A day in the studio with Salehe Bembury
“Three years ago, that wasn’t happening,” Kevin Trotman, associate product manager of global collaborations at New Balance, said in an interview. “It says a lot about Salehe and our other partners – people are very excited about it because they trust him. He’s been proven to the point where it’s like, OK, it’s gonna be fire, whatever.
His first collaboration with New Balance was a bright, burnt orange fur sneaker he called “Peace Be the Journey”. This year’s collaboration was a pair of lime green, cerulean blue and beige leather which he named “Water Be the Guide”.
And it has another highly anticipated shoe release in December – a collaboration with Crocs. Its design is a significant change for the brand: lines, not holes, flow in a wavy pattern and wrap around the design.
“The fingerprint is my brand identity,” said Mr. Bembury. “It’s very closely related to the grain of the wood, which I really like, and it evokes the organic lines of a fingerprint. “
He is the first designer to completely reconfigure the style of Crocs. In July, when Mr. Bembury shared the design on social media, the photo was re-shared by news sites like Complex and its post quickly racked up over 70,000 likes.
While several celebrities, including Justin Bieber, Bad Bunny, and Saweetie, designed Jibbitz to plug into Crocs holes, Mr. Bembury first created a new mold that included a heel catch attached with a strap, for the first time. The new iteration, called the Pollex, comes in three muted tones: spackle, a plaster-like shade; menemsha, which looks like café con leche; and the cucumber, a deep olive.