Interview // Designer Tony Hardman Details Paul George’s New Nike PG2

words // Nick DePaula:

For every footwear designer, being tasked with crafting a signature shoe from scratch is of course the ultimate goal. There’s no greater challenge, and when it comes to namesake debuts, Paul George’s PG1 immediately was placed amongst the greatest first models in hoops history by fans and players alike, in a tier alongside models like the Air Jordan 1, Reebok Question, Air Penny 1 and others.

As designer Tony Hardman tells us on the latest Nice Kicks podcast, following up the much-loved PG1 for Paul’s second shoe was a challenge, not just because the consumer expectation had started out so high, but also because of the $ 110 price point, and the new way in which they tried to bring energy to the launch of the shoe with George’s first collaboration.

Listen to the full episode with Tony Hardman on the latest Nice Kicks Cast below, and read ahead for insights into the process of designing Paul George’s new PG2 signature model. Be sure to subscribe to the Podcast on iTunes for more designer interviews and footwear industry analysis.

Defining A PG Design Language

Tony Hardman: “As we evolve the line, it’ll feel a little more Paul than it might’ve on the 1, stylistically. Functionally, we hit all of the things that Paul wanted on the 1, but I’m not sure that we defined his style yet. That will evolve. For him, he wanted that strap in the front for the 1, and that was key. We built on things that had worked for him in the past, and then drew inspiration from who he is as a guy on and off the court. The fishing thing was a big piece of inspiration for us last year, and some of that dictated the design of it. You’ll see some of his style come into it as we develop his line down the road.

When we started the 2, he hadn’t even worn the 1 yet. [laughs] That’s one of the weird things about the signature process. It’s hard to build on, ‘Hey, what did you like? What didn’t you like?’ I had to do more of an evolutionary thing, where there were some things we knew from early testing when he wore it only once or twice, but not really in a game yet. There were some things that he definitely asked for. One being, he said, ‘Hey, I don’t want a strap on the 2.’ That was one thing. We knew we wanted to continue his lineage in terms of having a Low, and having the consumer go back to that. The comfort was a big thing too for him, and maintaining some of that.

In terms of Swoosh placement, that’s kind of iterative, and we figure that out as we go. It’s not really a request from him, but there’s a always been a nod. With the 1, there’s a reverse and a forward Swoosh. That ties back to him being a two-way player, and is a nod back to that.”

Working With Paul

Tony Hardman: “Working on a signature line for Nike Basketball wasn’t something I took lightly. Basketball shoes are something I’ve wanted to design since I was in High School, so that was a great moment for me. To jump in on a new guy who was coming in fresh, was really cool. Me being a fan of Paul’s, who he is as a person and who he is as a player, it was a good fit. Paul is a really chill guy and super easy to work with. I knew this was also a dream come true for him, and he’s a super humble guy. He was excited to be part of the process, and I was the same way.

Paul is a family guy. He’ll bring people in and treat them that way. He’s super humble and easygoing. The first session we had, we just went out to his house in Indy. We spent the day digging through his closet, looking at his cars and we brought a bunch of shoes to get a feel for what he liked stylistically. What did he play in, and what did he like or didn’t like. We set the groundwork with that, which was really cool to get to know him and build on that.

Throughout the process, we’ll see him maybe four times a year. We’ll check in with him and bring new samples, and a lot of time his family is there. His mom and dad, and his sisters, and they’re giving their input. It’s cool, and it’s really Paul. You can see how close he is with his family, and that was a lot of what inspired the 2. It’s really about the people that made him, how he’s a family guy and how that keeps him grounded.”

Designing Signature At $ 110

Tony Hardman: “That’s the challenge. People expect a lot out of signature product. It’s a challenge to have lots of technology, and obviously, Zoom bags cost money, Flywire costs money, and anything that is considered an innovation. You have to be a little craftier with how you do the design and how you’re going to bring energy to it. On the 1, bringing some leather in brought some interest and some different character to it. On the 2, it’s the same thing.

The kid wants everything. They want the $ 110 shoe to be just like the [$ 185] LeBron shoe. The reality is, it’s not going to be. We had to make the best shoe we can. In terms of on-court performance, kids will really feel like the 2 is better than the 1 on-court. It’s been amazing. Some people didn’t feel the Zoom enough, so we increased it. In the 1, we had a 8mm bag that was bottom-loaded. For the 2, we’ve gone with 10, which basically means you’re standing right on top of that bag and it goes all the way to the rubber.

For now, the current plan is to keep him at that price point. We like having a shoe that’s accessible for kids, but they can still get that aspirational signature product, as long as we continue to push the design at that level. He’s been happy with the footwear, and it’s been super comfortable for him and hitting the mark in terms of what he’s looking for on court. As long as we’re doing that, for now, it looks like we’re going to stay in that zone.”

