David Cullen our Creative Directors, parents emigrated from Glasgow to Jersey in the 1970s. Cullen’s adolescence spent in Jersey led him to see beyond its tourist reputation.
A Channel Islands native, University led Cullen to Glasgow, where a career in buying invoked a gradual frustration: Suitable footwear that satisfied consumer, the company and quality was scarce.
In his own experience the “continuous increase in price” in the current market “didn’t justify the product” subsequently leading to the brands launch in the Summer of 2019. Born out of a “love for well-made product, with simple and clean design” which “The Italians do extremely well” eventually, became the ground for the label’s fulfilment.
Located in the Eastern Italian Coastal town of Civitanova, Unseen’s concluding factory is also home to luxury leaders such as TODS, Prada and The Kering Group, with every shoe constituent obtained within a fifteen-mile radius of its production.
Despite Cullen being the lead of the label, there is a fundamental sense of keeping consumer and craftsman at the core of the conversation. “Our two Italian agents Vito, Raf and I toured Civitanova, we visited sole and fabric suppliers and met with the factory owner and his family” he explains with a “personal approach being important” to the company’s manufacturing process. Sustained by a setting rich in footwear production, the 4th generation factory and in-house design team, work in collaboration, creating product for the everyday that aims to stand the test of time. Hand laced, handmade, hand packaged- Like its name sake, Unseen Footwear operates with a humble modesty, wishing to retain an ethos founded on traditional craft, to champion simplicity in a world of extravagance.
Unseen is embedded with leading technicality, opulent suede, rich leather all fused together with the Vibram sole, which produces upmost comfort, offering considered footwear for the discerning customer.
Unseen is aware of the global waste crisis is reaching a dangerous level, which is why we make it our aim to reflect and re-evaluate our carbon footprint. This means that responsibly sourced materials and manufacturing processes are of upmost importance. For Cullen “Good Quality is the highest form of sustainability” Experimenting with materiality has led to the fabrication of the “first 100% Sustainable Sneaker” composed using cork hemp soles and recycled linings.
Despite Italian production being fundamental to us as a brand, Unseen’s core is inspired by the Jersey Coast. Jersey is located North Westerly of the French border. The nine by five island is arguably immersed in tourism more so them fashion, which in hindsight brought some challenges in the post pandemic climate. Jersey is home to a sheer 100,000 residents, Cullen originally planned on being based in London, however the changes have been a “blessing in disguise” where the Islands landscapes have become a significant framework for campaign locations, and is home to a small, close knit team, where Cullen can name each individual responsible for the daily management of the rapidly expanding company.
The future of Unseen Footwear? Simply put “To see the brand in the best stores in the best places around the world” The current development of an existing women’s collection and brand partnerships aim to amplify the brands foundation bound by the seas in Italy and the shores of the Small Channel Island called Jersey.