“Three years ago, that wasn’t happening,” Kevin Trotman, an associate product manager of global collaborations at New Balance, said in an interview. “It just speaks volumes to Salehe and our other partners — people are very excited about it because they trust him. He’s proven himself to the point where it’s like, OK, this is going to be fire, whatever it is.”
His first collaboration with New Balance was a bright, burnt orange furry sneaker he called “Peace Be the Journey.” This year’s collaboration was a lime green, cerulean blue and tan leather pair that he named “Water Be the Guide.”
And he has another highly anticipated shoe release in December — a collaboration with Crocs. His design is a significant departure for the brand: Lines, not holes, flow in a wavy pattern and wrap around the design.
“The fingerprint is my brand identity,” Mr. Bembury said. “It relates very closely with wood grain, which I love, and it speaks to the organic lines of a fingerprint.”
He is the first designer to completely reconfigure the style of Crocs. In July, when Mr. Bembury shared the design on social media, the photo was reshared by sneaker-head news sites like Complex and his post swiftly racked up more than 70,000 likes.
While several celebrities, including Justin Bieber, Bad Bunny and Saweetie, have designed Jibbitz to be plugged into the holes of Crocs, Mr. Bembury created a new mold that included a heel capture fastened with a strap, for the first time. The new iteration, called the Pollex, comes in three muted tones: spackle, a plaster-like shade; menemsha, which resembles cafe con leche; and cucumber, a deep olive.