Wunderkind alert: 18-year-old Philéo Landowski, a former intern at Celine, just launched his own vegan sneaker brand. Comme des Garçons in Paris is stocking the collection, named Philéo.
Dover Street Market will also sell the new designs in-store and online beginning September 21, in London and New York.
Available in six different colors, the new gender-neutral sneakers are canvas-based. They feature thick, chunky soles, but the look is still “neat and surprisingly ergonomic,” notes Footwear News.
As the great-grandson of Paul Landowski, the designer behind Rio de Janeiro’s Christ the Redeemer statue, creative design runs in Landowski’s veins. He was just 15-years-old when he first started interning at Celine.
Now that he’s designing his own sneakers, Landowski looks to another of his passions for inspiration: music. The new range was influenced by electronic body music (EBM) and techno.
The designer, who also likes to DJ and produce, told Footwear News: “Music can bring so much emotion to everything. I think every designer needs to hear music to create.” He added: “It needs to be loud.”
In the vegan shoe itself, the EBM influence can be seen in the use of Satellite pleather material. Landowski chose it because it’s shiny and reflective, reminiscent of strobe lighting in dance clubs.
Available in sizes 36 to 44 (U.S. 6-11), the new Philéo sneakers retail between $325 and £350.
Vegan Sneakers are Here to Stay
By omitting animal-based materials from his new range, Landowski joins a number of brands and designers who have created vegan sneaker lines. In July, 22-year-old activist, actor, and musician Jaden Smith teamed up with New Balance to launch the vegan-friendly NB for Jaden Smith Vision Racer.
In January and February, Balenciaga and Nike launched new vegan sneakers respectively. Materials for the latter’s Space Hippie line included recycled plastic water bottles, t-shirts, and yarn scraps.
Nike’s vice president of sustainable innovation Seana Hannah said at the time: “We believe the future for product will be circular. We must think about the entire process: how we design it, how we make it, how we use it, how we reuse it, and how we cut out waste at every step.”
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