About the possibility of understanding some of how children feel through the colours they use, here is an unexpected and innovative school shoe by Lelli Kelly, the famous Italian shoe maker company.


Lelli Kelly contacted me considering my research experience and professional role and shared research questions they would like me to address. The company of these well-known shoes had developed a project called Colorissima and wanted to see if, in practice, the colours used by girls for the colourable hearts on the shoes could show how girls feel about being able to colour their shoes and, how they feel about the colours they used for the shoes.


In response to this request, I decided to work with girls and their mums to see how the colours, the shoes, and the ability to colour in parts of the shoes made the girls feel. The company accepted my proposal.


Overall


The girls across the age range all used colours they liked a lot and very much, and which made them feel happy, the personalise the shoes. They all reported very positive feelings about being able to colour the shoes.


They reported that they enjoyed being able to colour them in and that using colours they chose made them feel special, very happy and and able to show others how they feel. The mums echoed the girls’ positive responses, saying that being able to personalise the shoes made their daughters feel empowered, caring about their new shoes, very happy and able to express themselves to others.


Dr Burkitt:

Why did Lelli Kelly develop this type of school shoe for girls?


Lelli Kelly:

By colouring the personal accessories of the Colourissima school shoes can be, in our opinion, a starting point in order to interpret the feeling of children. Obviously, as sociologists and graphologists teach us, to have a proper interpretation it is necessary to place them in a larger context or situation and understand individual preferences for colours in different situations.


Dr Burkitt:

What does this exactly consist in?


Lelli Kelly:

This is a school shoe that has interchangeable straps, some of which can be coloured with felt tip pens. We have noticed, during the years, that little girls, more than little boys, settle a special relationship with their own shoes. That is why by colouring them is a proper entry door to understand their feelings.


Dr Burkitt:
Do you think that schools or parents may be annoyed wearing school shoes with self-coloured decorations?


Lelli Kelly:

Colourissima school shoes also come with plain black decoration straps which are suitable for any type of school request. After school or during the weekend, the girl can wear the self-coloured straps, so that the parents get a simple and immediate way to see which colour the girl chooses and understand her feelings.