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Art

DR. MARTENS SPEAKS TO SALEHE BEMBURY

We caught up with the talented Salehe Bembury, a footwear designer well known for his work with brands such as Cole Haan, Greats and Kanye West’s Yeezy. Salehe recently partnered with lauded designer Pyer Moss for his SS17 runway collection, creating bespoke customised Dr. Martens shoes for the show. Read on to find out more about Salehe, his creative process and what he stands for.  
 

Salehe Bembury.
Salehe Bembury.
 
 
Introduce yourself:
Salehe Bembury. 30 yrs. old. TriBeCa, New York. 
 
How did you get into the footwear industry?
I always loved footwear growing up. I majored in Industrial Design (product design) in college – Syracuse University. My first job out of school was for a shoe company. 
 
What influences your work?
I’m influenced by the childhood nostalgia that footwear created for me. I’m designing for the 10 year old inside of me. 
 
The shoes Salehe Bembury created for Pyer Moss SS17.
The shoes Salehe Bembury created for Pyer Moss SS17.
 
 
You partnered with Pyer Moss for his SS17 collection. Can you talk us through the creative process behind the footwear?
We extended the outsole using hand-moulding and cut silicone. We created this block to serve as an anchor — it’s a metaphor for the feeling you get when you’re bogged down to a certain place or situation because of circumstance. That circumstance can be financial or otherwise. 
 
Do you have a favourite piece you’ve worked on or a proudest moment so far?
I’m a huge Knicks fan… seeing my work on the jumbo-tron at Madison Square Garden during Yeezy Season 3 was surreal. 
 
What are you most excited about for the year ahead?
I am continuing to work with Kerby of Pyer Moss and I’m excited about what we’re bringing to fruition in the near future. 
 
The shoes Salehe Bembury created for Pyer Moss SS17.
The shoes Salehe Bembury created for Pyer Moss SS17.
 
 
What advice would you give to someone trying to break into the industry?
Learn. Absorb. Collaborate. Repeat. 
 
What’s your favourite thing about the city you live in?
I currently live in Los Angeles, my favourite thing is the proximity to beach. Now the beach can be a part of my life and not just a part of a vacation. 
 
Name three tracks you can’t hear enough of:
Isley Brothers – Footsteps in the Dark
Dionne Farris – Hopeless
Michael Jackson – Human Nature 
 
And finally, what do you stand for?
I stand for freedom of expression. I came up in an art household and neighborhood, and have seen the benefits of said freedom my entire life. 
 
Find out more about Sahele Bembury on his website and Instagram