Rick Owens has long been known for his cutting-edge designs and flair for the unexpected, the designer has been inspiring individuality – sometimes, provocatively – since 1994. Similarly, Australian export VEJA prides itself on innovation and despite its inception in 2005, the sustainable sneaker brand has exploded, capturing the attention of sneaker heads and everyday people alike. Now, the pair have joined forces for luxury kicks that are kinder to the environment.
In 2017, Rick Owens contacted VEJA to spark a collaborative project. With the opportunity to learn of hero elements of each brand – for Owens it was a dive into sustainability, VEJA, an inspiring look into the mind of Owens. Two years later and combining the edgy assertiveness of Owens and new technologies from the VEJA Running project, the unlikely partnership have revealed a minimal yet just as radical running sneaker, simply titled ‘VEJA x Rick Owens’.
“I might have been part of a sneaker culture that developed into a consumer status story and felt that being more responsible was the way to move forward,” Rick Owens said. “I researched the most ecological sneaker brand I could find and ended up at VEJA. I certainly don’t have the authority to promote sustainability but that’s the message – we can all start somewhere. Thoughtfulness and consideration are values I want to endorse.”
The sole is 45 percent bio-based and composed of banana oil, sugar cane and rice husk. It is supplemented by an L-FOAM cushion made out of 50 percent Brazilian natural rubber. The 3D-knit (made from recycled plastic bottles) shapes the shoe to make it seamless and breathable.
As with Owen’s minimalistic design cues, the collaborative silhouette is available in butter-beige, black and exclusive “dust” grey. Owen’s branding can be found on the bicolour tone-on-tone “V”, the double bands and the back looped signed by VEJA. The collaboration is available now, here.