Another year has passed, another 100 articles posted on this blog. A year that obviously hasn’t been like nothing we’re used to. Here’s the annual pic from the New Years celebrations along with a longer than usual summary of the year that has been, and a look into what’s coming.
In 2020 the Shoegazing blog saw its fourth larger conversion, with a revamped start page and more of an online magazine feel highlighting also all the hundreds of earlier articles I’ve done in a better way. Still the classic blog feed as a base though, based on feedback the new Shoegazing seem to be appreciated. Will continue to to some smaller updates and fixes next year, especially on the pages gathering the most popular articles.
The Shoegazing Podcast ran strong for most of the year, but now when I don’t have more episodes recorded and are stubborn enough to feel that I want to do them all face to face in real life with the interviewee (since I believe things get so much better that way), the pause will likely last a bit longer with the current corona situation, but it will definitely be back!
Something that haven’t really been evident publically to you readers, but which I’ve experienced more off in 2020 than ever before, was the difficulties to run a blog and talk in other foras about various brands in a way they themselves don’t feel are favourable to them. A lot of anger has been directed towards me, in a couple of cases with at least a relatively good reason (no one is perfect, certainly not me), but in most of them I feel it’s been quite unjustly. In a world where brands are used to have their own praising words spread around it can be difficult to try to run a fully objective outpost, where no one has ever been able to pay for anything that I post, nor on the blog or in my social media, and where I write and say what I consider to be facts, despite them in some cases aren’t favourable for certain brands or persons. I will continue to do so, if it will lead to more anger so be it, but at least I can hold my head up high, which is what matters to me (and trust me, there’s loads more that could be said but which I for various reasons decide to never write or talk publicly about, when you’ve been involved in an industry the way I’ve been for a long time, it’s only natural, would be the same in all industries).
The fact that I work for a company selling shoes (Skolyx, retailer of our brand, Yanko and TLB Mallorca) is often used as fuel for these brands to discard what I’ve been stating, but I can see that all of you who actually follow Shoegazing are condifent with my objectivity and can see that I highlight loads of direct competitors to us at Skolyx in various articles, I have competitors advertising, I invite competitors to the large shoe events I organise, and so on. It would be lovely to see that instead of anger these brands would instead take things as constructive criticism and look into change the things I highlight, make things better and improve, that would certainly be something that benefitted everyone.
Also noticeable is the other way around, so to speak, the fact that more and more brands that I highlight on the blog in various articles contact me afterwards and are very surprised and happy that I write about them without even being in contact with them, it’s like people expect that in this day and age one have to do something more than just do interesting stuff to be written about, like give away things, pay for articles or at least be on “content creators” and medias backs to get noticed.
When it comes to the big super trunk show shoe events, only the premiere of the Amsterdam edition in March was able to take place, both the London and Stockholm editions had to be postponed until 2021, due to corona. We now really hope that we’ll finally get to gather the classic shoe world in London on May 8 for the London Super Trunk Show and host the finals in the world championships in shoemaking, shoe shining and shoe patina there, and then both the Stockholm and Amsterdam editions are planned to take place in September. I also really look forward to finally be able to travel to Germany for a week with Patrick Frei and Kazuya Kimura to continue my bespoke project with them, have fitting and follow the making of my pair, and of course to once again travel to Japan for more shoe encounters in the land of the brilliant shoemakers. Maybe I’ll also get a chance to visit China and some of the new makers coming out of there, we’ll see.
As always, a big thank you to all who read and support Shoegazing in various ways (not least those of you who’ve decided to become Patrons), wouldn’t do all this without all of you!