PLEASURES’ First 3D-Printed Shoe Is an ‘Evangelion’ Reference

PLEASURES’ footwear collaborations are some of the best in the biz. The prolific streetwear label has devised clever team-ups with everyone from Crocs and Dr. Martens to Sperry and Reebok (multiple times!) so it’s about time that PLEASURES devised its own in-house footwear line.

Created with Zellerfeld, easily the footwear industry‘s most visible 3D-printing shoe imprint, PLEASURES’ debut shoes are futuristic but still ought to be at least a little familiar to fans (not least because PLEASURES has been teasing them for weeks).

PLEASURES and Zellerfeld ideated the “3D Tank Shoe”, chunky loafers that evolve the easy-on silhouette commongly styled in PLEASURES lookbooks. PLEASURES 3D Tank Shoe updates the shape with a ridged sole and one-piece construction typical of 3D-printed footwear.

Available May 19 on Zellerfeld’s website, PLEASURES’ 3D Tank Shoe is made to order, fully customizable down to the width and cushioning.

Because each one made of a single chunk of synthetic material, the shoes can be returned to Zellerfeld at the end of their lifecycle to be recycled into a fresh pair.

As is typical for PLEASURES, the shoes’ design inspiration is especially thoughtful.

Typically, founder Alex D. James interweaves the pop culture touchstones that shaped his own taste into PLEASURES oeuvre. He loves UNKLE and Mo’Wax Records, so PLEASURES created a collaborative clothing collection with them. He loves Ghost World, so PLEASURES put on a screening in Los Angeles.

James most recently published an open letter to Aphex Twim AKA Richard D. James, the reclusive electronic music pioneer to formally ask for a PLEASURES collaboration (that they share two initials is mere coincidence, unfortunately).

Point being, nearly everything PLEASURES creates is informed by James’ own preferences. He is PLEASURES and vice versa.

So, the PLEASURES x Zellerfeld 3D Tank Shoe isn’t just a next-level loafer: it’s a reference to cult anime franchise Neon Genesis Evangelion.

Evangelion is a twisty series that begins with a classic shonen plot: teens are forced to pilot giant mechs and combat a supernatural threat that threatens the planet.

Things get way wilder as the story goes, eventually mutating into a heady psychodrama that explores and inverts Christian mythology.

Also: there’s some incredible robot designs!

PLEASURES cites the “the fighter tank worn on foot” by one of the Evangelion mech as key inspiration for the 3D Tank Shoe’s design, but you can also see the mech’s eerie faces (inspired by artistic artworks of demons!) informing the shoes’ debossed “eyes”

Plus, a few Evangelion characters typically wear loafers (Rei Ayonami and Mari Makinami) so you can make a few connections here.

All that wouldn’t matter if the shoe was ugly — and there are some ugly Eva shoes out there — but, happily, PLEASURES’ snub-nosed, 3D-printed loafer is a pretty handsome proposition.

Get in the loafers, Shinji.

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