Pierre Hardy and Victor Cruz are back with another shoe collaboration—a four-part series reflecting Cruz’s diverse background. Their friendship and mutual appreciation for meaningful design was a metaphor for the collaboration, titled V.C.II, which they deemed a symbol of unity and an artistic contribution to the fight against systemic racism. The collection dives deep into the former athlete’s Afro-Latino heritage.
The shoe design is a reflection of the cultural impact that the Black Lives Matter movement has on the world. Built around the imperative topics of equality, equity, and inclusion, the concept artfully weaves in the colors and stories of Cruz in America and Hardy in Paris.
“The collection is a translation in materials and colors of four, elemental themes—Majesty, Tribe, Boricua, and Survivor—which come down to love, acceptance and strength. Each shoe is an expression of each one of those chapter,” says Hardy. The Majesty, a black-on-black high-top shoe stands for greatness or splendor of quality or character. The Boricua, a red, white, and blue low top, is a tribute to the Puerto Rican flag, the island’s inhabitants and its diaspora. The camouflage and orange sneake, the Survivor, represents a remaining alive in the face of adversity, while the red pair, the Tribe, is representative a community linked by blood ties or a common culture.
“These shoes come from a place of hope, freedom and resilience. To provide the consumer a look into my life as an Afro-Latino man and what has inspired me over the last year. My vision, spoken through footwear” adds Cruz.
To make this collection a truly inclusive endeavor, the long-time buddies decided to venture into women’s sizing , which they’ve never done with their previous drops.
“I wanted to expand to womens sizing so that everyone can take part in this story. This shoe is about inclusion,” explains the former NFL player. “We couldn’t drive that narrative home without expanding to reach men and women alike.”