For those who can’t get their hands on a pair of Yeezys, hip-hop artist Will.i.am and brother Carl Gilliam, are stepping into the footwear ring with their own line — MCCVIII — launching on Dec. 15 at London’s Liberty department store and online.
The brothers decided to go it alone with their label rather than working under the umbrella of an athletic house. Even the brand name (pronounced twelve-oh-eight), refers to their childhood home, 1208 Glenfield Ct., in Los Angeles. The brothers said it’s a tribute to their strong family growing up, which kept them focused in a tough, impoverished neighborhood.
The debut Pharaoh shoes are a nod to legendary U.K. brand Clarks’ Wallabee style. The design duo said the iconic look has often often been worn as a substitute for sneakers, but with a dressier edge. Taking the Egyptian theme a step further, the logo featured in the shoes’ rubber soles is a pyramid struck through with a line, forming a visual capstone, symbolizing achievement.
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The collection, which is produced in Italy, has a high-top, a low-top and a high-top with an 18K gold-plated brass panel on the tongue featuring the brand’s Roman-numeral name. They’re available in white, gray, tobacco, burgundy, black and crew. Retail prices at the current British pound exchange rate are $787 to $968.
Following the launch of the Pharaoh, the brothers will debut a followup collection in collaboration with Liberty, inspired by Liberty’s archival prints. That collection will be released in February.