Bringing his simple surfer aesthetics and laidback California flair, legendary music producer Rick Rubin and Sanuk are set to release a capsule of beach-friendly slip-ons.
According to Deckers-owned Sanuk, Rubin is a long-time fan of the brand and has worn Sanuk shoes “almost exclusively” for more than a decade. Looking to put his own mark on the brand, Rubin agreed to work with Sanuk designer Casius Arno to design the collection. The pair worked toward that end for a period of three years before the footwear was finalized.
Called AUM, the collection plays off Sanuk’s classic Sidewalk Surfer style, infused with many of the same elements Rubin has become well known for in the music world over the years.
“Working with Rick gave me a glimpse into his creative process, as we stripped things back to their necessary parts in order to focus on what should truly be there,” Arno said of the collaboration. “His attention to detail and pursuit of simple, unique beauty led to the creation of a timeless style that can be enjoyed for years and years to come.”
The collection will feature materials and colors “reminiscent of Rubin’s zen-like, spiritual persona,” Sanuk said. This is most apparent in the 100 percent cotton uppers and recycled PLUSfoam midsoles. Faux crepe rubber outsoles put the cherry on top of a decidedly vegan shoe, available in two colorways: striped earth tones and off white. The collection was designed purposefully with the environment in mind, Sanuk said.
“I believe those that are in tune with nature tend to be the most consistent over time,” Rubin said in a statement. “The reason I initially started wearing Sanuk, in addition to the fact that they were comfortable, is because I was always looking for shoes that allowed me the most flexibility.”
“I wanted to be able to move my toes when the shoes were on and feel the same bendability I’d feel as if I was barefoot,” he added. “I feel with AUM, we have created something that accomplishes that.”
Rubin has been a featured producer for a number of popular music acts from Public Enemy and LL Cool J to Run DMC, the Beastie Boys, the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Johnny Cash.
The limited-edition vegan footwear collection launched exclusively on Sanuk’s website on Jan. 14 and retails for $70.