After crafting one of 2020’s most desirable collaborative sneakers and being named “Footwear Designer Of the Year,” Salehe Bembury is putting a cap on a wildly successful year by releasing two original silhouettes with ANTA: the SB-01 and SB-02. Bembury has kept both models in the spotlight over the past several months with an extensive seeding program, frequent teases of each pair on his now-famous daily hikes and even a fan art contest to win free pairs. Though the look of each may already be familiar due to these efforts, the silhouette’s “official” reveal pulls back the curtain on its tech and design inspirations.
Leading things off is the SB-01, a design crafted to be a “dual footwear experience.” The upper features a laceless knit base layer, ensconced in a neoprene and TPE shell that’s secured with a water-resistant zipper. Wearers have the option to either wear the shoe as a whole or just sport the inner unit for a more stripped-back look, a design feature that Bembury crafted to ensure the SB-01 was equally at home on the streets as it is on the trails.
“I challenged both ANTA and myself to create a successful sneaker for under $100 USD. Often sneakers that are below $100 USD look like it. Quality, design, and ‘cool’ are usually absent.” – Salehe Bembury
On the other end, the SB-02 — a low-top style that’s been spotted all over social media — is the result of Bembury and ANTA’s effort to create a desirable sneaker that retails for under $100 USD. Bembury puts it succinctly: “I challenged both ANTA and myself to create a successful sneaker for under $100 USD. Often sneakers that are below $100 USD look like it. Quality, design, and ‘cool’ are usually absent.” Neoprene, elastic knit and TPU meet on the layered upper, combining to create unique cut-out detailing. This is held together with a “beef roll” lacing system and sits above a chunky midsole that’s made specifically for the trail.
Though both shoes put forth a unique look and a veritable plethora of color options, each offers some technological similarities as well. The SB-01 and SB-02 both serve as launching points for ANTA’s new “Nest” cushioning tech, a latticed midsole inspired by bird’s nests Bembury spotted on his hikes. “I took a picture of a bird’s nest with a white egg peaking through the voids in the nest,” says the designer. “This juxtaposition of matter and color inspired the aesthetic of the technology.” There’s also an overall “oval” design ethos borrowed from ANTA’s existing Flash Foam tech present on both shoes. Bembury explains this by stating “Despite being given the opportunity to create product from scratch, I thought it was important for my design to fit within the ANTA aesthetic and ethos. The ovals served as a great vehicle to maintain this cohesion.”
An official release date has yet to be revealed, but interested parties can head to Bembury’s website to sign up for more information. The SB-01 is priced at $120 USD, and as mentioned above the SB-02 arrives at $90 USD.
Elsewhere in the world of footwear, check out HYPEBEAST’s Sole Mates — a weekly series that asks a simple-yet-complex question of its participants: “why do you love shoes?”