California shop, BAIT, has only been around for a little over a year, but thanks to some strong industry roots that were planted long before their doors opened, they’ve been able to dive right into the collaboration circuit and start making some noise from day 1. BAIT hit the ground running with a variety of special projects with a number of different brands like Asics, Reebok, Saucony and Creative Recreation to name a few, and as we’ve seen lately, there are no signs of slowing down. Especially over the last few months, we’ve seen a rapid fire of interesting collaborative endeavors from BAIT, but their latest takes a much different angle than we’re used to seeing when it comes to typical footwear team-ups.
It’s not completely unheard of for a sneaker release to have some kind of charitable or humanitarian aspect, but rarely do they practice what they preach to the same degree as this new project with Saucony. Dubbed the “CruelWorld” BAIT has taken the timeless Shadow Original model and reconstructed it in vegan-approved materials, using no animal products in the manufacturing and delivering a cruelty-free message in the process. And while Saucony does already have a limited selection of vegan-friendly
footwear already in circulation, this project will no doubt spread the awareness to a completely different audience through BAIT’s voice in the sneakerhead world – a place where positive messages and philanthropy usually play a distant backseat to surface value desirability.
BAIT valiantly attempts to bring those worlds together by creating a clean and accessible colorway of a classic Saucony silhouette that will not only appeal to consumers visually, but may also get them to put a little more thought into what their shoes are made of and where those materials actually come from. No one, including BAIT themselves, are suggesting that we should completely do away with the rich suedes and premium leathers that we all love, but it is definitely a poignant reminder that their are other alternatives available and that perhaps the future may see a more environmentally conscious fusing of these contrasting approaches. We spoke to BAIT owner and creative director, Eric Cheng, to get the inside story on their intriguing new Saucony collab and complementary vegan apparel capsule, so keep reading for the full interview and look for the “CruelWorld” Shadow Original to release exclusively through BAIT next week both in-store and online.