“Ontstaan vanuit een gezamenlijke frustratie met de huidige schoenenindustrie. Willen we de industrie openen, door het ontwikkelen van alternatieve productiemethode om zo een verandering van binnen uit te activeren.”
-Manami Saito (proef) en ontwerper Roderick Pieters
Manami en Roderick leerde elkaar kennen op ArtEZ hogeschool voor de kunsten in Arnhem waar ze beide Product Design studeerden


Project LOPER is excited to announce the launch of its kickstarter campaign for responsible footwear, going live on April 25th 2016. Numerous behind the scenes benefits add to the appeal of the innovative LOPER designs, a collaboration between Japanese creative platform PROEF and Dutch footwear designer RODERICK PIETERS. Rooted in ideals and motivated by ideas, LOPER reinvents footwear from the ground up. The project’s simple and unique production approach directly reconsiders the industry through technique; introducing the glueless LOPER rope construction method.



“We expressed a shared sense of frustration with the current footwear industry. We want to open the industry up, to explore alternative modes of shoe production and to stimulate change from within.”
– Manami Saito (proef) and designer Roderick Pieters

Starting from scratch to achieve their goals, the collaborators set out to reinvent footwear and address the industry’s approach. By initiating a small change with a rippling impact, project LOPER seeks to influence the shoe industry from the inside out, presenting footwear manufacturers with a positive challenge.

“Our solution: simplified systems, responsible techniques, characteristic aesthetics, localised production and transparency and honesty at all levels.”
– Manami Saito (proef) and designer Roderick Pieters

LOPER system. Focused on a more conscious economic model, the production process is centered around an awareness of techniques and resources and their distribution. The simplified, self-sufficient LOPER system is accessible for all manufacturers. Reduced man and machine power make the system particularly suited to the production of small quantities. By removing the pressure of large overhead costs and minimum order standards, the LOPER system reduces unnecessary overproduction and the impact of transportation.

“Our ultimate goal is to continue improving and simplifying the shoe industry internationally. Creating beautifully designed, intelligently developed and honest made shoes together with the footwear industry, on all continents.”
– Manami Saito (proef) and designer Roderick Pieters


The first LOPER models find their origins in traditional leathercraft and effortless streetwear. Combining a high-grade leather upper with a cushioned EVA+leather footbed and a durable rubber sole , the understated laced styles deliver comfort and versatility. Sleek lines and refined shapes echo the project’s form-meets-function aesthetic.

lopermaking002 LOPERNEEDLE&SOLE small


LOPER shoes are assembled by hand using the innovative LOPER system: rope is used to connect the upper to the prefabricated sole, eliminating glue. An integrated ‘needle’ reduces required tools and waste. The simplicity of LOPER shoe construction makes it easy to set up the production of high quality designs in factories across the globe. Centralised production points are part of our strategy; currently including Japan for Asia and the Pacific and Portugal for Europe. US locations are in the pipeline.


Design does not just exist on paper, on a screen or in the studio. It is an evolving phenomenon from idea through to reality, made to be used and worn. Loved, even! We look forward to encountering likeminded individuals, ‘LOPERS’ who share our ideals and ideas. Who love to support our vision by wearing these expertly designed, high quality and fairly priced shoes. Interested? Find out more and support the project on the LOPER kickstarter.


proef is a creative platform specializing in product design. We use creative solutions to promote positive and lasting relationships, from maker to consumer. proef takes design beyond the finished product and its visual impact. We explore, develop and optimise new modes of creation, production and distribution. Each project is a playground with its own concept and unique way of thinking.

lopermaking008 lopermaking009


The project LOPER campaign was filmed by COLLECTOR (alumni ArtEZ Interaction Design).
For additional information and hires images, please contact via


loperteam copy


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