While many believe the paths we take in life are designed, others aren’t afraid to see the beauty in chance. For Jhené Aiko, her partnership with Teva blossomed on a sunny Thursday in 2015 when she happened to come across the stylish sandals for a hiking trek in Hawaii. It may have been unconventional to some to step across a rocky terrain with toes exposed, but the singer-songwriter copped a pair and enjoyed rocking the shoes way past her hike. It’s pretty comical given that the company came to be in the ’80s when a river guide created the shoe from flip flops and watchbands while exploring the Grand Canyon.
One gram pic and a successful collection later, the singer is back with a second rollout of styles dedicated to her favorite past time. “The first collection was literally inspired by friendship bracelets that I had been making so I wanted to keep it light and fun,” she explains.
“I wanted this collection to be a little more neutral with the colors. I wanted it to be reminiscent of a very beautiful sunset, like on a summer’s day. Just very ethereal. I’ve been wearing them and whenever I look down, they just make me feel happy. Not just because I designed them, but because I feel like the colors are very relaxing, very calming, and they feel great on your feet. A nail salon technician made me realize it’s the perfect sandal to get a pedicure in because there’s no risk of getting your toes messed up. They always say, ‘This is the perfect sandal!’ and I’m like, ‘I know!’
The rose gold pairing with neutral colors allow the sandal to be worn in and out of festival season. “I wanted it to be neutral enough where you could wear it with different things, different colors, but I still wanted it to be multi-faceted and have a little bit of everything.” she said. “I just wanted it to feel like a daydream of the perfect summer day.”
Paired with chance and discovery, her decisions have only helped create a guide for fans on how to live an organic life. Jhené’s commitment to nature is just part of her advice to those who find themselves floating aimlessly between political headlines and social turmoil.
“When you’re in tune with nature, and allow yourself to be quiet, you really discover things about yourself,” she said. “So, when I’m in a new place, I’m always looking at the sky, the trees, and different plants, looking for animals and stuff that’s around. In everything I do, these collaborations, my music, my poetry, it’s just a reflection of that. It’s all about the journey and discovering, not just the world outside of you, but the world inside of you too and just connecting to that. Even [through] concrete there’s roots and trees that grow out of that because you can’t really control nature. But, I would say you could just start with admiring the sun in the day and the moon at night. You can see the sun and the moon, wherever you are.”
From her work with some of hip-hop’s top players like Drake, Kendrick Lamar and beau Big Sean, the singer has been able to live and love life on her terms. It’s why her partnerships with Teva and even a voice-over in HBO’s animated series Animals seem to be so right.
“They actually contacted me [and] I was able to ad-lib and go off the script on certain parts so it was super fun,” she said about voicing Mary in the episode, “Roaches.” Other notable voice cameos in the series include A$AP Rocky, Usher and Killer Mike. “I’ve actually been doing a lot of voice over auditions, because it’s something that I’m interested in. It’s really fun to me, I love acting. So, when I did this one, Sean actually did a voice too. His episode hasn’t aired yet, but he was telling me about it, and then literally like two weeks after they called me to do a voice and it was just super, super fun.”
When it comes to her music, Jhené promises that there’s a lot of material she’ll share soon. For now, you can check out her Teva collection with prices starting at $75, here. You can also take part in a special giveaway of the Original Universal, Flatform Universal, and Hurricane XLT designs signed by the singer. Enter to win before the May 8 deadline, here.