Two heads are better than one — especially when it comes to footwear design.
Two industry veterans, Arnaud Delecolle, founder of lifestyle label Alife and sneaker boutique Alife Rivington Club, has teamed up with Dave Cory, former director of product for Converse, to create new men’s sneaker brand, Obra.
The line takes its name from the dual-meaning Portuguese word — meaning a worker’s labor and the work of an artist — in its mission to combine art and commerce through its line of comfort-driven styles with a social consciousness.
Inside the sneakers are lightweight footbeds built of dual-density EVA and lined with microfiber that provides support and stability, while extra-thick rubber wraps around the shoe for added toe protection and durability. Features continue underfoot with a textured rubber outsole that offers enhanced traction.
The company is also committed to promoting the arts and is working in association with the New York Art Department and other organizations to promote and produce cultural projects and commissioned product editions.
According to the company, social issues are also a top priority. The founders have partnered with a family-owned factory in Brazil that offers employees continuing-education programs, on-site daycare and medical facilities.
In addition, Obra plans to redistribute a share of revenues to nonprofit groups focused on art, education and civil liberties within local inner-city-youth communities. The initiative will kick off this year to a $10 donation for each pair sold on the website to Red Hook Labs.
The collection includes five canvas styles in a range of colors. Retail prices range from $120 to $150. In addition to its website, the line is available at retailers including Barneys New York.
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