PG’s Love For PlayStation

Tony Hardman: “It was actually quite a challenge and a bit of a scramble. To work with a company like that, that knows how to execute things, the communication was great between our teams. I already had a light in the works, based on asking Paul once, ‘If you weren’t a basketball player, what would you do?’ He said something in electronics, because he loves TVs and he loves video games. I thought it would be cool to put something that could light up in his shoes, and I was already working on that on the side. But, I was getting a lot of eye rolls, and people saying, ‘Are we really going to do this?’ [laughs] People weren’t on it and hustling on it until the PlayStation collab came along. I just said, “Yo, this is the perfect place to implement this.”

I had already started, and then it was a matter of trying to finish it up and get it into the shoe. When it’s a performance shoe, it’s always a challenge to make sure that it’s still working and no weird things or discomfort come up. We took the Playstation controller as inspiration, and just brought it to life on the foot.

He’s a huge gamer. He loves 2K, obviously. He’s also big on Madden and Call of Duty, and loves to play online gaming too. I would say he’s one of the biggest gamers in the NBA. He’s all about it and he takes his PlayStation with him on the road. That’s why this PlayStation collab came together and felt so natural.”

Drake Drops Two ‘Scary’ New Songs Without Warning

Surprise! The first Drake music of 2018 is here.

The Toronto rapper surprised fans with a double play on Friday night (January 19), dropping “God’s Plan” and “Diplomatic Immunity.” The tracks — which are collectively titled Scary Hours — arrived with little warning, after Drake posted on Instagram that the songs would be available at midnight.

With its playful beat and bouncy flow, “God’s Plan” has all the markings of a radio-friendly Drake hit, while “Diplomatic Immunity” is more dramatic and orchestral. On the latter number, Drizzy notably addresses his rumored relationship with Jennifer Lopez when he raps, “2010 was when I lost my halo / 2017 I lost a J. Lo.”

“God’s Plan” and “Diplomatic Immunity” mark Drake’s first new solo releases since “Signs” in June 2017. Both songs are available now on your streaming service of choice — take a listen below.

Fashion Girl of Today:the perfect party dress

the perfect party dress
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J.Crew and New Balance Debut Americana-Inspired “National Parks” Pack

Menswear purveyor J.Crew ignites its longstanding partnership with Boston-based New Balance for a patriotic pack that odes our nationals conservations.

Centered around the New Balance 998 silhouette, the “National Parks” offering is creatively fueled by both Crater Lake and Death Valley, respectively. The latter, expressed through varying shades of brown alongside juxtaposed suede and mesh materials, is the Crater Lake opposite which, of course, denotes markings in blue to adopt its theme of water.

Each pair from the J.Crew x New Balance 998 “National Parks” Pack is priced at $ 180. Expect the release on January 26 online at J.Crew.

J.Crew x New Balance 998 "National Parks" Pack
J.Crew x New Balance 998 “National Parks” Pack
J.Crew x New Balance 998 "National Parks" Pack
J.Crew x New Balance 998 “National Parks” Pack
J.Crew x New Balance 998 "National Parks" Pack
J.Crew x New Balance 998 “National Parks” Pack
J.Crew x New Balance 998 "National Parks" Pack
J.Crew x New Balance 998 “National Parks” Pack
J.Crew x New Balance 998 "National Parks" Pack
J.Crew x New Balance 998 “National Parks” Pack
J.Crew x New Balance 998 "National Parks" Pack
J.Crew x New Balance 998 “National Parks” Pack

Chicago Rapper Fredo Santana Reportedly Dead At 27

Chicago rapper Fredo Santana has reportedly died, according to several of his friends and collaborators. He was 27.

The tragic news was first shared early Saturday morning (January 20) by Santana’s good friend Maxo Kream. “I’m lost for words right now,” he wrote on Instagram. “RIP a real Savage.”

Santana, born Derrick Coleman, helped usher in Chicago’s drill music scene back in 2012, alongside his younger cousin Chief Keef. He also founded his own record label, Savage Squad, where he released his debut album, Trappin’ Ain’t Dead, in 2013. Over the past five years, he churned out nearly a dozen mixtapes and albums, the last being 2017′s Fredo Kruger 2.

Santana had his share of struggles as well, suffering health issues ranging from liver and kidney failure to seizures. In October, he posted on Instagram that he was hospitalized with liver failure, writing, “I wouldn’t wish this on my [worst] enemy.”

Santana is survived by one son who was born in 2017. A cause of death has yet to be confirmed.

Below, see tributes from Drake, Travis Scott, Action Bronson, and more of Santana’s friends, peers, and collaborators.

