Feiyue originated in 1920’s Shanghai and gained fast popularity for their robust, flexible, and comfortable design. This was the main reason why they were a favorite among martial artists and athletes.
From Wu Shu practitioners to the Shaolin Flying Monks and Kung Fu masters of old, the Feiyue sneaker became a staple and to this present day is still a regular in martial arts clubs around the world, and even the French training discipline of Parkour.The grippy rubber sole, reasonably strong build and sensitivity they give the wearer are traits also valued by free runners and traceurs, for whom intense movements really put the sneakers to the test.
Based on Chinese tradition, Feiyue symbolizes the dual elevation of body and mind (literally translated as “Flying Forward”) and with the opening of China and the associated cultural and economic shifts, prominent French designers and entrepreneurs - namely Patrice Bastian and his team that included Nicolas Seguy and Clement Fauth, seized the opportunity to bring Feiyue to Europe.
In 2006 the Feiyue sneakers were taken to France and quickly picked up on by the likes of Vogue and celebrity stars such as Orlando Bloom (even his son was seen sporting the cult item).
And to this day if you go walking in the white version of these shoes in Brooklyn and some parts of Queens, you will often hear people call them by their colloquial name “The Brettsters” – named after the New York City comedian Brett Davis after his love of the white classics.
In the fashion world Feiyue has gained prominent cult status, but it will always be their firmness, sense of contact with the ground, and the engagement of movement due to their minimalist design that make Feiyue an ultimate necessity for the urban walker and the island runner alike. And while others may try to break the mold, Feiyue has done that without even trying!