You’ve heard of the Yeezy. And of Kanye. But the real genius behind its design has not been discussed as much as we’d like. And so today, we put the spotlight on the legendary designer Steven Smith, who has the Yeezy to his name for starters, but is about so much and more. One of the few to shape the contemporary footwear landscape, Steven has been a disruptive force in footwear and design industry for a long time. Birthing streetwear icons like The Reebok InstaPump Fury, New Balance 997 and the New Balance 574, as well as spearheading the ever-growing Yeezy line, he’s established himself as a true veteran.
Being a disruptor at heart, Steven’s innovation led him to create what is arguably one of the most divisive sneakers of all time – The Reebok Instapump Fury. While its genius lay in its immensely modern design, its obtrusive OG bright neon yellow and orange colour way as well as its design aesthetic resulted in a rather hung jury. However, this polarity couldn’t come in way of its greatness. Originally released in 1994 with its famous CO2 charger and an infinitely adjustable fit, the Instapump represented an answer to solving the key problems of a lighter construction, lesser components, and a great ride when it came to sneakers. The pump is a hybrid of modern engineering and contemporary artistry which utilised materials in the medical and aerospace industry, combining creativity and logic to bring it to life.
Aside from the Instapump, he is also known for his long standing pet project spanning 30 years around a vision to infuse sustainability into sneakers, by design. He’s dabbled in creating smart footwear harvested from waste products, to creating sneakers Algae Foam, to going from seed-to-sole with hydroponic wheat and hemp. His prolific work has taken him coast-to-coast contributing to the catalogs of major brands like Nike, Adidas, Reebok, New Balance, FILA and many more. Smith’s journey also goes beyond footwear, with contributions to the apparel, electronics to military equipment categories.