Scottish whisky distillery Glenfiddich has teamed up with Melbourne artist Chase Shiel to make a pair of sneakers to match their new smooth single-malt matured for 23 years, the Grand Cru.
23 pairs of the shoes will be made and are set to cost $1650 and will come with a bottle of Grand Cru and two crystal coupette glasses.
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From AFR 20.09.21
The limited-edition footwear comes in the same black and gold palette used for the Cru packaging, with details inspired by the experience of drinking the whisky – the look, the aromas, the flavours, the mouth feel.
Aged diesel leather accents on the toe bumper, eyelet panels, wings and heel along with rich nubuck provide the unique aromatic signature that only comes from high-grade leathers, reminiscent of the whisky flavour experience. Gold stitching, including the Glenfiddich stag, finishes the concept with panache.
“The design was all about complementing the Grand Cru,” explains Shiel, who had been customising sneakers for over a decade before formalising his training at RMIT. After graduating, he ventured into more traditional men’s footwear before realising his true passion was deconstructing and reconstructing sneakers to create wearable art.
Glenfiddich presented a unique challenge, he says. “It was essential to keep the black and gold colours and incorporate particular bottle and packaging design aspects. I had actually finished constructing the upper, but I was missing that final spark. That’s where the mid-sections explosion was added – 15,000 embroidered gold stitches. When that was finalised, and I could see the result, it really was a celebration.”
Whisky connoisseurs might sniff at the idea of pairing a single malt with streetwear, but Ross Blainey, Glenfiddich brand ambassador for Australia and New Zealand, says the collaboration is based on the simplest of principles – desire.
“Whisky and sneakers start off being created with a true function and purpose,” he says. “You wear sneakers, and you drink whisky.
“As a lover of both [whisky and sneakers], I know that can be a tough decision.”
The Glenfiddich x Shiel sneakers, priced at $1650 and available only through the distiller’s Australian Instagram page, come with a bottle of Grand Cru and two crystal coupette glasses. All proceeds will be donated to a charity of Shiel’s choice.
And if you’re not quick enough to grab one of the 23 pairs, you can always commission Shiel to create a customised pair for the “Grand Cru Experience” in your own life.