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A few questions for the artist

Hello! My name is Shinpei NAITO and I am from Japan. I've been living in Berlin for 20 years now. After I graduated from Art school in Seattle, I moved to here and I really like Berlin. It is very open for art and design and obviously I had many great projects since I moved to Germany. I have a great passion for painting and I started at a very young age. But only at the age of 15 I went to a private art school to get serious education in design. I am obsessed with print and textile design and I love colorful and cheerful color combination. Maybe you can see it from our Groundies x NAITO collection.

When I was a student in Japan and US, I was obsessed with painting futuristic city, landscapes and costumes. I admire american artist, for example Syd Mead who designed Blade Runner. I was addicted to follow his style and so at that time, I was painting futuristic vehicles, landscapes and costumes. Now, my interest shifted to more flowers and nature. I realized, that I hope people will find some positive feelings when they see my artworks. It is my pure pleasure of being artist. I love to present a cheerful art where people can feel a bright future. That’s the reason why I call myself a "futuristic artist". 

Adidas, Asics, Guess, Lee, Montblanc, American eagle, Jack Wolfskin, etc.

It was amazing to cooperate with Groundies. After they sent me shoes and I tried them for the first time, I felt so comfortable to walk. It was like walking on the sand with bare feet. So my first design concept was "Waves".  I also went for some little walks around my city - Berlin with Groundies shoes.  I live close to the park and I tried to express my happiness to my second design. A colorful and joyful feeling.

Originally I came from Japan, but I moved to Berlin about 18 years ago. When I arrived at this city, I was really surprised how many parks Berlin has, even though it is the capital of Germany. Tokyo doesn’t have many green spaces like that. But here in Berlin, people can access easily to the local parks. Especially if you would like to take a deep breath during weekday you can stop by at Tiergarten. You can refresh and enjoy fresh air and trees there. There are many lakes suburbs of Berlin, too. So, since I move to Berlin, I really enjoy this green environment which helps me to find access to my creativity. When I started to design the prints, I was wearing Groundies shoes and I went to park, which is located in front of my apartment. Due to the comfortable Groundies sole my feet touched the earth directly and I felt deeply grounded. I was listening to the birds singing and the rustling of the leaves. I saw many colorful flowers during my walk. And I was totally amazed by this experience with Groundies.  So I wanted to express my feeling to my print design.

We japanese people often wear sandals and thin soles because of our humid weather. So I was already in love with thin-soled shoes. When I started to wear Groundies shoes, I really felt like walking on the beach with bare feet.  It was a comfortable feeling. Since then I don't wear any other shoes except Groundies.

Shinrinyoku is a Japanese expression for the feeling of revitalization and refreshment that comes from spending time in nature and away from civilization. It is about opening up the senses as well as feeling and perceiving more.
Research shows that spending time in nature lowers your blood pressure and reduces stress hormones.

With barefoot shoes by Groundies, your experience with nature is supplemented by another aspect thanks to our especially flexible and thin soles: the ability to feel and experience the surfaces on which we move.

For many people, nature is an important place for resting and slowing down, as well as a source of new ideas and creative development. For Berlin-based Japanese artist Shinpei Naito, the idea for the Groundies x NAITO collection came from exactly this kind of experience with nature.

With his Groundies barefoot shoes in a multi-layered print, the artist beautifully applies the inspiration he obtained from nature during a visit to Berlin's Tiergarten. The manifold perceptions and stimuli all merge into a harmonious coexistence.

Now you too can dive into your own Shinrinyoku experience with the Groundies x NAITO collection!

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