Byredo, Virgil Abloh‘s favorite fragrance brand, is moving from scents to sneakers. The brand’s first ever sneaker, the Byproduct by Byredo, was unveiled at Paris Fashion Week Men’s SS20 this week.
While the silhouette itself is pretty simple, each pair is pieced together from leftover leather used in the production of Byredo handbags, giving it a more elegant look and feel. The curved leather elements create a patchwork effect, with zigzag stitching and topstitch panels adding to that aesthetic. The upper of each Byproduct sneaker is unique and features a mix of suede and polished leathers.
“I referenced the first, the very traditional basketball shoes more as a foundation,” says Byredo founder Ben Gorham. “Then I used the leftover cuttings of our handbag productions to patchwork into an upper, and then molded an outer, and built a shoe that was classic but felt kind of fresh.”
As for Byredo’s shift from fragrances to homewares, accessories, and now sneakers, Gorham says, “It’s not traditional in terms of path in any way, but the brand has been around for 12 years. Every now and then, I’m able to express these very personal technical nostalgic ideas, and sneakers fit into that.”
Gorham also revealed that Helen Kirkum, a friend of his, helped create the sneaker’s deconstructed feel. “She’s really guided me through the project,” he says. “Helen has this ability to like step into a room with other creatives and really create magic.”
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