Marcelo Burlon is a low-key sneakerhead. The Milan-based DJ-slash-fashion-designer-slash-party-instigator has been rocking some serious kicks for the better part of the last 25 years, including a rare pair of Reeboks with a sole design by H.R. Giger, the artist responsible for the look of the Alien movie franchise.
“I’m a sneaker guy. I think I have only a couple pairs of real shoes from Ann Demeulemeester and Prada,” Burlon said when we caught up with the designer at Saks Fifth Avenue’s Queen Street location, where he was in town to launch his own Reebok collaboration.
Today his footwear of choice is, of course, the aforementioned Burlon-designed Reebok Zuku in all black. Minimal and sleek, the monochromatic sock style sneaker features a light touch of Burlon’s signature geometric graphics, embroidered on the heel pull and printed on the underside of a translucent rubber detail for a matte effect.
“When I design, when I think about collections, I think about what I would wear or what my friends would wear. And then we came out with this idea of having something super simple but very well done,” Burlon said.
For a guy who’s constantly jetting around the world to DJ, they’re ideal. They’ve got ample streetwear edge and design cred while still being versatile enough to pull off with just about any look in his luggage, and a knit construction that looks unbelievably comfortable.
“There is so much technology behind these pieces today,” said the designer, who has previously collaborated with Lamborghini, and fashion and accessory brands Eastpak and Alpha Industries.
A true polymath, he’s got his hands full with other big projects on the go right now too. The Argentinian expat will host a two-day music festival on his home turf in Patagonia this December featuring pal Devendra Banhart. He’s building himself a house in the region too, and excitedly showed off an iPhone video of the expansive valley view he’ll have from his kitchen and renderings of his low-slung wood and glass architectural design.
“It’s going to also be my house warming,” Burlon said of the festival, dubbed Laberinto Patagonia.
In the midst of all this, he’s designing his namesake Spring/Summer 2018 collection, which he’ll present in January. While Burlon has made a name for himself with geometric and animal graphics, his latest collections have introduced more streamlined pieces, an aesthetic that his new kicks fit right into.
“[My graphic pieces are] something iconic that will stay forever. It’s something people will always want, but on top of that you need to innovate every season. You need to come up with new ideas, you need to bring the collection to another level,” he said.