Sneakerheads, check out this collaboration between streetwear collective RTFKT and luxury car maker Lexus, a one-of-one shoe featuring design elements inspired by the IS 350 F Sport Dynamic Handling Package. From its athletic stance and slimmer headlights to its carbon fiber spoiler and bold colors, the IS drove the creative team to design RTFKT’s first pair of footwear inspired by and partly constructed from vehicle materials.
It’s a pretty crazy looking shoe (much like the Lexus IS), and I’d totally rock a pair if they made more than one of them. “We wanted to make sure when the audience looks at the sneaker they instantly know it is the IS,” said Chris Le, creative director and co-founder of RTFKT. “All the intricate design elements come together, and at a first glance it’s a neckbreaker,” added Steven Zaptio, CEO and co-founder of RTFKT.
The RTFKT team first selected a base with a sole closely resembling a tire for their custom silhouette. Features on the front are shaped like the vehicle’s signature spindle grille, with 3D printed material imitating the carbon fiber spoiler of the car. The sides of the sneaker feature Black NuLuxe with light gray stitching from the seats, with a middle silver stripe inspired by the details of the headlights. The team added an F SPORT branded tag on the side and a Lexus badge covering the top Velcro strap. Lastly, they selected a vibrant blue hue for the sneaker that most closely resembles Grecian Water, a new color for Lexus in 2021.
RTFKT and Complex documented the sneaker creation process in “Rubber & Sole,” a 3-part video series now live on Complex.com. In the first episode the team is challenged to create a bespoke shoe inspired by the 2021 Lexus IS. Zaptio and Le take notes, from its newly designed spindle grill down to its NuLuxe interior, using the vehicle as their muse. The second video shows the ideation of the sneaker, from sketching to prototyping and materials sourcing. The third episode showcases the final details of the sneaker and explains how it is derived.
The collaboration between RTFKT and Lexus is part of the “All In” campaign for the new 2021 Lexus IS, where the automaker celebrates those who fully embrace their passions, while showcasing its own obsession: an unapologetically pure sport sedan.
“Steven and Chris delivered a head-turning sneaker that unmistakably mirrors the bold design and impressive performance of the IS. RTFKT put the same passion into developing this one-of-a-kind shoe that we did in developing the new 2021 Lexus IS,” said Vinay Shahani, VP of Lexus marketing.
Lexus really should look into doing a limited run of these shoes, as I am sure Lexus IS owners would pay a pretty penny to get their hands on a pair of these.. especially if their car is painted in Grecian Water!
Photo credit: Complex