On the heels of his successful New Balance collaboration, Salehe Bembury is back with another. However, this time the designer created original models with an established athletic brand.
For his latest collaborative effort, the 2020 FN Designer of the Year will deliver a pair of new silhouettes — the SB-01 and the SB-02 — with China-based athletic company Anta. The shoes will feature a new cushioning technology created by Bembury called Anta Nest.
The new tech, which Anta said will be used across the brand, is a cushioning innovation inspired by birds nests. The brand further explained in a statement that Bembury was fascinated with the idea that twigs when intertwined offer structural integrity. “I took a picture of a bird’s nest with a white egg peaking through the voids in the nest. This juxtaposition of matter and color inspired the aesthetic of the technology,” Bembury said in a statement.
The SB-01 was created to offer the wearer a dual footwear experience, made to be worn either as a unit or by wearing its interior sneaker alone. According to Anta, the system was created “for the transitions that can occur in one’s day or outdoor experience.”
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The look, which is described as a fully functional hiking sneaker, features an interior shoe made with a knit upper with a thin TPU outsole, which is coupled with an exterior model that utilizes neoprene and TPU on the uppers and secured with water-resistant zippers. (Additionally, the zipper pull includes a dipped lace, a signature detail for Bembury.)
The Anta SB-01 will retail for $120.
As for the SB-02, Bembury set out to create a quality shoe with a cool factor for a price that is accessible for a broader consumer base. “I challenged both Anta and myself to create a successful sneaker for under $100,” Bembury said in a statement.
Priced at just $90 is the SB-02, a hiking sneaker built for the trail. Bembury designed the look with uppers constructed with neoprene, elastic knit and TPU, and equipped them with a functional “beef roll” lacing system and aggressive lugs on the outsoles.
Both looks feature oval design language, which Anta said was borrowed from its existing Flash Foam technology. “Despite being given the opportunity to create product from scratch, I thought it was important for my design to fit within the Anta aesthetic and ethos. The ovals served as a great vehicle to maintain this cohesion,” Bembury said in a statement.
Anta further explained Bembury’s reasoning for this collaboration, stating it is also inspired by the “current landscape we find ourselves in as a society.”
“We find ourselves in a period of time where ease of use and function are more important than ever,” Bembury said. “The ability for product to perform in different environments and elements is the new normal. Aesthetic can no longer be the only attracting element in product execution; the consumer now demands and more importantly, requires more.”
Although the pricing has been revealed, the release date has not. However, Bembury will reveal the date via Salehebembury.com in the near future. (Bembury told FN at the start of the month that the Anta shoes will drop in January.)