Luxury sneakers are nothing new, but would you splurge on your next pair of kicks from a liquor company? Bulleit Frontier Whiskey unveils the latest collaboration of its Frontier Works project this weekend, a 3D printed sneaker designed by Dallas artist Kyle Steed and manufactured by Tangible Creative. The limited-edition shoe will be available on Sneaker Politics for $250 starting Friday, October 25. The brand celebrates the launch with a series of parties at the Ervay Theatre this weekend, where Bulleit will be serving the world’s first 3D printed cocktails.
It’s not the first time the artist and the brand have partnered—they previously collaborated on a line for Noble Denim—but it is the first time that Steed has worked with 3D printing.
“When I was approached by Bulleit to work on this project, the initial thing that piqued my interest was really just their outside-of-the-box thinking, and I know that phrase is kind of cliché nowadays, but 3D printing shoes is something that I’ve never thought of, and I don’t think I’ve ever even seen before. So that was wild, and I was like, ‘Okay, you’ve got my attention,” Steed says.
The artist is known for his bold, abstract designs, as seen in murals across the city, and smaller scale artworks decorating trendy restaurants and hotels. For this project, he wanted the images on the shoe and the mural to convey a sense of creative community.
“You almost see it as a singular figure, a singular entity, and when you get up close, you start to see how it segments. I feel like that’s me trying to show this interconnection of things weaving together,” he says. “It’s not just one of us that makes things great, it’s a communal.”
The design of the shoe itself is rather simple, a white high-top sneaker without any bells or whistles. The focus is Steed’s colorful design, a patchwork of minimal shapes that recall hands and feet.
If you’re wondering about the practicality of 3D printed shoes, you’re not alone. The artist says he was skeptical about what the sneakers would feel like, but he was pleasantly surprised by the results–they feel like a normal shoe.
“I love challenges, and whether it’s murals and I’m getting up on the fifth floor of a building and looking down 70 feet below me, or you know, it’s scratching my head and thinking, ‘How are they actually going to 3D print the shoes you can wear, and how will my art live on that piece?’”
You can see the shoes and their accompanying mural at Ervay Theater this Thursday, Friday, and Saturday from 7-10 p.m. Kyle Steed will be creating the live mural on Thursday evening. DJ Christy Ray is spinning Friday and Yung Wave is spinning Saturday. RSVP here if you’d like to attend.