For hundreds of years, walking sticks were common fashion accessories which were made and worn with pride. But as time went on, the aesthetics were abandoned and the finely crafted artifacts were replaced with cold, clinical, and impersonal items of utility. Today, most canes do little to inspire the self-confidence of those who use them.
Partners, Ben Grynol and Gerrit de Vries saw there was an obvious need for a more modern and personable cane so they employed the talents of Canadian industrial designer, Matthew Kroeker to come up with an elegant and functional walking cane, one that would give cane-users an extra boost of confidence and poise in their daily routines. “When you watch people use their canes, you can see that they often struggle while performing simple tasks, like pulling out their wallet at the grocery store. They usually rest the cane on their arm or awkwardly lean it against the counter. It doesn’t really make sense, so we tried to design our cane to change the user’s behaviour,” stated Kroeker, who now acts
as Top & Derby’s Creative Director.
In order to test the market and launch their products, the folks at Top & Derby have decided to launch a micro-financing campaign through the crowd -funding platform Indiegogo. http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/top-derby
The handle has a distinct nose which is comfortable to hold and intuitively positions the hand directly over the wood shaft. This unique detail also allows the cane to rest against a wall effortlessly for quick access; it can be propped up on its nose or side, without the cane slipping or falling over as easily as generic canes often do.
It starts with a rigid core as the foundation for our cane handle. It’s cast in aluminum and then heat-treated, which produces an extremely durable, yet lightweight frame to build upon. The core is then over-molded with silicone, forming a soft, continuous grip that conforms to your hand and dampens vibrations while you walk.
The shaft is turned from solid American black walnut and finished with a durable coating to protect the wood and bring out the natural variation in the grain. We seal the deal by marking it with a laser engraved logo; this way you know it’s an authentic Top & Derby product.
The tip of the cane, or shoe as we like to call it, has a sneaker-inspired sole that’s molded in an abrasion resistant thermoplastic rubber. Overall, it’s replaceable, compact and sleek, and works great in a range of different conditions.