Founded in 2011 under the name RubberSoul, Italian footwear label RBRSL has long been honing its craft in the shadows. Recent drops, though, have been more than enough to catch our eye and have cemented its position as a veritable rising star. Built on the mission to break the existing norms around consumer culture, RBRSL crafts shoes with longevity in mind, upcycling discarded materials and even embedding flora into its signature soles.
While these constant values underpin each of the label’s collections, variety comes in its eclectic inspirations.
Explosions of color and even seeds embedded in sole units set the perfect stage for new, playful styles. FW2021_22 takes a much more somber tack, though.
The same minimal, high-quality leather uppers sit atop unmistakable colored sole units, just this time it’s Edward Hopper’s iconic works that lead the stylistic approach. Defined by their sense of deep loneliness and melancholy, Hopper’s paintings feature protagonists seemingly enclosed in their own “bubble of light”, a concept which has never felt more real than today. RBRSL’s optimistic take on the zeitgeist, though, is that through creation we can relate to the world around us, and in that vein, RBRSL FW2021_22 attempts to hold a mirror to our world and the events that are shaping our lives.
The concept translates beautifully into the actual offering. Last season saw a classic sneaker updated in Bold which gets another new look with a mid-collar build. Now featuring a stretch sock lining and a padded upper, the new ankle boot comes in two versions prepped for the colder seasons: waterproof nylon and vegan leather.
Elsewhere, the RBRSL family is extended with its all-new, mid-cut, heavy-weave sock. Like Bold, its sole unit is made up of a transparent shell and midsole containing memory rebound technology for optimal cushioning. The liquid-rubber sole made using Inkjet technology represents Hopper’s “bubble of light”, imploring us to never forget the frozen time that we experienced over the last year or so.
In summation, RBRSL FW2021_22 caters to every side of the spectrum. With a philosophical foundation as strong as the actual product, it’s a well-rounded and perfectly executed exhibition from the Italian label.