SK Low Top - Kipendo - Melissa Mitchell Collab

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KIPENDO (Love) When we get together to collaborate its about ascendance and freedom, but this time and by virtue of Melissa's inspiration, this collaboration is also rooted in love. It's a serendipitous release in a variety of ways but one that stands out today more than anything. Several months ago we decided to launch on Juneteenth to ensure perfection in the product but only today did I realize that it was also Father's day. If you know Melissa's origin story, which we will be sharing over the next several weeks, you also know how special that is.

K I P E N D O directly translates to love and the layers of this design tell stories to include one's love of self, one's love of family, one's love of craft, romantic love and a trivial form of love simple known as twin flames. This one is bigger than a product you wear, it's a sculptural piece you hold on to to share with a loved one in the future.

CEO and Chief Designer David Castro curated The Black Artist Collective (#ARTBLK) because of a unique bond they all share with him and the brand, bringing a long-standing, ancestorial practice of Umoja -- or “unity” in Swahili— to the project. “We embrace the fact that we are a black-owned, thriving, creative business, and we want to breathe life into everything we touch. We connected with those we admired to create products that couldn’t exist without collaboration. There is beauty in the honesty of this collaboration, and we get to drop a new silhouette in the process,” he also adds

“Creatives move the world forward, and collaboration breeds growth,” he continues. As an artist and architect, Castro employs authentic storytelling in all that he does, seen in the crown’s construction and design. “It only made sense for us to create authentic products with our contemporaries that share a perspective on the world through the product. This capsule will captivate many, and the depth of the designs will inspire the culture for years to come.”

Melissa A. Mitchell is an Atlanta-based Miami-born creative whose love of vibrant colors, unique shapes, and bold, dark lines is visible throughout her work. Melissa has created over 500 original art pieces, including 40 larger-than-life murals. Forbes, Vogue, and ESSENCE have all featured Mitchell, and her wearable art has adorned such stars as Lupita Nyong’o, Amara La Negra, Rebecca Gross, and more. Melissa Mitchell’s crown is titled Kipendo,simply meaning Love!