ArtCenter College of Design Alumna is the designer behind the new line of Olympian Allyson Felix women’s athletic shoes, which was just announced last month.
Natalie Candrian graduated from ArtCenter with an industrial design degree in 1989 and now lives in Portland, Oregon.
He has now teamed up with Felix’s new shoe company, Saysh, where he has designed the line’s inaugural offering: the Saysh One lifestyle shoe.
“It’s really an established brand and the product itself is made by women, and it really is for women,” Candrian said. “So everything we do at Saysh is really with him in mind and first of all, which is something in the sports industry that isn’t the case.”
“Historically, it all started with a male perspective and products made for men. Then, often times, it is scaled down and re-colored for women, especially in footwear,” she said. “The difference here is that we start with him in mind, consider the performance for him and consider the shoes that are made for him.”
In addition to the Saysh One released last week, Candrian also helped design the spike that Felix currently uses to run.
“We have a new product in the works,” he added. “There will be a new color of shoes coming soon this fall. Then, we have more colors in spring and summer, and we have new design plans for late spring and summer next year.”
Candrian previously worked for Adidas and Bike, according to ArtCenter Provost Karen Hofmann.
He is just one of the ArtCenter graduates who have made great strides in the footwear industry, says Hofmann. “I can continue to be with our alumni who have done great things at Adidas or Nike, Under Armor, Vans.”
“What’s the secret is that the process that ArtCenter has in product design is that it’s really built on problem solving and it’s built on really exploring options and people-centred processes that really innovate in new ways of looking at footwear. ,” she says.
“It’s not just about how it looks, but how it functions. It’s about the use of materials and how they are made,” added Hofmann. “So the very immersive experience they got during their education at ArtCenter that led them to have this role or at least the opportunity to enter the industry with a strong portfolio in footwear, for example.”
Candrian said he is still taking advantage of the lessons learned at ArtCenter.
“Every time someone asks me, “Do you think you can solve it?” It kind of makes me smile, because if you’ve been through ArtCenter, you can work it out,” he said.
“His passion is, really, what drives what we do. That’s something that’s really encouraged by being at ArtCenter; through schools, through teaching bodies, as well as our peers and students,” said Candrian. “You keep going until you reach the finish line.”
Another lesson he brings from ArtCenter is “keeping yourself at the highest standards, and pushing until you become the best,” he says.
More information about Saysh is available online at https://saysh.com.
— ArtCenter College of Design (@artcenteru) 6 July 2021