SYOU Makes Sneakers a Truly Global Affair
Chanel will always be French like Acne will be Swedish–but SYOU sneakers will be a product of wherever the brand’s in-logo ampersand, &, takes them. Currently, it’s Colombia, where a team of local artisans talents’ combined to create 5 totally unique pairs of kicks.
Each element of the shoe is part of a collage of Colombian talent: the insoles are inscribed by artist Juanita Olivera, graphic boxes were made by industrial designer Jose Argotty, prints by illustrator Santiago Oliveros, photography by student Diego Chavarro, a short film by Aeroesferas, and further brand imagery by Juan Diez, all of whom hail from Colombia.
Founders Merijn ten Thije, formerly of Nike, and Jaap Spoorenberg met while working for Red Bull in the Netherlands and decided to launch their brand. The project aims to spotlight global talent in a truly positive way: “SYOU also stands for ISEEYOU — representing the fact that we see talent all over the world,” they say. “We believe fashion, commercial success and sustainable production can work hand-in-hand. We pay honest prices for manufacturing and materials and, through our actions, we hope to stimulate the local economy. We pay every contributor fairly for their work and approach the entire value chain in an ethical way. It’s a true partnership — we call it co-design.”
Though they started in Burkina Faso and are now in Colombia, they see SYOU as limitless: “We are forever surprised and humbled by the depth and breadth of talent around the world and these are just the first steps on a worldwide expedition of discovery.”
It’s a pretty cool concept to not only become acquainted with–but wear art of the world–passport or not.
Image courtesy of SYOU