Musicians are increasingly blurring the lines between their career roles, combining fashion, music, politics and performance all into one. Following Pharrell Williams who was recently named creative director for American Express and FKA Twigs who is behind a new Nike project, André 3000 has been announced as the new creative director for Tretorn.
But André 3000 certainly isn’t new to any of these games, just look at those kits rocked by him back in the early Outkast days. André always seems to be two steps ahead of the rest of the fashion game. Let’s not forget that knee length, double-breasted red tartan coat he donned at Fashion Rocks in 2004. Even the fact he was cast as Jimi Hendrix in the biopic Jimi: All Is by My Side, is an ode to his fashion prowess.
But the real question isn’t if André is up to the task, it’s what is Tretorn all about?
The Swedish brand has been around since 1891, creating footwear and outerwear. Born from the late industrial revolution, Tretorn began with making tires and was one of the first companies that offered a sense of fair work. Well ahead of workers’ rights, owner Henry Dunker provided his employees with free health care for them and their families as well as a kindergarten on-site. Back in 1894, the Tretorn galoshes were considered some of the best across Sweden, Denmark, and Germany. Fast forward to the 1960s and you find renowned tennis star Björn Borg sporting the Nylite, the world’s first luxury sports shoe. The eighties saw The Nylite grace the feet of the famous, from Jackie O to Farah Fawcett, and these tennis shoes began to solidify a place for themselves in the fashion world. It also looks like Tretorn may well have been the start of that ’80s gumboot with their shoe the Skerry. In 2012, the famous Nylite was re-born in different colourways, still featuring ‘the wing’ and light rubber sole that made it the OG luxury sneaker.
As André 3000 takes on his role as creative director for Tretorn, he will also feature in their global campaign for Fall 2017, has been bestowed premiere artist rights in the Nylite 50 Artist Series and also will be in charge of a capsule collection for the brand for 2018.
President and CMO of Authentic Brands Group (which owns Tretorn), Nick Woodhouse, expressed the brand’s excitement at having André 3000 on board, saying, “His creativity, unconventional personal style and unique point of view, as applied to our fresh and reimagined designs, will be an adventure.” Whatever happens, it will certainly be interesting to see how André’s bold style and energy intertwine with a brand that makes their pieces with subtle elegance and practicality. If the sneak peak they provided via Facebook is anything to go by, we feel like this will be a match made in sartorial heaven.