Posts Tagged ‘Design’

Inside The adidas NYC Xeno UltraBoost Custom Design Party

photos // Jordan Keyser

Live in the concrete jungle that is New York City, adidas threw a midnight party to celebrate the first time XENO technology has ever graced the UltraBOOST. Nice Kicks was on-hand at the 5th Avenue adidas Flagship store for the private unveil event to prepare for the public release on October 20th.

XENO is a light responsive technology from adidas Originals that has evolved from the wilderness of Southeast Asia. In natural light, the black material appears faint with deep shimmers of iridescent colors. But with the flash of a camera, the material explodes with bright colors, spanning the entire rainbow spectrum. The material doesn’t just reflect one color but changes as the angle of the light shifts. The shoe is completely transformed through the lens of a smart phone camera in both video and photos, appearing at first glance as an optical illusion.

This exclusive party featured a mi-adidas customization center, pretzels & popcorn stands, material breakdown stations, live musical performances and best of all, an opportunity to design our very own pair of XENO UltraBOOST. Three main color options were available for the Primeknit in black, white & navy, while XENO cages and heel counters added pop to the otherwise neutral upper. Adding to the moment, adidas also brought black BOOST to the party just in case you wanted to switch your design out of the traditional white.

We can show you better than we can tell you… Browse below for an exclusive inside look at the mi-adidas XENO UltraBoost design party. If you’re looking to earn an opportunity to design your own pair, keep it locked to @adidasNYC or stop inside the store today for more information.

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Staple Design x Cole Haan ZeroGrand 2 Stitchlite // Release Date

In an effort to make the flyest wingtips, the Staple Design x Cole Haan ZeroGrand 2 Stitchlite hits the city streets by putting the pigeon in the mix. Made of marbled grey yarn, the zoned threading is both aesthetic and athletic as it relays the dress shoe styling while holding down the foot in more ways than one.

Look for this Staple collab to release online at Cole Haan.

Staple Design x Cole Haan ZeroGrand 2 Stitchlite

Release Date: August 10, 2017
Price: $ 300

Staple Design x Cole Haan ZeroGrand 2 Stitchlite
Staple Design x Cole Haan ZeroGrand 2 Stitchlite
Staple Design x Cole Haan ZeroGrand 2 Stitchlite
Staple Design x Cole Haan ZeroGrand 2 Stitchlite
Staple Design x Cole Haan ZeroGrand 2 Stitchlite
Staple Design x Cole Haan ZeroGrand 2 Stitchlite

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Interview // Kyle Ng On Being Inspired By Tactical Art to Design the Future of Air with Nike

photos, interview & words // Ray P.:

Whether you’re a straight up sneakerhead or use sneakers as a form of artistic expression, it’s deeper than just rubber soles and laces. Kyle NG, artist and Nike Revolutionair, is a perfect example of the latter. From Nike using waffles to design shoes to having guys on the team named The Architect, it’s evident that inspiration for what you wear on your feet extends beyond the simple concept of footwear.

The Swoosh invited 12 chosen ones to reimagine Nike Air Max styles as part of their “Revolutionairs” campaign. Using Nike World Headquarters in Beaverton, Oregon, as their playground these artists, designers, DJs, and retailers were tasked with reimagining the most iconic cushioning to ever hit the pavement.  The Revolutionair’s shoe with the most votes in their favor will actually have his or her Nike Air model released in 2018 on Air Max Day.

Read ahead for a discussion with Kyle NG on the deeper level meaning of his shoe design, what artists inspire him daily, and more in the interview below:

Ray P: High key, when I wore the Air Max 1 Flyknit Ultra last Spring, it was the best feeling Air Max that ever graced my feet. So, when I saw your Revolutionair design, I immediately knew you knew what’s up. You picked a great base shoe that I think a lot of people are sleeping on. What made you choose that specific version of the AM1?

Kyle Ng: I come from a design background and art community rather than the sneaker world. I love the idea of Flyknit and the artisanal idea of mechanized craft. The rich idea of weaving techniques really drew me to the shoe. A lot of my design is about California art and tactile art, the touch and quality of craftsmanship. If you go to Palm Springs you’ll see a lot of art and my design is representative of that, too. The colors give off a real organic feel. The polka dots you see along the uppers represents artist Sister Corita Kent and all the amazing political activism as well as art she put effort into.

The Air Max 1 itself has a rich heritage in art and design coupled with great story with Tinker Hatfield and his background in Architectural design.

RP: If you could choose one model or celebrity to style in your shoe for a lookbook, who would you bring on board to represent the future of Air with you?

KN: I love the artist David Hockney. He has the illest style in the world.

RP: I just googled the guy, you weren’t lying, ha! Dude’s style is sick.

Earlier, I interviewed fellow Nike Revolutionair Sean Wotherspoon and asked him the same question, how has sneakers changed your life?

