Salehe Bembury Details Why He Passed on Nike

Salehe Bembury is undoubtedly one of the industry’s top creatives of the moment. From his Crocs Pollex Clog to his New Balance 574 Yurt, he’s taken collaborations to the next game.

In his latest interview with Fast Company, Bembury details how, at a certain point in his career, he was given the opportunity to work with Nike’s Innovation Kitchen, the design lab run by Tinker Hatfield.

Bembury mentions that after he visited the space, he framed his visitor pass. ‘I framed it in the most obnoxious, ornate gold frame,’ Bembury said. ‘When I sent it in to get framed, that represented the day that I accomplished the thing I most wanted in my entire life. But then, seven weeks later, when I got it back? It represented the day that I accomplished the thing I’ve wanted my entire life that I didn’t take—which almost made [the pass] that much more powerful.’

As per the publication – and as the releases reveal – Bembury felt that partnering with New Balance was a better option in enabling him to ‘preserve his rare role as an auteur in shoe design’.

‘If anyone ever told me that Nike would offer me attractive keys at 36 years of age and I would tell them no, I would put all my money on the fact that I would say yes. It just shows you that growth is real, and you can gain perspective.’

According to the source, Bembury has partnered with Moncler, with the collaboration set to drop next year.

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