1. André 3000 + Tretorn
OutKast artist turned designer amps up Tretorn’s classic kicks
Rapper André 3000 has long been considered a style icon for his bold wardrobe and over-the-top accessorizing, so it’s no wonder his collaboration with iconic Swedish lifestyle brand Tretorn is one of the most anticipated sneaker releases of the year. André Benjamin, who wore classic Tretorn Nylites as a kid growing up in Atlanta, has also been noted for his talent as an artist, illustrating jewel case inserts for OutKast CDs.
For the sneaker collection, Benjamin drew inspiration from his own whimsical grade-school drawings. “Growing up, we’d all put our personal stamp onto the blank canvas of the Nylite, and I’d sketch out my own designs,” says the Grammy Award-winning artist. “This collaboration was fun because it brought me back to that place of personalizing the original designs.”
Using the classic base and preppy block sole, Benjamin’s capsule collection of 10 designs—entitled “I, André Benjamin, Will Not Draw in Class”—includes a rugby-esque yellow-and-black-striped look and a white-and-red candy cane limited edition. Each box features André’s hand-drawn ant logo.
The first pair was released in November, and next month, the capsule adds streamlined all-black and all-white leather sneakers, a Superman-colored palette, and open-toed slides with colorful gullwing graphics. From $85 to $250, available at Wish in Atlanta and tretorn.com
2. Reebok x Future
Atlanta rapper Future reveals the Furykaze
The Reebok x Future sneaker collaboration, which dropped with a release party last fall at Jeffrey Atlanta, includes the Furykaze: a hybrid design of Future’s favorite kicks, with the height and front circle of the Reebok InstaPump Fury and the graphic quality of the Reebok Kamikaze II. The Atlanta born and bred rapper took inspiration from his astrological sign—Scorpio—to amplify these Reebok favorites with exaggerated arthropod-like laces and furry suede triangular patches in sandstone. $250, available at Jeffrey Atlanta and reebok.com
3. Adidas Speedfactory
The new Adidas Speedfactory blazes a trail in Atlanta
From concept to completion, the average Adidas running shoe can take nearly two years to produce. But thanks to the new Adidas “Speedfactory” in Cherokee County, a slick pair of kicks can be manufactured in just hours. The futuristic facility, which is robot-driven for accelerated production, is only the second of its kind (the first opened in Germany last year). By winter 2018, the factory will employ around 160 people engineering styles customized for the U.S. consumer. Localized manufacturing also keeps costs down versus shoes transported from Asia. “We’re fueling design at the ground level of creativity in Brooklyn and reinventing manufacturing with the first Adidas Speedfactory in Atlanta,” says Adidas group executive board member Eric Liedtke of the push for production in the U.S. “This allows us to make products for the consumer, with the consumer, where the consumer lives, in real time.”
This article originally appeared in our February 2018 issue.