Lupe Fiasco Talks Designing Ahmaud Arbery Commemorative Shoes With Virgil Abloh

The two Illinois natives teamed up on the ‘House’ EP.

(AllHipHop News) The killing of Ahmaud Arbery made national news. Footage of two Caucasian men assaulting and shooting the 25-year-old, unarmed African-American jogger in Brunswick, Georgia sparked outrage.

Travis McMichael and Gregory McMichael were finally arrested for murder and aggravated assault 74 days after the incident. William “Roddie” Bryan, a suspected accomplice, was also charged with felony murder and attempt to commit false imprisonment.

In response to Arbery’s murder, runners from around the world took part in the #IRunWithMaud campaign to help celebrate his life and spread awareness about the case. Recently, Hip Hop artist Lupe Fiasco teamed with designer Virgil Abloh to commemorate Ahmaud in another way.

The Off-White fashion label founder was featured on “Homme Made” and “Shoes” from Fiasco’s new collaborative House project with producer Kaelin Ellis. The latter track includes Abloh talking about designing a pair of running sneakers in honor of Arbery.

Abloh states on the single: 

But this shoe, these Air Ahmauds or these Air Arberys, are starting to take shape now. You know? They connect man and earth. They allow you to run
That running is freedom, accelerated heart rate by design through design.
Air Ahmaud, Air Arbery. What color are these shoes? The upper of these shoes
maybe white, maybe black, pick your favorite. But, you know, the world’s black and white anyways. So might as well limit the whole color palette to that. Signed, Virgil Abloh, in quotes of course.

More could be coming from the Abloh-Fiasco partnership. On Apple Music’s Rap Life with Ebro Darden, Lupe said, “Piggybacking onto the ‘Running with Ahmaud’ campaign that kicked up and people filming themselves jogging. It was a certain level of memorialization. Okay, how can we complete that? How can I add to that, with what I do, beyond just writing a song about it? Yo, let’s make the shoes.”

The Chicago-bred emcee added, “It was time spent trying to find the shoes that he actually wore. We intentionally, actively spent time looking through the footage, trying to get a sense of what it was without being too macabre about it or being too disrespectful, but to be accurate. Then it became, ‘Let’s design that. Go!'”