John Legend designs shoe collection for Sperry – The Hollywood Reporter

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EGOT musician and activist John Legend is now officially a shoe designer. The voice coach and his longtime stylist Dave Thomas teamed up with Sperry on a collection of men’s footwear, which landed on September 20 and at Nordstrom online and in select stores.

Legend and Thomas have reinvented three of the brand’s traditional nautical shoe silhouettes, infusing the singer’s musical influence and personal style as well as his penchant for comfort and luxurious materials such as suede, leather and leather. lamb as soft as butter. The result: Sperry’s signature suede boat shoes available in baby blue, elephant gray, beige and salmon pink; 10 eyelet leather boots with a studded sole available in black and brown; and the seven-eyelet Commodore boot inspired by the brand’s best-selling chukka and available in white, brown and beige leather.

Priced at $ 120 to $ 250, the shoes feature Vibram soles and Sperry’s lightweight Plushwave midsole and outsole, along with graphics from Legend’s music career (think a keyboard print on the sockliner’s insole). ‘one pair and quotes from the musician on the language of another). The collection marks the continuation of Legend’s collaboration with Sperry, for which he previously curated a selection of styles.

John Legend attends the Sperry x John Legend Collection launch at Nordstrom at the Grove on September 20, 2021 in Los Angeles.
Courtesy Stefanie Keenan / Getty Images for Sperry

“I’ve always liked a preppy style; when I was in high school it was a thing to do, wear the Sperrys and the Eastlands and even though I wasn’t part of a preppy environment, ”said Legend, from Ohio. Hollywood journalist yesterday during an appearance at Nordstrom at The Grove in Los Angeles, where he met fans who pre-ordered shoes from the collection. “It was something we would wear and it was a bit ambitious. I think Sperry has always been that kind of a brand, a hobby brand, an ambitious brand. I wanted to honor this tradition, but also to introduce new ideas. “

As for the design process, the 42-year-old star explains that he and Thomas started out by “understanding [Sperry’s] the legacy and all the things that they’ve done over the years, and trying to figure out how to layer and intersect my sensibilities and my brand with theirs. And so that was the process. We just said, “Here are a few things we love about Sperry, here is how to combine them with my sensibility and my style, here are some things from my wardrobe and things that I would wear.” [The goal was] How do we bring this together into a cohesive collection and who I am, while respecting and furthering the Sperry tradition? “

Sperry x John Legend Authentic Original Vibram Lug Boot in Black

Buy Sperry x John Legend Authentic Original Vibrum Lug Boot: $ 250 at Nordstrom and Sperry

Among the fashion mashups that Legend and Thomas presented to Sperry was the Authentic Original Vibrum Lug Boot, a “high boot that [Sperry has] never really did anything like before. This is something that I have worn from other brands over the years and we thought it would be cool. It was urban, it was really bold and different for Sperry, and a good fusion of my sensibility with theirs. You see some elements of a moccasin’s heritage, but it still has that kind of bolder construction. It was kind of the process for everything; finding ways to introduce new elements, to bring my sensitivity closer to theirs and to create something new for them, ”says Legend.

Before his encounter with the Nordstrom, Legend sat down with THR to discuss the final season of NBC The voice (which premiered on September 20), its latest social justice initiatives and more. Shop the collection online at Sperry and Nordstrom, and read on below to learn more about the conversation.

The 21st season of The voice firsts with your new colleague trainer Ariana Grande, with whom you also sang the The beauty and the Beast. What was it like working with her on the show?

It’s me, Kelly [Clarkson] and Blake [Shelton]; we’ve been there for a long time together and this is my sixth season with them. Blake has been there from the start, then Ariana is brand new and she’s a fan of the show. I don’t know if we’ve ever had an artist so high at the peak of her career and so relevant and exciting to our show. She is one of the most talented artists in the world right now and one of the most successful artists in the world. Having her on our show is such a big thing for us.

We can’t wait to see the coach’s first performance with you, Ariana, Blake and Kelly to open the season as well.

We made a mashup of [the 1966 Sam & Dave hit] “Wait, I’m coming” and [Aretha Franklin’s] “Respect” is gonna be so much fun. All three are just amazing talents in their own right. They sort of come from different places in the musical galaxy. But everyone is so good at what they do and for us to be able to sing together is one of the perks of the job.

It’s nice to finally get out of the house, isn’t it? I know we’re still in the pandemic, but how has your own style changed during lockdowns?

I was on so many Zooms! Some people were like, “You know, you have to zoom in,” but for me, I was like, “My shirt is going to be my thing. So I had a lot of shirts printed during the pandemic. I think I embraced these types of shirts more with the camp collar. I hadn’t done much before the pandemic.

It’s a big change from all the sweatpants, and we also love the way you paired the salmon shoes with your pink suit.

Thank you! And yes, everyone is eager to get out of the house and get on with things!

Sperry x John Legend Signature Boat Loafers in Salmon

Buy the Sperry x John Legend Signature Boat Shoe: $ 120 at Nordstrom and Sperry

I know we’re here to talk about shoes, but your activism is, for lack of a better term, all of you. Guess that’s why Sperry wanted to work with you too.

Yeah, all the brands that work with me know who I am, they know I’m going to tweet about closing Rikers as much as I’m going to tweet about shoes, music, and whatever else I do. I think brands these days, I think there was a time when brands were a little more afraid to work with artists who had a voice on politics, on things that could be considered controversial.

But I think our audience and our fans want the artists to be authentic, they want the artists to tell the truth. Even in the shoes the quote we have inside the tongue of the shoe speaks of authenticity and being yourself. I think Sperry respects that about me and they know I’m telling my truth, and I’m passing it on to my fans. And I think it makes it more authentic when you connect with a brand because people understand that you are doing it from an authentic place.

One of the things you recently talked about is the right to vote, which is a priority right now given the efforts to get the free vote law passed. What do you think of the reasons why it is important to support this?

I think it’s so fundamental to who we are as a nation. I feel like we will be stronger, we will be freer, we will be fairer and more equitable as a nation if everyone has a voice in what is going on. The more we can include people, the more we can give them a voice, give them the opportunity to vote and not put all these artificial barriers in the way. We will be stronger. We are better when everyone is better. It means a more inclusive democracy and a more inclusive economy. Voting will not solve all of this, but voting is certainly a key part of it, making everyone’s voice heard. And make sure the voter voice dominates over people with a lot of money and all that stuff.

Speaking of which, what are the upcoming initiatives that you are excited about?

We do so much with FreeAmerica, we stand up for the right of people to vote across the country, whether they are people convicted of felons or other issues that prevent trying to fight all efforts to suppress the vote. And fight against all the efforts that make it more difficult for people to vote.

We work in collaboration with many organizations across the country. And then we announced yesterday the beginnings of a new organization, a new initiative called Human Level, which is not about voting, but which aims to ensure that our local governments are more inclusive and more focused on fairness so that all systems within the city is thinking about how we can include people, be more equitable and ensure that resources are distributed in a really fair way. And that we reverse some of the systemic racism that we have seen over the years.

So Human Level is working with this organization called Fuse Corps to put members in municipal governments across the country focused on equity and so we announced it on MSNBC, and we’re going to roll out more content that educates people on what. we do .

Back to fashion. How do you expect others to feel when they put themselves in your shoes?

Well, the shoes are really comfortable, first of all! You feel like you’re not wearing anything. I think they make every outfit a little more beautiful. And that’s what you want the shoes to do is be the icing on the cake for your outfit and put it all together and look good. This is what I wanted these shoes to do, and I think they do.

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