Amsterdam-based company Filling Pieces, was established in 20019 by designer Guillaume Philibert. While studying architecture, Guillaume realized a void in the footwear market, a lack of premium high-quality footwear for an affordable price point. Recognizing this, he followed his vision of creating unique high-end footwear bridging the gap between streetwear and high-end fashion.
Inspired by a purchase of Dior Homme sneakers, Guillaume felt the need to dive into the footwear industry based on his admiration for his recent sneaker purchase as well as the mass amounts of people who also wore the shoe. The first collection produced consisted of one model only which was the Filling Pieces Low Top sneaker. While getting the opinion of family, friends, peers, and fellow designers it was clear this first sneaker would be a success.
Every model is handmade in Portugal with immense care, using only the finest Italian materials. Most models feature a thick rubber sole unit, high-quality fine leather materials, and as always a minimalistic approach. Originally, when attempting to first break into the market, Filling Pieces started off small, only producing 50-pair runs that were all made in Asia. Facing difficulties procuring a factory that was able and willing to deal with small production runs and the intricacy that followed producing such a unique shoe. It wasn't till three seasons after the initial launch that they decided to make the switch to their current Portugal factories.
Although Guillaume was the design brains behind the brand, they were having difficulties growing their business. Many consumers are wary of venturing off into unknown smaller brands and would prefer to stick with what they know. Filling Pieces also wanted to protect their integrity while growing into the global brand that they are today, maintaining a presence in the correct retailer's doors. It wasn't until 2013 when Guillaume teamed up with his partner who became the yin to his yang. While Guillaume continued to head the creative aspects of the brand, his partner filled the void of the business side of things. Their teamwork had the perfect balance of skill and creativity that helped push the brand to its next level.
When asked how Guillaume approaches designing the newest Filling Pieces model, he responded: "Over the years Filling Pieces has built up a strong range of basic silhouettes; these are the foundation of our brand. Each season I try to come up with a few innovative new colorways, but the usage of leather and fabrics is still one of the most important elements. Each season I strive to source a wide variety of the best premium leathers and special (hand-woven) fabrics, as this gives each collection a strong balance between great everyday looks and elaborate design features." This response speaks to the brand's ethos and displays the organic growth Filling Pieces has had over the last decade while remaining true to their original vision.