Retro-inspired sneaker brand Soul Purpose fulfills its namesake destiny with designs that nod pop culture icons of the 1980s and ‘90s from music, gaming and animation.
They’re kicks that have real character, such as Michael Jackson’s style reimagined on a pair of shoes, and sneakers that pay tribute to gaming franchise hero Mega Man, Disney favorites and cartoon heroine She-Ra, among others.
“I grew up reading a lot of comic books and watching cartoons, so a lot of designs come from that inspiration, as well as music and hip-hop in particular,” explained Soul Purpose CEO and creative director Louis Blaut. “We want to inspire people to have conversations. When you have a great pair of shoes, people stop you and ask you about them. That really happens with retros — I want people to see Soul Purpose, stop you on the street and have a conversation.”
The 35-year-old’s brand launched in December 2015 with a collection of runner, lifestyle, causal and basketball sneakers based on influences from his youth. But the designs’ resonance won’t be lost on the iPhone generation, Blaut added.
“A lot of things are in resurgence: the cartoons, the TV shows — they’re being made into movies or live animation,” he explained. “A lot of the characters we’ve drawn from, in upcoming releases, are timeless: “Star Wars,” Marvel, DC, Looney Tunes. They are timeliness and exceed those boundaries.”
Individual pairs cost $399, and the label offers special package pricing for orders that bundle its line of T-shirts, sweatshirts and hats; all of the items will be available direct to consumer on the Soulpurposedesigns.com. Sizes are available for men and women in limited quantity.
The footwear is produced in China and materials are “mostly” sourced from Italy, Blaut added.
Some styles that are slated to be released in the spring include “The Mischief,” inspired by the “Sleeping Beauty” villain Maleficent (horn adornments and all); “The Prince,” inspired by the titular hero’s turban in Disney’s “Aladdin, adorned with jewels, suede and gold basket weave detail; “The Etheria,” a golden tribute to She-Ra’s tiara in “She-Ra: Princess of Power”; and “The Ax,” inspired by a Gibson guitar.