Een kijkje achter de schermen: schoenontwerper Jan Jansen


I took photos from Jan (1941) and Tonny Jansen (1940) more often, but mostly when they were on their way to a fashion show or opening an exhibition.This time I’m invited to take a look at their house in Amsterdam. They have always worked together, Jan designed the shoes, Tonny worked at their shop in Amsterdam. They still are very active and busier than ever. Jan: “Twice a year we visit the materials fair in Milan. My shoes are made in Portugal, so regularly we go to Portugal in order to make the prototypes. In addition, I teach a few times a year in Japan at the Bunka Fashion Academy. And in London at The University of Fashion. We always travel together.

They are proud to show the design that Jan made for United Nude. The shoe is based on a sketch model that was designed by Jan in the 1970s. United Nude invited various designers, such as Issey Miyake, to design shoes and/or accessories for the Limited Edition series of this Dutch brand. Jan Jansen’s design is a great addition to this particular series. The shoe will be available at the beginning of next year, both at United Nude in Amsterdam and in their online store.


Jan Jansen’s shoes have been exhibited in renowned museums in the Netherlands, Germany, Italy, and Japan. In 1966 Jan Jansen was the first industrial designer who exhibited in the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam. Various designs have also been purchased by the Contemporary Craft Museum in New York and the Rijksmuseum and Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam. Although there is no Jan Jansen shoe store anymore, his designs are still for sale. They have such a signature that you recognize them immediately. At the Oska store in Arnhem, I saw these models in the window. The shoe Tonny is wearing you’ll find at the X Bank store in the Spuistraat in Amsterdam.


Een kijkje achter de schermen: schoenontwerper Jan Jansen

During one of their trips to Japan, Jan saw a man walking on the street in this model pants. He was immediately excited about it, it is typical Japanese construction pants. For sale in many different materials and colors. From that moment on, this kind of trousers is preferable. Occasionally Tonny also wears this model pants. They both love Japanese designers, such as Yohji Yamamoto and designs by Commes des garçons. In this picture, Tonny is wearing Dries van Noten, one of her favorite designers as well. They both like to buy beautiful clothes, which remain beautiful for years.

Een kijkje achter de schermen: schoenontwerper Jan Jansen

Een kijkje achter de schermen: schoenontwerper Jan Jansen

Een kijkje achter de schermen: schoenontwerper Jan Jansen

One of the quotes by Jan Jansen:

I find it always interesting to do new things that nobody has done before. They are unique objects, because I do not think in a commercial way. I just do what comes up, because I am not afraid to fail.

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