Salehe Bembury designed shoes at Payless and in Cole Haan where he served on the innovation team and created the LunarGrand silhouette. He Started at Yeezy in 2015, he designed luxury streetwear-style sneakers in the brand’s season 3 and 4 projects. In September 2017, Bembury got his position as head of sneaker design at Versace by direct messaging his future supervisor via LinkedIn.In 2020, Bembury became vice president of sneakers and men’s footwear at Versace. He also designs independently.
As of 2021 Salehe is working as an independent agent as he gears up on building his own Brand Spunge!
Here is a look at some of his most iconic collabs to date:
The work Bembury did for Pyer Moss was a perfect example of how footwear can be much more than a material thing that gets us from A to B.
2.Yeezy Season 3 and 4
“I was reached out to by Yeezy in 2015 and they asked that I send over my portfolio,” recalled Bembury. After a few months of back-and-forth with the team, they eventually hired him as a men’s footwear designer and he moved out to California. “I’m a native New Yorker and I really thought I’d never leave,” he said. “But this was definitely the kind of opportunity to encourage a change. It was a career milestone.”
He was a part of the men’s footwear task force for Yeezy Season 3 and Season 4. Of course, he can’t say much about the behind-the-scenes process, but he was there to “help realize Kanye’s ideas,” including military boots made in Italy, which are are supposedly set to drop soon.
3. Cole Haan
Bembury got his big break at Cole Haan, where he was hired in 2011 to be a part of the “Innovation” team. It was there that he had a hand in creating The LunarGrand, which was arguably a major turning point in the history of men’s footwear, whether you’d wear it or not. The LunarGrand takes the traditional men’s dress shoe and adds a colorful, comfortable, and modern sole — making the statement that there is no standard anymore when it comes to what men can and can’t wear to work.
Chain Reaction. The sole was pulled from a 3D scan of a Cuban-link chain; design elements like animal print and gold filigree were pillaged, seemingly, from the Versace mansion. The shoe encapsulates Bembury’s design philosophy: “I needed to create the perfect balance of polarizing and familiar.” For the familiar, Bembury reached for the lace cage popularized by the Adidas Ultra Boost and a rubber-toe detail borrowed from another company’s “top-selling model,” as Bembury cautiously puts it. The chunked-up sole was the polarizing ingredient—but also one that led to a partnership with 2 Chainz.
5. New Balance
New Balance 2002R
The Havasu Falls-inspired “Water Be the Guide” colorway features bright and vivid hues of green mixed with earth tones — reflecting bodies of water in nature and the surrounding natural elements like earth and moss. From the detailed images, we now get a better look at the coral and emerald greens that are split between the hairy and premium suede, and leather overlays. Salmon appears in the mesh underlays while orange is found on the midsole in a speckled pattern. Finishing off the shoe is neon green on the Stability Web TPU shank, the NERGY foam midsole, and on the outline of the “N” logo. There are also leather accents on the tongue and collar.
The collaborative Crocs feature a complete redesign with grooved fingerprint-inspired patterns wrapping around the entire silhouette, translucent outsole grips, and a reworked heel system with metal buckles and velcro nylon straps. The new images show the in-soles for the first time which incorporate co-branding and an arrangement of beaded lines.
A limited-edition collection featuring a reimagined version of the Lexus logo emblazoned with Bembury’s signature fingerprint motif.
Bembury is ramping up his own brand, which he’s calling Spunge. The new imprint will allow him to continue collaborating on sneakers but also transcend that world.