|ANIMAL COLLECTIVE sporting their KEEP collaboration shoes|
Lucky for me, one of my favorite shoe brands has collaborated with one of my favorite musical artists! I've been a fan of Keep Shoes since I received my first pair- "The Nuss" - as a special gift some years back. Keep's dedication to originality and superior craft is what keeps me coming back. Their latest project, which has been highly antcipated, is finally going to be released tonight at midnight!
Their collaboration with Animal Collective has lead to the creation of some really awesome designs which site the member's interest in sea life. ALL profits from the sale of these shoes will be donated to Socorro Island Conservation Fund, a non-profit working to preserve the unique biosphere of the Revillagigedo Archipelago off Baja California.
This past fall, while working with Maya Hayuk in Brooklyn, I had the awesome opportunity to help Abby Portner create work for her brother's (Avey Tare- member of Animal Collective) record release party. The theme of the record and the party was the everglades- a swampy jungle full of aligators. It is SO awesome to see shoes that reflect similar imagery and ideas!
That day has finally come.
To work with people we love, to make something that inspires us, and to help protect one of the most special places on earth, all in one fell swoop, is a gift.
Each member of the band has designed their very own Keep shoe: Avey Tare’s spectral slip-on Tobin, Deakin’s embroidered fish Guerra, Panda Bear’s camouflage Ramos, and Geologist’s shark infested mid-top Ramos (also available in a little kid’s version in celebration of the birth of his son).
As always all Keep shoes are cruelty-free, including the shoes from this project. A limited edition cassette tape will also be available on a first come first serve basis with purchase of any pair of shoes from the project. The tape features four songs, all previously unreleased solo tracks from each member of the band, promising to make this cassette one of the rarest artifacts in the Animal Collective discography.
All profits from the sales will be donated to the Socorro Island Conservation Fund, a non-profit working to preserve the unique biosphere of the Revillagigedo Archipelago off Baja California, where illegal fishing, in particular of its shark population, is a continual threat.
“After much discussion we decided we wanted to give money to a small under-funded organization to which we felt a personal connection. Josh and I have been scuba diving together for a number of years and the Revillagigedos was one of the most amazing places I have ever seen. Hopefully this project will protect the animals of the Revillagigedos through at least one more fishing season and draw more attention to the global problem of illegal fishing.” says Brian Weitz (Geologist).
“The trip that Brian and I took to the Revillagigedos in 2007 has driven me to go diving when I can and learn as much as I can about the state and health (or lack thereof) of our oceans. Whereas I once saw sharks as a potentially frightening creature and little else, I have come to understand that they are a crucial part of a highly stressed and collapsing ecosystem,” says Josh Dibb (Deakin).
Rooted in a shared love of music, wildlife, and the ocean, this passion project was the result of a lengthy friendship. High school friends since the mid-nineties in Baltimore, Keep Company’s founder Una Kim and Animal Collective have remained connected over the years.
Weitz says, “It goes without saying that we love the shoes and all wear them. We’ve been friends with Una for almost 15 years. We even played shows in her basement when her parents were out of town. This was pre-Animal Collective, though everyone in the band was there and played sets in one band or another. A few years later, when we were in college, we talked about how awesome it would be to one day work on a project that brought a bunch of us together. It’s been a long time coming, but I’m psyched it finally happened.”
“Friendship and community are some of the most precious things, and I feel lucky to have grown up with such amazing people, in as pro-active and inspiring of a community as we did. Music transcends songs and simple notes. It is the foundation of my most lasting friendships and being able to do such a personal project, working with friends to benefit a cause we all care for, brings everything full circle,” says Kim.
Abby Portner in the KEEP + AC tee
eeeeeeeeeep! so excited!-mallory