Plae is showing off a new point of view.
This week, the San Francisco-based kids’ brand will roll out the first shoe in its second Art of Plae collaboration series.
As Plae’s first artist in residence, Oliver Black is partnering with the brand to put a creative new spin on several of its most popular styles. First up is the Roan sneaker.
Tapping into his early roots in skateboarding, local graffiti and street art, Black detailed the entire surface of the simple canvas shoe — including the tongue and even the underside of the Velcro straps — with quirky, black-and-white animal graphics.
In a special, behind-the-scenes video released on Vimeo, the Bay Area artist takes fans inside his creative process and shares the inspirations behind his striking design.
“With the Roan, I wanted every single space to have an individual [animal] character. And from left shoe to right shoe to be completely different. When you get up close, you get to meet these little animals that all have different expressions and mannerisms and little bits of personality,” he said.
The idea, he explained, is to give kids something to engage them while riding in the car. “I remember what it was like as a kid sitting in the backseat, when your feet don’t even touch the ground. The only thing you have to stare at is your feet, so [I thought it would be fun to] have something to entertain them.”
Black said he embraces the opportunity to help spark kids’ interest in art and creative expression through his collaboration with Plae.
“I feel very lucky to do something I love and be able to share it with people — especially knowing that kids might be able to have fun and find little stories and be introduced to the [idea] of being a creative person and using your imagination and knowing that it’s an amazing world to live in,” he said. “That’s something I really believe in.”
Available in sizes 8 to 4.5, the Roan shoe will retail from $69.95 to $74.95 beginning on March 17 at Goplae.com, Nordstrom.com and selected Nordstrom brick-and-mortar locations. Black has created three other styles as part of the Art of Plae collaboration that will be released over the remainder of the year, so stay tuned.