about the rhino’s plight,” he says.

After getting endorsed by National Geographic Kids, the range has exploded in popularity in the US and a number of celebrity endorsements are currently being discussed.

But despite the imminent success of his creation Flax says he will never forget the incredible creativity and enthusiasm he encountered at CPUT right at the beginning.

“The students were so creative and did a brilliant job. I would love to collaborate again at a later stage,” he says.

Check out the range at

Written by Lauren Kansley

Tel: +27 21 953 8646

Liaises with the media and writes press releases about interesting developments at CPUT.