When rapper/fledgling designer Kanye West tried his hand at luxury footwear in 2011, the results were, needless to say, unique. Though ostensibly part of a Spring/Summer showing, his Giuseppe Zanotti footwear collaboration proudly ignored all seasonal decorum, resulting in a strange woolly, pearl-encrusted sandal boot that cost $5,800. They were a novelty hit: Colette stocked them, but they were more popular as a joke meme than a feasible clothing option.
Luckily, West took a more sophisticated and minimal approach when he guest designed directional strappy heels for promising young Australian designer Dion Lee’s Fall 2012 collection. Apparently, Lee was pleased with the partnership, too, as he’s invited West back to design Resort 2013’s shoes, which are a slightly more streamlined, warm-weather friendly version of what we liked about Fall’s offerings.
Though Lee attracts a fierce loyal following – especially in Sydney, where he presented his collections until last season’s commercial upgrade to London – he kept his collaboration with West low-key, explaining to Fashionista, “I didn’t want to make a big deal out of it.” After all, his collections deserve accolades on their own artistic merits – no celebrity aid needed.
Sadly, while West’s pointy heels for Lee are a hit with the press, they won’t be found in stores. “There’s no current intention to sell them. It was just a collaboration that came about really naturally,” Lee said, adding that “we haven’t talked about doing shoes ongoing.” Here’s to hoping sleek minimalism finds its way into the direction of West’s own future collections. Of course, there’s always the Air Weezy 2’s to enjoy in the mean time.