exclusive: eytys unveils its new sneaker on the feet of cult actor michael madsen
Launching its new sneaker, Jet, Eytys side steps its Generation Y and Z crowd and invites returning collaborator Kristin-Lee Moolman to portray cult actor Michael Madsen in the brand's bold soles. Based in Johannesburg, South African photographer and filmmaker Moolman's signature work focuses on African youth culture, often exploring gender boundaries and subcultures in relation to black African identities. In her latest story for Eytys, Moolman captures the Chicago-born actor in the brand's new sneaker silhouette. Why? Because of a long-held obsession with his scene-stealing, nightmare-making performance as Mr. Blonde in Quentin Tarantino's botched diamond heist Reservoir Dogs.
"I've had Michael on my mind for years but doing something with him always felt totally illusive," Max Schiller, creative director and co-founder of Eytys, explains over email. "When we worked on the new style, Jet, I was imagining them worn by a cool looking tough guy with confidence — who could better fit that description than the ultimate American badass? We reached out to Michael and he was up for it. It's actually the first time in his career he's being asked to model, which is surprising for such a good looking man with an acting career like his."
This might be Madsen's first modeling gig but it's something Schiller has been daydreaming about since the moment he first watched Reservoir Dogs through his fingers. "I must have been 10 or something when I first saw it," Schiller confesses. "It's not a movie for a kid that age but I managed to watch it somehow. Since then I've been a fan of Quentin Tarantino and most actors in his 'stable', especially Michael Madsen, who combines good looks with a huge persona and toughness. I guess I wanted to be a bit more like him as a kid — still do."
A long way from LA, the shoot takes place on Eytys' home turf of Stockholm and begins in an abandoned late 19th century residence before jumping on a 1950s ferry that spent its limelight days transporting senior travelers to Finland. "Max and I have a shared love of incongruous, banal locations that seem to be preserved in a certain moment in time," says Moolman. "So when he sent through the pics of the apartment and boat, it was pretty much a no-brainer for me."
Now that Schiller's childhood dreams have come true, who could possibly follow in the footsteps of Mr. Blonde? "I guess time will tell…"
Text Steve Salter
Photography Kristin-Lee Moolman
Styling Martina Almquist
Makeup Maja Söderlund