Éxplorism aims to take make the ordinary extraordinary. The new brand, founded by Jeremie Lahmi, elevates staple streetwear items by applying techniques typically saved for luxury goods.
The direct-to-consumer brand launched last month, enlisting artisans from a New York City-based footwear workshop to patina all-white Adidas Stan Smith sneakers.
The process consists of applying a navy or brown base before hand-massaging the dye into the sneakers. The shoes absorb the dye in a temperate environment and then craftsmen burnish the shoes to create a brushstroke effect. “[Patina] is a very complex process. You have to rub off the leather for hours,” said Lahmi.
Through Éxplorism, French-born Lahmi says he wants to create a hybrid market by combining craftmanship and fast fashion products. “Not everybody can buy a $2,500 pair of shoes,” he quipped.
The brand is accepting orders for navy styles now through its website and it will roll out a brown version in June. The wait time for sneakers is approximately two weeks. The limited-edition Éxplorism Stan Smith sneakers, which originally retail for $60 on adidas.com, sell for the luxury price of $380.
Lahmi plans to debut “millennial” pink, burgundy and black Stan Smith sneakers later this year and he says he is exploring unique retail opportunities that resonate with streetwear and luxury consumers. His vision extends beyond footwear. Lahmi wants to update Jansport backpacks with Italian leather in the future.