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Since the mind-blowing success after launching Yeezy Season 1, back in 2015, Wests’ brand has surely gone through its ups and downs.
Now, a clear strategy is in place, and it is both US and plant-based.
The American rapper’s career is defined by inspiring music collaboration and culture-shaping.
The list of soundtrack cooperations includes beyond-famous artists like Jay Z, Beyoncé, and Paul McCartney.
This time, the musician/fashion creative/businessman, takes Yeezy sneakers to the next level.
Together with Steven Smith, the former designer of renowned brands such as New Balance and Nike, Kanye is making shoes of the future.
Kanye West Shoes – From Renewable Materials
You might have read about bio-based materials in our vegan and cruelty free articles, but your seaweed recognition is about to embody a foamy and biodegradable version.
Without getting too much into biology specifics, seaweed equals marine algae – an aquatic organism that performs photosynthesis.
Therefore, it is crucial for our existence.
The algae are dried, ground into powder, compacted into pellets, and expanded with foaming agents.
The final robust material is what West is using to make the next urban sneaker.
Although, this first version is a hybrid of petroleum-based EVA (ethylene-vinyl acetate) combined with algae.
The Futuristic-Looking Sneakers
Fashion-wise, the prototype is not quite there yet.
The design brief demanded some challenging constraints: no laces and no stitching.
This test-piece was made in Atlanta and the plan is for it to be manufactured somewhere in the US.
The final and commercial version of the eco-shoe will be available next year, 2020.
Vegan Future Ahead?
What started as a product-focused interview, became the stage for sharing the ambitious vision of an innovation-led company.
With the headquarters recently relocated to Wyoming, the project entails a hydroponic farm — a process that uses water, instead of soil, to grow plants — as well as their own cotton and hemp production. Indeed, it includes 4,000-acres, a big portion of land to manage all steps of the supply chain, including color dying.
Kanye highlights the meaning behind color, one of the most important aspects of the product, and dying being the most environmentally damaging procedure across the Fashion industry.
There and then, the creative duo Kanye and Steven showcased the first footwear trial.
Moreover, they explained the entire process and the goals for the foreseeable future.
There is a particularly interesting bit where Kanye West speaks his truth about race, culture, fashion dynamics, and how all of it is reflected in the direction of Yeezys’ growth.
The focus lies on the elements: earth, wind, fire, and water, adding to that, quoting Kanye, “a founder that cares about humanity”.
Using stardom to spread environmental awareness is much needed.
Designing everyday items that enable a viable future, is not only critical but it elevates the relevance of fashion to a whole another dimension.
Combining the two will most certainly accelerate our habits that, ultimately, lead to a healthy and sustainable way of living.
Kayne West claims Yeezy to be: “The Apple of apparel”.
Well, I am unsure whether Mr. Jobs would agree with this daring comparison.
However, it looks promising so far. We shall wait and see. Or, even more appropriately, we will hopefully be able to walk the talk.