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Anderson Bluu shares his newest Footlocker Collaboraid sneaker



Anderson Bluu Footlocker Collaboraid sneakers

Anderson Bluu; Footlocker

In a year marked by uncertainty and the global fashion industry is going through its own big changes, sneaker collaborations remain one of the few reliable constants with so many new releases happening all the time that it is difficult to keep up. And sometimes these new collaborations show the work of unexpected, talented artists like Anderson Bluu, who collaborated with Foot Locker on his latest sneaker-for-a-cause initiative.

Anderson Bluu is a self-taught graphic designer and illustrator whose graphic prints combine elements of basketball, sneakers, and pop culture. After working with a number of brands – his partnership with Asics last year was one of the most successful ever – the Long Island-based artist has teamed up with Foot Locker for his most personal collection to date.

The collaboration is the latest in the retailer’s ongoing Collaboraid collection, which includes a range of new shoe designs from well-known artists and designers. Others who have worked with the brand include A $ AP Ferg, Chinatown Market, PJ Tucker, and Sophia Chang. Each release is a response to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and benefits youth in the hardest-hit regions.

The new lemonade The sneaker that hits the market today is inspired by Anderson’s childhood summers on Long Island. “lemonade pays homage to the summers of my childhood: family barbecues, endless barbecues and homemade lemonade, ”he said in a statement. “These sneakers are inspired by teenage summer days and are reminiscent of the many lemonade stands I built to finance my love for sneakers.”

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The design literally refers to its inspiration. For the collaboration, Anderson updated the classic Converse All Star shoe with an all-over cartoon lemon print and a patch that reads “The Sweetest Shoes on Earth”. Each shoe is even wrapped in a mesh fruit bag to really bring the theme home. The Foot Locker website has fewer than 200 pairs produced and sold, which is an exclusive item and a novelty that will undoubtedly increase over time.

“When it came to the opportunity, I saw it as a great time going back to my childhood trying to make money on sneakers,” he says. “Now I am actually a designer able to make sneakers based on my childhood.” It’s a true moment for the designer who opened a clothing store nearly a decade ago before a sports injury – he tore his patellar tendon, aka “the thing that keeps your knee in place” – and inspired him to do so to be fully committed to pursuing graphic design. His sneaker-inspired work was quickly noticed by Hypebeast, which she shared on Instagram, and soon his own following began to grow. But the rapid success from self-taught hobby to large fan base was unparalleled. “[Once] I saw there was interest and said, “You know what? I’ll do it for a year and see what happens.” That’s how it all started. “

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It wasn’t long before the sneaker brands he was looking for started asking for a collaboration.

In recent years, sneakers and the larger streetwear scene have exploded into the mainstream and beyond. Great designers like Louis Vuitton and Dior Men have launched their own line of sneakers and often teamed up with emerging artists to incorporate authentic perspectives into their work. After witnessing this trend development in recent years, Anderson has grappled with the newfound popularity of sneaker culture and moved beyond the edge of the mainstream.

“At first I was amazed,” he admits. “But after seeing the younger audience navigate it, I think it’s a good thing.” He explains how there used to be an element of exclusivity for those on the scene – you either got it or you didn’t. However, the expanded amount of resources for younger generations to learn about and immerse themselves in the culture has created more opportunities for those looking to get into the business.

His work continues to reflect the media that influenced him in his childhood – he quotes Looney Tunes and Disney as two main factors that continue to shape his graphic style. There is a playful and nostalgic element in his work that is refreshing to see today. Anderson believes it is his responsibility to make his audience feel normal.

It’s a dream of being from a sneakerhead and selling lemonade to support your habit all the way through to designing a limited edition sneaker collection. And for an industry that does not have a specific business model, it is a real success story. “Anyone who loves sneakers would love to design, but unless you work for one of the bigger companies it almost feels like it is impossible to achieve,” he says. “That was one of the biggest hurdles for me. I’m just trying to figure out how to go from scratch to being a respected artist. “

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Anderson is not losing this newfound platform – he recognizes his place in culture and his position as a black artist in a competitive industry. “There aren’t a lot of black artists, period. I think that has to do with the children too. And I think it’s important that people see different demographics. “His journey was by no means conventional or easy. But the build makes Anderson’s deserved success all the sweeter.

“This stuff didn’t happen overnight – it was 12 years of just figuring it out,” he says. “I’m just happy to work with some of the best in the game and to do it for a good cause right now.”

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