Steven Smith and Kanye West speak on stage on November 07, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Brad Barket/Getty Images for Fast Company)
SNEAKERS & FASHION

Steven Smith Named Head of Industrial Design at Donda

The legendary footwear designer, who previously held the executive designer position at Yeezy, will assist Ye in his efforts to build out the industrial arm of his creative house.

Donda’s dream just got that much more real. On Tuesday, Ye, formerly known as Kanye West, tapped Steven Smith as the new Head of Industrial Design at Donda, his creative house. Smith previously held the title of executive designer of Yeezy,

Donda was founded back in 2011 by the Chicago rapper and fashion icon, as an in-house agency bringing together all of Ye’s interests: music, design, fashion, sports, and product. The organization is named after Ye’s late mother, Donda West, and also shares the name of his tenth studio album, Donda.

The move comes only days after Ye called out Adidas CEO in a since-deleted Instagram post, saying, “I’m not standing for this blatant copying no more… This shoe is a fake Yeezy made by Adidas themselves.” The claim was in regard to the recently surfaced Adilette 22 that heavily resembled the look and shape of Yeezy slides.

Smith, who’s worked with West as a close collaborator now for the last seven years, has a hefty resume himself. He has worked at Reebok and New Balance, where he created two of the most iconic silhouettes of all time in the Reebok Instapump Fury and New Balance 997. Not to mention, he designed the Yeezy Boost 700 and Foam Runners.

Known as the “Godfather of Dad Shoes,” the footwear designer also spent time at Nike, Adidas and FILA, too.

Many of Smith’s creations were simply too ahead of their time, and that’s why streetwear brands like Supreme and Stussy are only now adapting Smith’s sneaker products and re-releasing them via collaborations and updates.

It’s set quite the precedence for what Ye’s burning house, Donda, might look like over the next few years.

Smith’s new position will move away from footwear to focus on furniture and vehicles in his expanded efforts to further build out Ye’s communal empire.

The first vehicle, the “DONDA FOAM VEHICLE” concept, saw its first official images teased earlier today:

It is no coincidence that the unveiling of this futuristic vehicle comes on the same day as Steven Smith is announcement as Head of Industrial Design. If anything, it’s simply confirmation that Donda is full speed ahead.

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