'If you ain't feeling grounded, you gotta wear better shoes.' Such is the mantra behind I Love Ugly's debut sneaker collaboration. Connecting with Onitsuka Tiger on duo of Colorado 85 Mt Samsaras, the New Zealand lifestyle label have used the opportunity to celebrate the beauty and majesty of their homeland – New Zealand. Like the country itself, this colab is split into two, representing the North and South islands respectively.
The first make-up, constructed from clean white tumbled leather and neutral grey suede, represents the vibrancy of the North Island. With the land home to areas of volcanic thermal activity, its fiery nature is referenced through blazing red speckle, insole and heel cross-stitch.
The contrasting second make-up transitions to the other end of the spectrum, with a black and grey colourway, representing the stunning rock formations of the South Island. Featuring black full-grain tumbled leather and grey suede heel cap, symbolic of the weathered rock southern landmarks, the make-up is complemented by hits of vibrant green, representative of the South's lush greenery.
For a sleek upper, the signature Tiger Stripes on both are depicted through pin-prick perforation. Both feature dual-branded insoles and the afformenti0ned mantra laser engraved on the medial sides of the colab.
The I Love Ugly x Onitsuka Tiger North-South Pack will exclusively launch at 7pm New Zealand local time on March 16 through I Love Ugly's store, followed by a release in I Love Ugly Flagship stores and US retailer UBIQ from March 17. A wider release will follow through select Onitsuka Tiger stockists on April 1.