For Kendrick Lamar, fashion and lifestyle are synonymous. “When we are talking about lifestyle, we are talking about real lives, actual people,” he explains.
With this focus, Lamar sees great value in bringing a real grounding to his Nike output, holding up “creativity as the only goal.” That’s apparent in the fourth Nike Cortez Kenny, which takes the Cortez’s classic lines and applies a simplicity and convenience of use from an Angelino staple: the house shoe.
“House shoes have always been part of LA culture,” says Lamar. His intent with the Kenny IV was to retain the ease and comfort of the slipper, but also allow people to still feel sleek. “The shoe is all about being able to get up and just go out in style.”
In that vein, Lamar believes the shoe successfully attaches personal thought to classic, vintage style. What’s more, it synthesizes the values of Lamar’s home community in an unbounded way. Lamar notes that, in the shoe’s making, he was fascinated by all the possible color palettes and the many ways you can give a shoe character.
This experience provided Lamar more insight on the process of designing and stoked his individual love for Nike anew. "To actually sit in the room with people just as passionate as I am about creating, lets me know that Nike has always had a driven purpose," he says.
Having touched digital commerce with a first-of-its-kind in arena SNKRS drop and pop-up experiences, Lamar's collaborative efforts with Nike extend well beyond the Cortez silhouette. This underscores his desire to connect with community — both physically and emotionally — by never forgetting the human element.
"With ideas being open and honest, our possibility has no boundaries," Lamar says of his future with Nike.
The Nike Cortez Kenny IV “House Shoe” releases October 14.