PHOTO BY JANELLE JONES, PROP STYLING BY SUMMER MOORE
Dominique Ansel is already the creator of modern cuisine’s most hyped hybrid: the Cronut. Now, for his latest mash-up, Ansel is breaking out of the kitchen and onto the runway, by collaborating on a limited-edition sneaker line with the indie footwear brand Koio.
The shoe company, which was founded by Wharton School MBA classmates Johannes Quodt and Chris Wichert in 2015 and has opened stores in New York, Chicago, San Francisco, and Venice, California, has already gained cult status for its creative partnerships. Past designs include a banana-leaf-patterned Beverly Hills Hotel edition and a Game of Thrones–inspired pair with a shoelace charm in the shape of Jaime Lannister’s gold hand.
“All of the people that we collaborate with, like surfer Quincy Davis and dancer James Whiteside, have taken unconventional paths toward their expertise and passion,” Quodt says. “With Dominique, he’s redefined pastry-making.”
Ansel, the self-proclaimed “pastry perfectionist,” saw a kinship with Koio, whose shoes are handmade by the same manufacturer Chanel uses in Le Marche, Italy. “My process with creativity is similar to their process in making sneakers,” Ansel says. “Craft is really important to me.”
Comfort is also key for the chef, who spends 12 to 15 hours a day on his feet. These shoes, however, would be best worn outside the spill radius of a kitchen, as the materials they’re composed of represent four light-colored ingredients Ansel uses every day: a “buttery” patent leather; two kinds of suede, one flour-soft, the other sugar-sparkly; and eggshell-smooth Italian calf leather. The insole even features a flaky, layered dough pattern. “It’s the sign,” Ansel says, “of a perfect croissant.” $348, koio.co