Fashion Girl of Today:The purple rose

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PUMA x FUBU – Streetwear Legends Collide For All Time Collection

 

The Suede hit the scene in 1968 and has been changing the game ever since. From the courts to the curbs, from ‘80s b-boys to today’s hustlers, it has been worn by the icons of every generation – and it’s stayed classic through it all.

Its style? Legendary. Its attitude? Unwavering. The Suede is for all time.

In honor of the Suede’s 50th anniversary, PUMA is releasing exclusive Suedes over the course of the year. This celebratory run includes the legends of the music world, the streets, the fashion industry, and pop culture.


Before Russell Simmons had Phat Farm, before Diddy had Sean John, before Jay Z had Rocawear – there was a brand that was made for the culture, by the culture – FUBU.

FUBU was born in 1992 by Daymond John, J. Alexander Martin, Keith Perrin and Carlton Brown with a line of hats made in John’s house in Hollis, Queens that were sold on the streets of New York for $ 10 each. When John sold $ 800 worth in one day, he knew he was onto something. Almost overnight and with little hesitation, risks were taken, bets were made, and long hours of relentless hustle ensued en route to building one of the biggest brands in fashion.

Nate Dogg wearing FUBU Jersey in "Area Codes" music video
Nate Dogg wearing FUBU Jersey in “Area Codes” music video

Following the success of the hats, the crew began selling screen printed T-shirts and made their mark with stitching the FUBU name to hockey jerseys and sweatshirts loaned to rappers for music videos. Numerous music videos during the 90’s and 2000’s featured artists wearing FUBU giving the brand unmeasurable visibility and organic earned media.

There was even a nationwide GAP commercial that featured LL Cool J wearing a FUBU hat and incorporating “For Us, By Us, on the low” into a 30 second long rap that GAP reportedly spent $ 30 million promoting on TV.

A quarter-century since its birth, billions of dollars in sales worldwide, and paving the way for an industry of fashion and entrepreneurs, FUBU has made its mark as an icon.

With 25 years of history for FUBU and PUMA celebrating 50 years of the Suede, what better time for the two brands to connect with one another for a collaboration with a very meaningful story (more on that soon) and great way to celebrate milestone anniversaries.

The quintessential hip-hop clothing brand, FUBU got its start in the early ‘90s and has been a streetwear legend ever since. Today, streetwear legends collide in the PUMA x FUBU collaboration. This capsule collection pays tribute to the iconic FUBU and PUMA track suits with bold colors, hits of velour, and a requisite dose of swagger.

Stay tuned for more looks of the collection, stories that connect the two brands, and exclusive interviews counting down to the release of the FUBU x PUMA collection on Friday, January 26th.

FUBU x PUMA Collection
FUBU x PUMA Collection

Diddy Casually Returns To TRL For The 39th Time

Hip-hop mogul Sean “Diddy” Combs holds the record for most TRL visits, so isn’t it about time we had him back? As expected, he made a grand entrance from the streets of Times Square before strolling into the building that he knows so well. During his historic visit, Diddy recalled some of his fondest memories on the show like being a rebel by waving to fans from the window which led to the police shutting everything down. (Sorry!)

“You gotta understand that this was the cultural epicenter of music,” he said. “Thank you to MTV for launching my career.”

Diddy also talked about his experience as a judge on The Four alongside DJ Khaled, maintaining an authentic personal brand, raising superstars of his own and cultivating talent within black communities. Later on, French Montana joined him on the couch for a big surprise—a generous donation of $ 200,000 from Combs Enterprise to Mama Hope! The Moroccan rapper also used his time in the spotlight to touch on the importance of programs like DACA. After that, they put each other on blast in a round of Most Likely To before Tinashe rolled through to premiere her brand-new music video for “No Drama.”

DC Young Fly and Tamara Dhia closed the show by presenting Diddy with an honorary jersey to hang in the TRL studio, complete with a heartwarming speech from the man himself. Watch it go down in the video below. TRL airs on weekdays at 4:00pm ET!

REVIEW // Is The adidas FutureCraft 4D Better Than UltraBoost?

WATCH ON YOUTUBE

words & video // Ray Polanco Jr.:

Ahead of adidas launching its latest innovation, I decided to tackle one of the most popular questions being asked, “Is the FutureCraft 4D better than UltraBOOST?” In the detailed video review above, topics include properties of the midsole, how it was created, comfort, and much more.

Is this new sneaker a must-cop for you? Watch the video in full at let us know @NiceKicks via Twitter.

The adidas FutureCraft 4D release date is January 18th only in NYC (for now)and retail price is set at $ 300. Stick with Nice Kicks for a updates on a wider release regarding the newest technology from adidas.

Fashion Girl of Today:Celestial Child

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