Ala Champ
 
00:00/

Invisible Possibilities

Under The Theme of 'In the Presence of Absence', Desert X AlUla 2024 Enquires ‘What Cannot Be Seen?’

URBAN ZEN AT AMAN TOKYO

A Tranquil Sanctuary to Stay, High Amongst The Tokyo Skyline

Igniting Flavour by Fire

Adelaide’s First Open-Flame Restaurant Is One of The Top Dining Destinations in the Country

A Culinary Journey Through Taiwan & Beyond

Owner-Chef Richie Lin's Taipei Restaurant Remains Highly Acclaimed — And For Good Reason

Mt Fuji Dreaming

This Glamping Resort is Bringing Guests Closer to Nature

ISSEY MIYAKE SS24

Grasping The Formless: Satoshi Kondo's Spring Summer 2024 Collection

Imagination, Taste and Emotion

In Bali’s Creative Heart, Find a Poetic and Enriching Dessert Restaurant where the Menu Stems from their Own Garden

SHIROIYA HOTEL

24 Hours In One of Japan’s Best Art & Design Hotel Destinations

Terunobu Fujimori’s La Collina

Connecting To Its Surrounding Landscape in in Omihachiman, Shiga

SUBSPACE 2023

The 4-Day Event in Sydney Celebrates the Theme 'ON TRANSIT'

WHERE TO EAT IN PARIS

Seven Best Places & Spaces To Wine & Dine

Architecture Deeply Interconnected With Nature

SANAA's Ryue Nishizawa Weaves Architectural Flow At This Retreat in Karuizawa

Fine Dining at an Altitude of 2000m

Sustainably Championing Ingredients from the Alpine Region

BÀBÁ, FATHER

Photographer Olufemi Adegboye Presents His Intimate Photo Series of Black Fathers

The Delicate Art of Mixology

An Exclusive Hiroshi Sugimoto-Designed Six-Seater Bar Led By Mixologist Tsuyoshi Kimura

Maebashi’s Creative Revitalisation

Akihisa Hirata Structures A Space for Art, Living & New Encounters

CESAR IDROBO

From Colombia to California, Meet the Footwear Designer Conceptualising the Otherworldly Designs You're Wearing

November, 2022

Based in Los Angeles California, designer Cesar Idrobo is one of the leading conceptual footwear designers in the industry right now.

The 32 year old designer originally hails from Cali in Colombia, where he moved from to the US to study industrial design at SCAD. Going on to learn under master shoemaker Marsell Mrsan, he found his direction in footwear design honing in on this specifically, combining his technical knowledge with conceptual ideas to create innovative new styles and forms. 

It’s no surprise then that Steven Smith at Yeezy tapped Cesar to join his team at the brand in Calabasas back in 2018. Working in the Yeezy CNCPT team in charge of innovation, Cesar continues to work project to project with the team there, alongside Smith (designer of the New Balance 997 and Reebok Insta Pump Fury) and Christian Tressler (designed the Nike Air Max 97). Working closely with Ye (“as a creative, it’s liberating”), he’s been part of some of Yeezy’s most game-changing designs: the Foam Runner, the 450, the Wave Runner

From conceptual samples to creating full working prototypes, Cesar’s footwear design work and ideas stem to the wider concepts that a brand can utilise in their design language or identity (he’s worked with Adidas, Nike and Pensole Academy previously). Citing art and cinema as major influences, his ideas come from films such as Alien, Terminator 2 and Good Time, and other inspirations such as Alexander McQueen or a visit to the Broad Museum in LA.

His humble upbringing in Colombia is reflected in his persona, quiet and modest but full of ideas. His talent has taken him further than he ever imagined, and it’s only the beginning of his career.

We caught up with Cesar on his visit to Melbourne Australia to ask him more about his conceptual design work, technical craft of footwear design and day-to-day life in Los Angeles (photographed by Yudo Kurita in LA for our City Portrait Series).

Cesar combines his technical knowledge with conceptual ideas to create innovative new styles and forms | Photographed by Yudo Kurita for Champ Magazine©

Hi Cesar, can you describe what your daily work life looks like?

My mission is basically making things happen whether it’s making shoes, designing or doing research. My day-to-day work is very fluid and organic.

There is no structure because creativity thrives in spontaneity. 

What has your pathway been like from graduation at SCAD to now?

It’s been quite a roller coaster. A lot of “no’s” when I was seeking for my first time full time job, but all you need is that one “yes” that will transform your life forever. It took a lot of persistence and perseverance to find that breakthrough moment.

Overall, I’ve had good and not so good moments in my career, but it’s been a very rewarding journey. I wouldn’t change or do anything different because hadn’t I gone through these shaping moments, I wouldn’t be the professional and person I am today.

Can you remember a specific tipping point in your career?

Definitely the decision to pursue my graduate studies in accessory design at the Savannah College of Art and Design was the first step in the right direction that set me up for success in my career. I needed to specialize in making something from start to end and at that time Marcell Mrsan was teaching the footwear program. Learning from him and having him on my side was an amazing opportunity.

Working at Yeezy as a conceptual designer, can you tell us what your day-to-day looked like there, and what it was like to work with Ye?

As a creative, it’s liberating. 

What are some of the projects you’re working on now?

New stuff. Always.

Who have been some key individuals in your growth and career that you’d like to shout out?

My parents, my friends, my professors in college, Marcell Mrsan and Steven Smith.

Are there any favourite films, artists , musicians or designs that inspire your own work and approach?

Alien, Terminator 2, Christopher Nolan, Es Devlin, The Jetsons, Toy Story, The Town, Good Time

You live in LA, can you tell us more about the city?

I wish I didn’t have to spend as much time in a car to enjoy the city, but other than that, I love that LA is one of the most creative cities in the world. I also love that you might run into an actor from your favorite show. I ran into the actor that played Camila on the Ozark, the Netflix show in Silverlake. I was star struck haha!

Where would you take us if we were to spend the day with you?

We would start with an early hike to the Hollywood sign, then breakfast at beachwood cafe. After that, we can check out the Broad museum and wrap up the day eating AWAN icecream.

"Creativity thrives in spontaneity" Cesar Idrobo | Photographed by Yudo Kurita for Champ Magazine©

Where do you see yourself in 1-5 years time?

In a position of good influence for the industry and upcoming generation of creatives through a book that can help anyone find their creative edge.

I want to be the person that I wish I had met 10 years ago: a voice from the future for the future.

Images: Yudo Kurita for Champ City Portrait Series
Interview: Monique Kawecki 

Get to know more of Cesar Idrobo‘s work via IG

For more in Los Angeles, check here.
#champ_losangeles

November, 2022