We’ve seen this move before: the long-running footwear brand installs next-wave and demand-producing designers under its leadership. Last year, Pierre Moss designer Karbi Jean-Raymond was appointed Reebok’s global creative director. Earlier this year, New Balance Imeo named Teddy Santis of Leon Door as the creative director. Now, Essex has announced that awake NY designer Angelo Buck has been tapped for a one-of-a-kind creative accommodation, which will lead all sorts of collaborative projects starting later this year and beyond.
His associates are all favorite street-wearing personalities – names that may not be familiar to the average lover sneakerhead yet, but influential people with distinct perspectives. These include two designers Denim Tears’ Tremain Emory and Sponto of Bourne X Rised photogra with favorite vintage shop prosel photographers Renel Medrano and Jess Gonsalves. Interestingly, two of the collaborators are not designers of their own street clothing brand, but general suspects for the footwear collaboration. This is a sign that both Buck and Aussies know that the future of sneakers lies not only among designers but also in various movers and shakes under the broad umbrella of street culture.
Called “The Essex Collective,” the project represents a different approach than Nike’s, with a seemingly endless coupe of fashion-first creative directors and designers tapping into it. (Meanwhile, Adidas is in favor of high-wattage celebrities: just look at her partnership with Farrell and Jonah Hill.) For notable sneaker labels.
So far, the designer’s track record speaks for itself: starting with the favorite suburban boutique-to-label name De Guerre before the brand became famous in the mainstream because of the skyrocketing mainstream. Since then, he has transformed the silently awakened NYK from a project to a former Supreme Employee to a brand that stands firmly on its own. Baque knows how to connect the dots and create projects that will increase demand; While awake, he has collaborated with Timberland, New Era, Merrell, and countless others – and of course Aussies. Only time will tell whether The Assassin can create the same hype or frenzy of Collective Soush or Three Stripe. Until then, the idea makes the brand instantly more relevant in today’s collab-driven sneaker environment.