Creative director, designer and model DENG has become a force to be reckoned with — despite personal hardships. The Sudanese refugee was born in a western Ethiopian camp after his parents fled to seek sanctuary from the civil conflict. Since arriving to the U.S. in 2006, he has found solace in creative outlets. His fierce devotion to soccer, youth empowerment and philanthropy has lead to multiple initiatives that tap into his personal interests and experiences. In 2014, he launched the CULTURE CARTEL agency aiming to spread tolerance through storytelling and activations, and organized Pick Up With Deng (PUWD) in Atlanta to connect and nurture young athletes with an interest in soccer. He also started a clothing line, DENGHOUSE, which creates streetwear staples that pay homage to his passion for the sport. For his most recent venture, DENG released ‘No Agents‘ magazine which documents his compilation of work as a multi-hyphenate creative.
It’s evident in his impressive portfolio of projects that DENG is motivated by the things that are closest to him; a reverence for social change and a passion for soccer have lead him down a path of turning negative experiences into positive contributions. His journey is a true testament to using adversity as a motivator for embracing worthwhile causes. DENG is destined for greatness.
HYPEBEAST met up with DENG in Atlanta to hear him tell his story in his own words. Outfitted in Kenneth Cole’s Bailey Jogger, the brand’s sporty yet stylish lightweight shoe, the entrepreneur traverses around the city in the thoughtfully-engineered suede, leather and nylon sneaker.
Get a glimpse of DENG in his element in the video above. The Bailey Jogger sneaker is available now on Kenneth Cole’s website for $150 USD.