Camper is a way of walking. And its products are the result of a philosophy of life, a way of thinking and a way of making footwear. With different interpretations, because creativity knows no bounds. Comfort and imagination, to take you wherever you want to go, however you want to get there. One big family.
Camper is not a specific shoe, but rather a style, a philosophy of life, a way of thinking and a way of making shoes. Camper is a way of walking!
Camper shoes cannot be truly understood without understanding our origins and traditions. Camper was born in the Mediterranean. A unique part of the world known for the integration of cultures and therefore diversity. It is also famous for the established tradition of shoemaking. Started back in1877, a tradition that has always combined both design and function at its core.
So Camper is twofold and contradictory – diversity/coherence (the origins) and design/function (the traditions), existing side by side in the spirit of the brand, transmitted through the products. The shoes are, as a consequence, the link between the origins and traditions, and the urban reality of the market place. They – the shoes - evoke the solid values of the Mediterranean rural world – comfort, durability and simplicity. Incorporated into the urban world they illustrate this through informal sophistication, careful design, irony and above all imagination. The shoes blend comfort with imagination, tradition with modernity, technology with aesthetics.
Camper offers a variety of products, the direct result of a commitment to creativity. The shoes are comfortable, casual, useful, functional and versatile. Camper makes shoes for walking, but at the same time, Camper makes shoes for imagining, for innovation and fun, with a clear Mediterranean flavour, as creative and individual as human beings. Camper believes that there are many ways of walking (comfortably) as there are many different people. This is why Camper will never be known as “one “shoe or “one” style.
Camper products can be grouped together by “concepts”. Some evolve in a more subtle way than others – Camaleón, Pelotas, TWS, Brothers, Industrial, Wabi. Others change more frequently and more radically, setting trends in the style arena. This diversity illustrated throughout the product range, is Camper’s way of realising freedom, of respecting personal identity. Camper shoes are not a rigid idea to which one must adopt to wear them, but rather a wide range in which one can select a shoe that is the most comfortable…the one that makes you feel like you!
Last but by no means least, the other outstanding innate characteristic of Camper shoes is their quality. Only the world’s best, natural, water resistant and sturdy leathers can make quality and lightness compatible. Moulds that adapt to the bone structure and natural movements of the foot, together with soles created with exclusive innovative designs that embody our unique way of contact with the earth. Products that make the best craftsmanship compatible with modern methods of manufacture, products made with technology that is respectful and appropriate to the environment. Comfort for our feet and for our conscience. Shoes that care for the physical health of their wearer, as well as stimulating their imagination.
The first model sold by Camper back in 1975 was the Camaleón. This concept pioneered the “casual” approach in Spain, which led to a fevered rush of creativity that eventually consolidated the brand. In 1981, Runner, the first “before & after” sport shoe was created. An urban shoe par excellence, it combined urban aesthetics with the comfort of a functional sports shoe. A year later, Old Bachelor revolutionised the classic “shoe with laces” by giving it a rubber sole. In the middle of the 1980’s the most modern youths chose the Palmera/Spiral – 1983 and the urbanites chose the “warlike” uniform of Kenboot – 1984. 1988 saw the birth of TWS, with their asymmetric, yet complementary pairing, a truly unique concept.
Two years later Industrial made its debut; it has shell manufacturing which was a forerunner to today’s trends. 1992 saw the inauguration of Brothers, versatile, loyal and multicultural, they challenged Europe as this was the year Camper moved across the boarders of Spain into he rest of the continent. Terra was next in 1993, a rural shoe illustrating the origins of Camper once again. The polar opposite was next with the introduction of Mix, a futuristic design; a hybrid shoe depicting urban living completely. This very same year in walked our retro hero – Pelotas.
Camaleón – born many years ago around 1928, the Camaleón was a practical shoe made with hard work in mind. Crafted from worn out tyre treads and canvas from the tyres themselves, Mallorcans stitched these by hand with hemp thread cut to size, they wrapped them in old newspaper for delivery! By the 30’s the tyre canvas was replaced with carriage canvas, more solid yet not as hard. Then in 1931 another modification – leather tips for the toes and heels were added and the first Camaleón that we know today was born! Camper reinvented this shoe in 1975, naming it “Camaleón”. A rural shoe for an urban consumer. Still reflecting the functional and simple spirit, typical of its roots in Mallorca. It is the first shoe sold by Camper, and now constitutes a standard of the Camper style and philosophy:- rural, simple, ironic, practical, comfortable, recycled and urban!
The wisdom of generations of country folk married with craftsmanship resulting in an extraordinary legacy. But with this unique shoe Camper recovered not only a shoe steeped in practical tradition, Camper also recovered a way of understanding life, of relating to the countryside, of respecting the environment: the Camaleón is also an ecologically sympathetic shoe. That is, it is designed, developed and manufactured with the least damage possible to the environment. For Camper, this resulted in major acknowledgement by the European Union, having being awarded in 2000 with an Ecolabel, the first company in the footwear sector to be given such an award.
Wabi – the Japanese word comes form the verb “Wabiru” which means “to ask for forgiveness”. Camper interpreted it to mean: simple, modest, unpretentious and without artifice. With this as inspiration, and reflecting on the fact that for most of our urban lives our time is spent inside, wearing shoes meant for outside – Camper created Wabi, a shoe exclusively for inside! Wabi is a natural shoe, practical and designed to be used in interior spaces, - the home, the office, the kitchen – it is a shoe developed for simplicity, a modest lifestyle.
Wabi is the result of the application of common sense, creating a functional shoe but with respect for the environment. A shoe that is 100% anatomical and ergonomic. Camper has reduced the production process down to four industrial steps; it is manufactured with a minimal number of components, this also results in a product that is much easier to recycle. Wabi is an idea with a great deal of health, design and ecology. Camper solves a problem with this ecological design, but in such a way that human order is in harmony with the natural order. In this case a harmony comes in the form of “shoe + insole + sock” offering different combinations to function whatever the time of year or indeed the temperature. Camper comes form a rural world yet designs for urban people. The Wabi concept is the clearest way to see this in reality, at the same time it emphasises the contradiction between the two geographies – rural and urban – which is a fundamental of Camper philosophy.