Mike Shinoda, co-frontman for two-time Grammy-winning, multiplatinum rock band LINKIN PARK, has re-teamed with DC Shoes for the release of the Xander, his third project for DC's Remix Series, and fourth overall for the popular footwear brand.
"We got an incredible response to the Xander Remix, a shoe I designed last year," says Shinoda. "I felt that a 'summer version' would be exciting; it's new, with lighter colors and patterns, but retains the comfort and durability of the last shoe. I wanted them to be worn every day yet still look and feel great, so I tested them personally. I wore them while on tour, in countries all around the world and they performed great."
The limited-edition shoe was inspired in part by Shinoda's Japanese heritage. He chose traditional Japanese patterns and koi scale textures for the shoe and packaging. The sole features custom fish scale tooling created just for this project and artwork sublimated underneath. His art is found on the shoe's upper, insole and the outsole; his signature is on the heel and the words "limited edition" are embroidered in Japanese on the shoe's tongue.
"As a kid, I used to fold paper samurai helmets as part of the tradition for Japanese Boys' Day, a national Japanese holiday that falls in early May and celebrates children," he says. "It's kinda funny that the holiday coincides with the release of the shoe, which has origami-inspired patterns."
Proceeds from the Xander will go to the Michael K. Shinoda Endowed Scholarship, helping students at the Art Center College of Design in California. The school is regarded by most as one of the top art colleges in the world. The excellence in education comes at a sometimes-challenging price: on average, roughly 76% of the students are on financial aid. Shinoda's DC Remix Series shoe benefits those students so they can follow their passions and meet their educational needs.
LINKIN PARK will embark on an international tour this summer that will see them headlining stadiums and festivals in eight countries, including their second stint in China, where they are widely regarding as the biggest western rock band.