UT.LAB Light Wings

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UT.LAB’s Light Wings may look like paper shoes, but the upper is actually made of TYVEK® by DUPONT™, a plastic fabric that is lightweight yet resistant to tear, water, and bacteria. TYVEK® has been around since the 1950s and has been used for everything from envelopes and insulation to hazmat suits, NASA space shuttles, and American Apparel shorts. Working with this flexible material, UT.LAB’s founder, Token Hu, was inspired to design a vintage-style sneaker that could weather urban life today. After testing around 500 models, Token found his dream shoe, The Pencil, a bold yellow, blue, and gray sneaker that is 50% lighter than a pair of Converse Chuck Taylors. Available in men’s and women’s sizes, the Pencil combines the crumpled note paper look of TYVEK® with new and old shoe materials: an outsole of lightweight URT foam-rubber, an insole of POLIYOU foam, and laces of waxed cotton. The Pencil may be worn for walking and jogging in all weather and can be washed without losing its Crayon-bright color. All 2013 pairs of their Kickstarter edition have sold out. But, considering that UT.LAB pulled in almost ten times as much money as its original fundraising goal, it seems likely that we’ll see more designs from them soon.



Holly is a poet from Kentucky. She grew up first in a Sears house, then on a farm. She studied English and Gender Studies at Mount Holyoke College and moved to Manhattan for love. As an occasional jewelry-maker and museum patron, Holly favors wearable and functional design but is eager to see work that challenges her aesthetics. Read more and connect by visiting her blog, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

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