By Caroline Hallemann
March 25, 2015
Gray Mallin and Sperry Collaboration
Credit: © Gray Malin

Travel photographer Gray Malin likes to live on the edge—often literally, with his legs swung out the side of a moving helicopter. It’s a great way to capture aerial scenes of beaches (and parks and icebergs) in far-flung destinations, from Coney Island to Cape Town to Cinque Terre.

During one of his wild rides, he started snapping behind-the-scenes shots of his shoes dangling out the door, and his Instagram followers responded in droves. Soon after, a collaboration with Sperry’s (the brand that has provided prep-school grads and Hamptons denizens their boat shoes for decades) was born.

“The inspiration for this collaboration actually came during a shoot,” explains Malin in the line’s promo video. “I was wearing a pair of Sperry’s and my feet were hanging from the helicopter. I took a shot of my shoes above the beach, and I thought why not put the images onto the shoes?”

So that’s what he did.

A long-time fan of Sperry Top-Sider, Malin is now designing shoes for the company. Just in time for summer, he’s launching a collection of men’s and women’s styles, all featuring his ocean-centric prints.

Adorned with a birds-eye view of Lisbon, the classic boat shoes come in at $88, while the sneakers, which come in a variety of patterns, cost $75. See the whole line on

Malin’s been a busy man lately. In addition to the Sperry’s collab, he is also currently working with Le Méridien hotels on Follow Me, a 24-hour video art installation of photographs from around the world.

Caroline Hallemann is the Assistant Digital Editor of Travel + Leisure. Follow her on Twitter at @challemann.