SHOES 53045 is a next-gen unisex vegan footwear brand designed in Paris by footwear legend David Tourniaire (ex-Margiela and co-designer of the iconic Balenciaga Triple S) and based in LA.  Known for its futuristic style with bubble air soles and deep connection to emerging digital culture, SHOES 53045 is the first emerging direct-to-consumer sneaker brand to be a player in the metaverse. Here at BELLO, we love to see the different ways designers combine fashion and environmental awareness! “The brand is uniquely positioned to shape the culture of this nascent space and become an iconic metaverse brand. (The numbers 53045 spell SHOES upside down.)” Check out our exclusive interview with David Tourniaire and Aurelia Amour,…

Tell us more about how SHOES 53045 was created. Why vegan?

SHOES 53045 was launched exactly 3 years ago, co-founded by David Tourniaire (former Margiela, co-designer of the iconic Balenciaga Triple S and many more) and Aurelia (former strategy consultant in digital transformation in Fashion and luxury for LVMH, Kering, and iconic brands). Our desire was to create a next-gen sneaker brand, fun, futuristic, vegan, extra comfy, and close to people. Vegan is a natural and obvious choice for us, we don’t want to kill animals for shoes and it’s our role to educate people about buying vegan. Shoes can be cool and vegan.

What were some challenges you faced going with a more sustainable option and how did you overcome them?

We will be the first to say that when it comes to sustainability, we’re far from perfect.

As a young, independent brand with a small team and as a brand making highly technical styles, it’s not easy to source renewable and recycled materials. But here are the ways we’re trying to do better for the planet.

Making things and shipping them around the world uses energy and creates carbon emissions and we want to do something about that. Our fans know that for each pair sold, we have one tree planted,  more than 23,700 since the program started.

We also want customers and fans to know that we are working constantly to source the most sustainable materials possible for our shoes, while still keeping our quality and technology top-notch. This is a process.



(Mix’Air X Rico Nasty // Rav’Air Black // Rav’Air Black Gothic)
We admire the bigger casual shoe brands making major changes in this industry. What we’re doing is totally different, but their efforts to clean up the supply chain have made it possible for us to make better choices.Canvas used in Sneak’Air is certified by:

  • The Better Cotton Initiative (an organization that monitors the cotton supply chain to ensure standards in soil and water management as well as ethical treatment of workers).
  • Global Recycle Standard. Using 100% recycled cotton certified by.

Our bubble air soles are highly technical, so it’s been tricky to find alternatives that work for the technology, but so far, some of our Sneak’Airs have recycled rubber content in the soles.

We’re doing our best to get this for more styles while keeping our quality standards, and we’ll keep our community posted as we do!

We’re also working on sourcing more organic and recycled materials for the components that make up our shoes, like a recycled polyurethane we’re excited about, plus a cleaner, corn-based alternative to our synthetic vegan leather.

Finally, Sock’Air is a zero-waste style — because the shoes are knit rather than sewn together, there’s no material left over from cutting pieces. We are working on finding a recycled alternative for this yarn. We look at sustainability in our business model, too. For example, we keep our fulfillment center close to our factory to minimize resources used in transportation. And most of all, we craft our shoes with the finest quality to last for many years — much longer than the average fashion sneaker.  We want to make future classics! (Even our holographic boxes are designed to be kept!) It takes time, but we’re trying our best — and we encourage people to do their part for the planet too, however they can.

Shoes worn by Rico (photo by Marco Alexander)

Share with us what sneakers mean to you.

Wearing sneakers is cool. It can be casual and stylish at the same time. There are no rules and no gender. They are unisex. We love to see how our customers and fans style our shoes, from wearing them with a chic dress as Kim Petras did with a beautiful Marc Jacob’s dress to a pure streetwear look like Lil Nas X and other cool artists like Dorian Electra, Lil Mariko to name a few or even the cool guy wearing them with a cool suit.

What do you hope your consumers feel when wearing a pair from the brand?

We want them to feel good and themself. Our shoes are crazy comfy. It’s hard to change brands when we wear them. They are like a foot addiction. Not kidding. Our customers want more and buy more of them.

In what ways does SHOES 53045 integrate the metaverse?

It’s a natural evolution for us. We launched as a digital native brand before the metaverse.

Our brand aesthetic is digital art-oriented since day 1. We never do photoshoots, we do digital arts with digital artists, we are inspired by the 90’s and the pop culture from pop music to video games and comics. A big part of our life is digital with a digital identity. People make avatars and they need to be dressed up.

We want our fans to be able to wear our shoes in their digital life as well.

The metaverse is an amazing playground for brands in terms of creativity and experiences as there are no limits.


Shoes worn by music artist Behwah (Credit: Behwah)

Shoes worn by music artist Behwah (Credit: Behwah)

Doing NFT and skins for the metaverse is interesting when there is a real utility and when we can experience them.

When we launched our first NFT in collaboration with hyperpop and rap queen Rico Nasty, we wanted to create a shoe that people can wear physically and virtually. When we launched our crazy Cyb’Air nft boots with super powers, we wanted people to feel like superheroes and to offer them a full direct to avatar experience in one of our favorite metaverse IMVU. We invited them as well as  rtists and style icons like Rico Nasty, Yu Masui, Declan Chan, TJ Black to style their Cyb’Air virtually and we made the first metafilm to immortalize and celebrate these looks in the most amazing rooms from dancing in a club to hang with the coolest dragon on a donjon:-)

The metaverse is also a good way to create a parallel dreamy world that we all need, where our imagination has no limits, where we can be what we want with the body and the look we want. By doing this, we are more than a brand, we are a community and a world.

Tell us more about your recently released hybrid sneakers. What inspired this?

We wanted to create shoes that are a fashion statement with the sneaker comfort of our bubble sole and with multi-usage accessories.

Rav’Air Black for example has a  zip bag on a removable ankle strap that can also be worn as a wristband, to discreetly store any small supplies that a partygoer (or everyday urban explorer) might need.

Mix’Air in collaboration with Rico Nasty has removable bondage-inspired hardware that allows the wearer to customize their style. The buckle can be worn as a choker, and the chains can be worn as bracelets.

David’s inspo for these stretch Nappa faux leather was things like Utility belts, carrier bags with extra pouches, latex socks, cycling overshoes, motocross boots, and the character Black Panther.

Shoes worn by music artist Nathan James (Credit: Nathan James)

If you had to define yourself as a show, which would you pick and why?

Euphoria obviously 🙂 it’s a generational tv show close to people like we are. All characters are themself with their up and their down. No bullshit! It’s very inspired by the 90’s 00’s. The styling is amazing like we like to see on people.

What do you hope the brand will evolve into as the years progress?

We want to be an iconic multiverse brand, a futuristic Converse or Van’s in a premium version. We want to create shoes with and for our community. We have to be always better in sustainability.

Do you have any advice for emerging shoe designers out there?

Don’t be afraid. Look at the world around you (real and virtual), experiment, release projects even small, learn, and dare.

Any plans for 2022 that you can share with us?

More crazy futuristic styles. More unexpected collabs. More metaverse.