The American Dream, a concept often used to describe the experience of the immigrants. Though only a few people manage to give it shape and meaning for first-generation Americans in the present day like comedian and writer Hasan Minhaj. Some of his work includes the 2017 stand-up special Homecoming King, the 2017 White House Correspondents’ Dinner speech, and Peabody and Emmy Award-winning series Patriot Act. He has managed to inject his story as an Indian-American into his work in a way that resonates with those who have similar upbringings, also providing perspective-shifting insights for those who don’t. His latest project is a collaboration with Cole Haan, marking his first foray into footwear. Minhaj has made the collection personal, just like his work in comedy, weaving his own narratives into the series of two footwear styles.
The partnership between Cole Haan and Minhaj being born of mutual respect. In comedy, or in real life whatsoever there is no such thing as an overnight success, there are pivotal moments that change the trajectory of your career. Such a moment presented in front of Minhaj on October 9, 2014, when he auditioned for The Daily Show – coincidentally he was wearing a pair of Cole Haan shoes. The audition led to a four-year stint on the show, a gig that would help to amplify his platform and catalyze his position as a leading voice in the culture. This collaboration serves as a homage to that day and also the relentless hard work it took both him and his family to get there. The shoes in the collection — the 4.ZERØGRAND Hiker Boot and the GrandPrø Rally Court Sneaker — are stamped with the date he auditioned for the job. “Maybe October 9 won’t be special to anyone else, but it’s coincidentally National Sneakers Day, so obviously this is fate,” he says.
The Cole Haan x Hasan Minhaj collaboration is an honest reflection of the comedian’s Indian roots and the sacrifices his parents made to provide him with a better life. Minhaj mentions, “In 1982 my father arrived in America, leaving his home so I could build mine. He fought to survive, so I could live”. The heel tab of the Cole Haan x Hasan Minhaj 4.ZERØGRAND Hiker Boot and GrandPrø Rally Court Sneaker is embroidered with the words “survive” and “live,” honoring his father’s journey. “I’ve woven our story into the fabric of Cole Haan,” he says.
Both styles witness hits of Bollywood-inspired colors – a nod to his family’s heritage. Well perceived through an all-weather 4. ZERØGRAND Hiker Boot, available in “Mineral Yellow” suede and black mesh options and touts responsive cushioning and steady traction. On the lightweight leather GrandPrø Rally Court Sneaker, the “Optic White-Molten Lava” and “Black-Molten Lava” colorways are both complemented by accents of the same vibrant hues. “So much of comedy is about telling your story and your perspective,” he tells. “To tell my story, to tell my family’s story, and to stitch it into the fabric of an existing brand is really cool.”
The limited-edition Cole Haan x Hasan Minhaj 4.ZERØGRAND Hikers are available on Cole Haan’s website and in select Cole Haan stores now. The second shoe in the collection drops in early December. The series is priced from $170 – $270 USD.
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