Mizuno Taps Hajime Sorayama for Second Sneaker Collaboration – WWD

TOKYO — Sports activities tools and apparel-maker Mizuno will quickly launch the second iteration of its design collaboration with Hajime Sorayama, who reimagined one of many model’s traditional working shoe silhouettes as an ultra-cool every day sneaker.

Trying to strengthen its place within the footwear class, Mizuno first collaborated with Sorayama earlier this yr, releasing a silver model of its Wave Prophecy shoe. The corporate did a restricted manufacturing run, which bought out nearly instantly. This time, the artist has created a black model of the sneaker, which can hit shops in Japan on Saturday, earlier than being launched in different Asian markets on Sept. 4, and within the U.S. and Europe at a later date.

Sorayama, who is thought for his usually erotic artworks depicting “attractive robots,” isn’t any stranger to style collaborations — his imagery was even prominently featured in Kim Jones’ pre-fall 2019 males’s assortment for Dior, which additionally used certainly one of his artworks because the runway set piece. However that is the primary time the artist has designed a style merchandise from begin to end.

“After I attended the Dior present, David Beckham was there and he was sporting a Dior go well with with sneakers. He regarded so cool, and I wished to make a pair of sneakers that regarded cool and formal even with a go well with, however [that] had been additionally comfy,” Sorayama mentioned. “On the age I’m now, I usually have funerals to go to, so I’ve to put on a black go well with and black shoes. But when I put on leather-based boots after not sporting them in a very long time they damage my toes. So I wished to make one thing that feels good however can be worn for formal events.”

Sorayama’s preliminary idea for the sneakers was that they need to be like strolling on air, each when it comes to appear and feel. So he started by eradicating the cushion air pockets from the Wave Prophecy and changing them with a void that enables air to cross via. He additionally changed the tongue of the shoe with a sock-like collar.

“The cushion and shock absorption will not be solely useful in that it makes the shoes comfy, but it surely’s additionally a design ingredient,” the artist mentioned.

The opposite main ingredient in Sorayama’s design idea was transparency. Similar to his artworks incorporate the notions of sunshine and transparency, he wished to imbue the footwear with these similar parts, with a clear gradient that turned black on the heel. Since he was restricted by the present supplies obtainable, the result’s a shoe with a a translucent black physique and metallic gunmetal heel counter. The Mizuno emblem is featured on the facet of the shoe in a matte metallic gunmetal coloration.

Mizuno Taps Hajime Sorayama for Second

Hajime Sorayama’s preliminary sketch for his black model of the Wave Prophecy.

“My thought was to make a model of Cinderella’s glass slipper that could possibly be worn by athletes,” Sorayama mentioned. “I assumed it might be cool in case you may change the look of your footwear to match totally different clothes, simply by altering the colour of your socks. And ladies may exhibit their pedicures even when sporting sneakers. It seems erotic when ladies put on sheer black stockings over a contemporary pedicure, and I wished to use that very same idea right here, making sneakers look attractive.”

Sorayama has labored with Mizuno on the challenge for greater than two years, realizing he would create one thing that he himself would wish to put on. It is because of this that his personal title doesn’t seem on the footwear in a distinguished means. As a substitute, his emblem is printed on the insole subsequent to Mizuno’s, in addition to inside one of many openings within the sole.

“I didn’t wish to use my title in an apparent place — that may be uncool. I didn’t do that challenge to make different individuals comfortable, I did it extra for myself, for the intrinsic rewards,” Sorayama mentioned. “And if I did it properly, individuals will acknowledge it as my work, even with out my title or artwork being featured prominently.”

Mizuno Taps Hajime Sorayama for Second

Hajime Sorayama at work in his studio in Tokyo
©Hajime Sorayama Courtesy of Nanzuka

Takeshi Saito, a product planner and designer for Mizuno who labored carefully with Sorayama on the collaboration, sees it otherwise: “Sorayama says that the footwear don’t characteristic his artwork, however in actuality the footwear themselves are the artwork.”

Except for specialised sports activities footwear, Mizuno solely began making footwear from 2018, and the class nonetheless represents a really small portion of its general enterprise. However Saito mentioned the corporate plans to proceed rising the class, and that the collaboration with Sorayama represents one step towards doing that. He mentioned that whereas Sorayama is a tricky act to comply with, the corporate is all in favour of collaborating with different artists and types sooner or later.

As for Sorayama, he’s already engaged on the third stage of his partnership with Mizuno. Whereas he declined to touch upon what the subsequent model will appear to be, a spokesman for Mizuno mentioned it should hit the market someday subsequent yr.

https://wwd.com/accessories-news/footwear/mizuno-taps-hajime-sorayama-second-sneaker-collaboration-1234904076/ | Mizuno Faucets Hajime Sorayama for Second Sneaker Collaboration – WWD


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