Salehe BEMBURY leaves Versace

The winner of the prestigious title « Footwear designer of the year » Salehe Bembury announces his departure from Versace. Since 2017, the New York designer had been vice president sneakers and footwear for the iconic Italian luxury brand. For 2021, he wants to take off and launch his own label, which will most certainly focus on elegant, innovative and functional designs.

Salehe Bembury’s collaborations with Boston-based NEW BALANCE and China’s ANTA label marked 2020 (articles available on this site). In addition to being well-engineered sneakers, they are also affordable, which is a nice gesture from a renowned designer. We can legitimately think that in 2021, Salehe Bembury will present us with strong creations, with eye-catching design, steeped in history and modernity.

Born and raised in Manhattan’s Tribeca neighborhood and with a degree in industrial design from Syracuse University, Salehe BEMBURY, began his career in the shoe industry by designing men’s and women’s models for Payless, an American discount shoe retailer. He says, « Looking back, it was very informative because Payless makes every type of shoe imaginable at a low price. » Salehe also worked at Cole Haan, and it was his manager who introduced him to the famous rapper-designer Kanye West. West was immediately taken with Salehe’s designs and hired him for his YEEZY brand. Salehe stayed there from the end of 2015 to mid 2016. We know what happened next : Vice President Sneakers and Footwear at the luxury house Versace, from 2017 to the end of 2020. During its 3 years, Salehe Bembury brought a new breath to the Italian brand’s shoe offers. He knew how to combine luxury and street, in a pure elegance. His most striking creations are the popular « Chain Reaction », the « Trigreca » that modernizes the Versace heritage, and the retro « SQUALO » paying tribute to Apple. Grateful for the place Donatella Versace gave him, Salehe said of her : « Donatella gave me a life-changing opportunity and she gave me a platform. Often, people who look like me are not placed in the same situation as me, do not get into this kind of position and I hope that role will be used as a vehicle for progress. » Pointing to racial discrimination in employment and in daily life in general, Salehe Bembury has already demonstrated her commitment to defending and ensuring equal rights and freedoms for all, through Instagram posts and peaceful actions of support, including many kilometers of cycling.

Salehe Bembury opens a new page by leaving Versace and launching its own brand. This lover of nature and wide open spaces, practices hiking almost daily. He loves climbing mountains, walking above the clouds and leaving the stress generated by our society below. Salehe Bembury meditates, observes, listens and reflects on new designs. He says he is « passionate about finding innovative solutions to real-world design problems » and believes that the functionality of clothing and footwear should not be a luxury but a right. His future brand therefore seems promising, perhaps close to sustainable development and hopefully accessible to all…

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