Lexus, RTFKT debut one-of-a-kind shoe inspired by the 2021 Lexus IS

Chris Teague

Chris Teague

Lexus and fashion brand RTFKT have teamed up to create a shoe inspired by the Lexus IS.

You’ve heard of the saying “when rubber meets the road”. A new 2021 Lexus IS-inspired shoe by RTFKT is playing on that phrase, delivering a concept that combines the looks and appeal of the compact car with untraditional materials.

“We wanted to make sure when the audience looks at the sneaker they instantly know it is the IS,” said Chris Le, creative director and co-founder of RTFKT. “All the intricate design elements come together, and at a first glance it’s a neckbreaker,” added Steven Zaptio, CEO and co-founder of RTFKT.

The one-of-one shoe features deign elements inspired by the Lexus IS 350 F Sport Dynamic Handling Package. The package is a $4,200 add-on to the top -tier Lexus IS F Sport and is available on cars equipped with front- or all-wheel drive. Adding the Dynamic Handling Package gives the car Drive Mode Select (Eco, Normal, Sport S, Sport S+, and Custom modes), an F Sport heated ash wood steering wheel, F Sport-tuned adaptive variable suspension, F Sport 19-inch split-seven-spoke forged alloy matte black BBS wheels, a carbon fiber rear spoiler, a Torsen limited-slip rear differential, ash wood interior trim, and a SmartAccess card key.

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The car that inspired the project includes the Dynamic Handling Package.Photo courtesy of Lexus

2021

The shoes are RTFKT’s first pair of footwear inspired by and partly constructed from vehicle materials. The base of the shoe features a sole resembling a tire. The front is shaped like the IS’s signature spindle grille, with 3D-printed material imitating the carbon fiber spoiler of the car.

The sides of the sneaker showcase Black NuLuxe with light gray stitching from the seats, with a middle silver stripe inspired by the details of the headlights. The team added an F Sport-branded tag on the side and a Lexus badge covering the top Velcro strap. Lastly, they selected a vibrant blue hue for the sneaker that most closely resembles Grecian Water, a new color for Lexus in 2021.

“We wanted to make sure when the audience looks at the sneaker they instantly know it is the IS,” said Chris Le, creative director and co-founder of RTFKT. “All the intricate design elements come together, and at a first glance it’s a neckbreaker,” added Steven Zaptio, CEO and co-founder of RTFKT.

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The sneaker’s creators were inspired by multiple elements of the Lexus IS.Photo courtesy of Lexus

The sneaker creation process was documented by RTFKT and entertainment media company Complex and turned into a three-part video series “Rubber & Sole,” now live on Complex.com. The first episode features Zapito and Le taking notes from the redesigned Lexus vehicle. The second video has them moving into the sketch and sourcing phase and the final episode showcases the final details of the sneaker.

“RTFKT put the same passion into developing this one-of-a-kind shoe that we did in developing the new 2021 Lexus IS,” said Vinay Shahani, vice president of Lexus marketing. “Steven and Chris delivered a head-turning sneaker that unmistakably mirrors the bold design and impressive performance of the IS.”

The special edition sneaker inspired by the 2021 Lexus IS sport sedan will not be available for sale.

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