Just three months after securing $6 million in tranche round of financing BIPOC-led, L.A.-based footwear prototyping lab and venture studio FCTRY LAb has released its first shoe.
Called the Knight RNR, the company said in a statement that new shoe only took 1.5 months to produce from sketch to final product and is inspired by the streamlined airflow around an aerodynamic super car.
The shoe itself is a seamless foam slip-on with a contoured footbed created via 3-D printed injection molding. The Knight RNR retails for $140.
The initial drop, which featured the Knight RNR in both Black and Blue colorways in sizes 5-15, sold out within the first 48 hours, the company said.
According to FCTRY LAb co-founder Omar Bailey, the Knight RNR was “well received” in its initial launch. “We witnessed a demand in real-time after sharing some images on our Instagram and some private appearances at Super Bowl Weekend and NBA All Star Weekend,” Bailey told FN.
Bailey added that the launch of the Knight RNR represented a surge of “freshness and innovation” for the company, which he said is “overdue” in the footwear industry. “Something we recognize as a value-add for consumers is a product that is unique and functional,” the co-founder and former head of the Yeezy-Adidas Innovation Lab said. “As a relatively new company, we’re proud as a team to maintain a similar engagement and velocity on drop day as brands that have been doing this much longer.”
Looking ahead, Bailey added that the company will be releasing new colors of the Knight RNR, after listening to feedback from customers, as well as restocking the Black colorway. Collaborations with visual artists, professional athletes, shoe care brands and more are also expected in the near future.
“In addition to iterating the Knight RNR, we will be launching our second product into the market later this fall,” said Bailey. “Our goal is to push the boundaries of design and to communicate that aesthetically through our products.”
This launch comes after the company secured $6 million in financing in December from a diverse group of venture capital firms, top professional athletes and angel investors including the co-founder of Tinder via Time Zero Capital, the co-founder of WeWork, the West Coast head of Warburg Pincus and a consortium of NBA and NFL stars via Chicago-based Aurelien Capital.
At the time of the investment, Bailey told FN that the company will use the investment to finish building out the company’s lab in Los Angeles, with the goal to build a new business aimed at democratizing sneaker production and open-source innovation for emerging and established designers and brands of all sizes.
“At the end of the day we just want to have fun making cool shit and do it with cool people,” Bailey said.