It takes skill and taste for someone to take something as unanimously ugly—I'm not even going to bother sugar-coating this—as Crocs, and turn it into a design that's contemporary and at the same time, shifts one's perception of the item. Yes, I caved. The Salehe Bembury-designed Crocs are the only ones that deserve to be bought—at least, until another designer aesthetically reinvents it.
The American designer has quickly risen up the ranks as one of the footwear designers to watch. While Crocs may have afforded him global recognition, his career already includes time at Yeezy and Versace as well as partnerships with brands the likes of New Balance, Vans, and Clarks. Which is why when Moncler Genius announced its 2023 lineup during London Fashion Week earlier this year (although Bembury teased the partnership sometime in November 2022), this style director was especially elated.
Moncler x Salehe Bembury—also titled, 'Moncler ēquipements'—is a landmark collection for both Moncler and Bembury. Not only is the collection the first collaboration between the two, it is also Bembury's first foray into ready-to-wear. "'Moncler ēquipements' is an exploration of palette, shape, and utility. From extensive time spent in the wilderness, I have developed a deep appreciation for nature and the elements that come with it," Bembury says. The avid hiker opted for an outdoor-ready collection inspired by Moncler's mountaineering line from its '50s archive.
There's no doubt that Bembury definitely put his stamp throughout the collection. His signature 'grain' thumbprint has been reinterpreted as part of Moncler's quilting and are apparent on the collection's range of padded outerwear, vests and a number of lighter layers. It also makes its appearance on Bembury's known expertise: footwear. For Moncler x Salehe Bembury, the Trailgrip sneaker features the motif done in a combination of treatments and textures while retaining the sneaker's functionality.
The ready-to-wear is certainly not to be overlooked. Practical utilitarian elements form the foundation of the collection. Pockets are aplenty and water-resistant GORE-TEX INFINIUM™ add further versatility and comfort to parkas. Teddy fleeces, leggings, caps and beanies complete the entire assortment made for the intrepid outdoor adventurer.
The Moncler x Salehe Bembury collection is now available.