Shami teamed up with co-founder and executive designer Joan Orozco to launch CHI Footwear. Centered on “technology, comfort and style,” the brand’s new shoe collection employs graphene technology to create a cleaner and sturdier shoe.
“Product innovation is a priority and driving force,” Shami said in a statement. “We believe these cutting-edge shoes will have an impact in the footwear industry.”
According to Farouk Systems, the new 15-piece sneaker collection’s graphene-based design “protects consumers from a host of foot problems including bacteria, poor circulation, sweat, odor and foot fatigue.”
“Given the rapidly evolving coronavirus crisis, we learned we could start making changes by protecting our feet,” Cindy Orozco, CHI Footwear sales director, said in a statement. “We focused on the health and safety of our customers during this uncertain time.”
Graphene is a razor-thin honeycomb sheet of carbon atoms that is 200 times stronger than steel, but extremely lightweight, the company said. Built into the CHI Footwear Graphene collection, the material makes the line’s shoes stronger, more flexible and harder wearing than the average pair of casual wear sneakers, Farouk Systems claimed.
Other materials include phantom microfiber, cow leather, premium foam, cowhide, graphene antibacterial fabric, and elastic rubber.
The CHI Footwear Graphene Collection comes in a variety of color combinations with many of the designs inspired by the Eye of Horus, an ancient Egyptian symbol of protection and good health. Women’s and men’s lines retail for $259 and $269, respectively.
In addition to the graphene collection, CHI Footwear also sells a selection of sandals, mules and slippers.
As the pandemic brings attention to health and safety, companies have increasingly turned to antibacterial and antimicrobial textile treatments as a means to differentiate themselves from the competition.
Earlier this fall, Cone Denim teamed up with antimicrobial specialist Noble Biomaterials to launch the Self-Clean Jean, which it said harnesses the power of positive ions embedded in yarn fibers to inhibit the growth of bacteria and microbes on the surface of fabric. The performance is said to last the lifetime of the garment, resulting in fewer needed washings and reduced water consumption and energy use.
Back in June, Diesel launched a 20-piece collection of antimicrobial and antibacterial garments. Pieces in the Upfreshing capsule collection included skinny jeans, hoodies, T-shirts and long-sleeved shirts.