Buscemi is expanding its lifestyle brand in big ways. The luxury design house, which launched in 2013 by former Gourmet founder Jon Buscemi, is moving beyond sneakers and accessories with a TV series slated for 2018, as well as a boutique hotel and retail outpost in the L.A.-based label’s home turf.
“I’ll be launching a TV show next year with the Complex Media Group, and you’ll see hotels and different products — that’s the long game,” the designer shared with Footwear News on Saturday at Neiman Marcus in Beverly Hills, Calif., where he and music icon Quincy Jones debuted two collaborative sneakers.
Buscemi currently has three standalone shops: Toronto, Las Vegas and a flagship in New York City. “We’ll have a store in L.A. mid next year — a standalone probably in the Melrose area,” he said of the trendy boutique-lined avenue.
The expansion into the hotel business, he said, fills a void in the hospitality industry.
“The brand is in the physical form in shoes and accessories — but the hotel world needs a bit of our generation; It’s getting to be a little tired,” he said, adding that he is inspired by Soho House and Ace Hotel.
“I want to play in that arena — that’s the next move,” Buscemi explained. “I’ve been researching it and talking to people in the hotel business; I think Quincy’s involved in the hotel business.”
Indeed, Jones shared that he has been operating his Q’s Bar and Lounge in the Palazzo Versace hotel in Dubai for more than one year. “I send artists there every month,” the producer explained.
The sneaker partnership comes after Jones starred in Buscemi’s spring ’15 campaign. They continued to stay in touch for a year until they teamed up on a collection. Their creative synchronicity flowed organically.
“It marinated a little bit… he’s one of my style icons,” Buscemi said. “We used a print that Quincy supplied us with one of the artists he works with,” he said of the footbed designed by Nate Giorgio, one of the late Michael Jackson’s personal artists. Jackson and Jones were longtime musical collaborators.
For Jones, the discipline of the music industry is the same as any art form, including that of a shoe designer. “Everything is how you want to see it, feel it, smell it. It’s the taste and judgment; money doesn’t buy taste,” he said. “It’s a great challenge — to know when to get dressed down and get dressed up.”
Luxe details of the shoes include an upper made of Italian leather and velvet, hand-painted edges, gold hardware and Jones’ signature on the midsole. “There was no price restriction,” Buscemi added.
The new kicks are available in two slip-on styles — the 40MM Band Quincy in purple ($595) and the 40MM Quincy ($550) in black.