Allbirds Launches Artist Series with ‘Dopamine Dressing’ Designer – Sourcing Journal

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Allbirds‘ latest summer drop launches a new artist collaboration series putting a fashionable spin on one of the B Corp’s newest sneaker styles.

London fashion designer Olivia Rubin was called in to lend her design point of view to the first of three Allbirds artist collabs arriving on a monthly cadence. She reimagined the genderless Allbirds Riser sneaker using the pastel pink, green and blue townhouses of London’s Notting Hill as her inspiration.

Allbirds wanted to give the all-white silhouette a “joyful makeover,” playing into the dopamine dressing trend of mood-boosting fashion. The $140 Vietnam-made Riser sneaker features pops of violet, pink and mint leather and textile, as well as a multicolored natural rubber outsole. The shoe’s upper is made with organic cotton as well as ZQ-certified merino wool, while its ripstop tongue features pink Tencel Lyocell, and its midsole is made with Allbirds’ signature SweetFoam sugarcane-derived EVA.

The multi-material silhouette features pops of pastel colors.

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“I am beyond thrilled to be working on my first ever worldwide sneaker collaboration with Allbirds; a brand who I admire for both their sustainability values and their slick design vision,” said Rubin, who designs for men, women, kids and home. “It has been a dream to create a unisex sneaker in my signature pastel colors all made with natural fabrics. I cannot wait to wear them and see them enjoyed by customers all over the globe.”

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According to Allbirds director of concepts and surface design, Spencer Wyatt, “The Riser provided us with the perfect white canvas because of the multi-textured materials and components,” which allowed the collaborators “to apply Olivia’s color palette in a way that recreates her aesthetic.” 

“We see the Artist Series as an amazing opportunity to connect with and amplify the voices of creatives from all over the world, while also reaching new audiences that might not know Allbirds yet,” Ashley Comeaux, Allbirds vice president of product design told Sourcing Journal.

The style retails for $140 on Allbirds' e-commerce site and in select stores.

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“As a designer, I’ll say that there’s so much value in working alongside folks with different creative expressions, philosophies, and areas of expertise to push our design horizons,” she added. “And as we’re working towards a more sustainable future by minimizing waste and over-production on a global scale, we see collaborations and partnerships to share learnings as one key way to do that.”

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August 15 will see the debut of the Tree Flyer sneaker, reworked by China-born illustrator and Adidas collaborator Zipeng Zhu. The style will feature bold geometric designs and bright colors, as well as a smiley face motif meant to reference the artist’s celebration of Chinese-American and LGBTQ+ communities. Allbirds recruited French-Japanese artist Tiffany Bouelle, whose client list includes Gucci, for a Sept. 23 re-release of the Canvas Pacer sneaker, which she said was inspired by childhood coloring books using paint strokes and an earthy palette.

“Olivia Rubin, Zipeng Zhu and Tiffany Bouelle are each iconic and accomplished artists in their own right,” Comeaux said, noting that “each artist brought their unique creative expressions, approaches, and perspectives to the table, so each product is something truly singular.”

Rubin's aesthetic was inspired by the colorful facades of London's Notting Hill neighborhood.

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Comeaux said that Allbirds had connected with each of the artists previously through branded or industry events, noting “immediate synergies” in their approaches to design and philosophies surrounding sustainability. “Each shared our central belief that feel-good fashion can have a lighter environmental footprint, and the projects naturally took off from there,” she said. Consumers will “see each artist shine through these shoes,” she added.

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The limited-edition artist series styles will be available on the brands’ e-commerce site, as well as in select Allbirds stores. Rubin’s pastel Risers launched online Tuesday in women’s sizes, but Comeaux said all shoes in the series “are designed for everyone to enjoy.”



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