VDW Spotlight: Westerly Handmade Shoes crafts quality kicks that last

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      Ahead of Vancouver Design Week's second edition, which runs from May 12 to 14, the Straight is publishing a series of Q&As on participating designers. To learn more about the graphic artists, architects, fashion designers—and everyone in between—taking part in this year's fete, visit VDW's blog.

      Renee Macdonald is the one-woman army behind Westerly Handmade Shoes. She strongly believes in keeping the magic of Old World trades alive in our modern landscape. Crafting custom-made shoes for each of her clients, Macdonald enjoys the process of creating bespoke, personalized products for every customer. Her East Vancouver studio is part of this year's Vancouver Design Week lineup.

      1. Design is / design can _______?

      Design can make life more beautiful and more comfortable.

      2. Why does it matter?

      A well-designed object serves its purpose gracefully and fulfills a person's search for the "perfect" thing. The by-product of this is lessening the accumulation of needless, characterless consumables.

      Westerly Handmade Shoes

      3. What differentiates Vancouver design (from the rest of the world)?

      Vancouver's wet coastal climate fosters design that both stands out and holds up against the elements. There is a level of practicality that needs to be woven into the construct of things.

      4. What impact is (Vancouver) design having?

      We are still a young city. As Vancouverites, we're finding our way in influence others further afield. In the process of this, there's a freedom to shape the form and function of objects to suit our needs.

      5. What design impacts are you most proud of / what impact potential are you most excited about?

      Using design as a tool to develop a relationship with the people and things around you is what I find to be perhaps the most exciting element of the creative process.

      Vancouver Design Week takes place at various venues around the city from May 12 to 14. For more information about the festival, including the full lineup of free and ticketed events, click here.