KN: I wouldn’t consider myself a super sneakerhead kid, but I love sneakers as a design object. I have a lot of shoes, but I wear everything. I don’t keep anything on ice. I started with Nike SB because I skated all the time. I love the idea of shoes having more of a story than just a normal thing. Sneakers are the one design object you wear every single day. I think it’s important to have the thing you use most in your life to be of super quality, you know? And to me, Nike has always been that brand that go-to brand. The Air Max line incorporates the stuff I love like design ethos and puts it into a shoe itself. SB’s and Air Max’s changed the way I looked at shoes.

Really it’s about the idea that you’re using the foot as an action to make movements. And not just a physical movement, but a political movement or any kind of movement artistically and creatively

RP: I love your perspective. Nike SB did that for me as well.

Before we go head into the SNEAKEASY  Pop-up, It’s the last day people can vote for you… what do you want the people to know?

KN: The shoe is about inspiring the idea of creativity. It’s more of a social message. The words on the back of the shoe “Give a damn” is based off the artist I mentioned earlier Sister Corita, it’s a nod to a pin that she used in one of her prints that I own.

Really it’s about the idea that you’re using the foot as an action to make movements. And not just a physical movement, but a political movement or any kind of movement artistically and creatively. That’s what I wanted to show, a shoe that goes beyond something you work out in, train in or skate in, it’s more about a spiritual, next level idea of what shoes should be.

Sneakers are a vessel to create more ethos. I tend to pick shoes that inspire me to do something bigger.

RP: I always tell people sneakers are the most powerful statements you can make without ever saying one word. So I appreciate your time and you definitely took sneakers to a deeper level of thinking than most would anticipate. You’re dope.

KN: Man, thank you. That’s what it’s all about. Peace.

VOTE FOR KYLE NG’S NIKE AIR MAX 1 FLYKNIT ULTRA HERE

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“Palladenim” – Palladium Design Revisited by Mister Freedom


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Palladium design revisited by Mister Freedom Palladenim   Palladium Design Revisited by Mister Freedom

Long time French boot makers, Palladium have teamed up with fabric gurus Mr. Freedom to present this cross collaboration called, the “Palladenim.”

The sole and panel structure keep to the original design, however the uppers of the “Palladenim,” are made from 12oz raw selvedge indigo denim, taken directly from Mr. Freedom’s archive stock. With a striped, cotton twill lining, hand stamped labeling and a custom molded ankle bumper, footwear and vintage enthusiasts alike will be taking notice of these gorgeous limited edition boots. Available online now.

(Check out this interview with Christophe Loiron of Mr. Freedom about the project.)

Palladium design revisited by Mister Freedom5 150x150 Palladenim   Palladium Design Revisited by Mister Freedom
Palladium design revisited by Mister Freedom4 150x150 Palladenim   Palladium Design Revisited by Mister Freedom
Palladium design revisited by Mister Freedom2 150x150 Palladenim   Palladium Design Revisited by Mister Freedom
Palladium design revisited by Mister Freedom 150x150 Palladenim   Palladium Design Revisited by Mister Freedom
Palladium design revisited by Mister Freedom3 150x150 Palladenim   Palladium Design Revisited by Mister Freedom

The post “Palladenim” – Palladium Design Revisited by Mister Freedom appeared first on The Shoe Buff – Men's Contemporary Shoes and Footwear.


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Inside The Design Process Of LeBron’s Nike Air Zoom Generation

words // Nick DePaula:

When Nike pitched a then-18 year-old LeBron James during the spring of 2003 with his own shoe and a massive 7 year, $ 90 Million contract offer, the brand also put together the most powerful design trio it had.

Tinker Hatfield, Eric Avar AND Aaron Cooper were teaming up to design his debut sneaker — a power move if there ever was one.

After meeting the already dubbed “King James,” Coop had a bold and simple declaration for LeBron: “We will design you the most comfortable basketball shoe you have ever worn. Period.”

Bron Hummer H2The trio had a series of sketches and looks to work from early on, that loosely pulled some inspiration cues from LeBron’s controversial Hummer H2, his 18th birthday present. As you’ll see below, there’s a progression to the collar shape and logo placement, along with some shifts to the sleekness of the midsole.

Since Nike was plunking down $ 90 Million, it should come as no surprise that the Swoosh shifted from a subtle collar hit to a more overt midfoot logo about three times the size.

It’s also long been said that Nike execs wanted LeBron to wear #5 when he entered the league, so he could create his own legacy for the number as an expectedly transcendent player, rather than piggyback off of Michael’s #23. Five was thought to represent the fact that his all-around game was all about team, and that he could also potentially play all five positions.

You’ll notice that a “LJ” logo option with a five-pronged crown is featured on the heel counter of one sketch, while another option features five stitch lines through the midfoot. Those details all were scrapped once James decided on #23 for good.

While the look evolved during the process, the technology that Nike’s star trio incorporated into the shoe offered up proven performance for the rookie. Heel Max Air and forefoot Zoom Air provided guaranteed great cushioning, but it was the brand new “Sphere Liner” that would make the Air Zoom Generation such a comfortable and plush shoe the second you put them on. The thick zonal collar padding was used throughout the shoe’s full-length inner sleeve, making for a damn comfy sneaker that somehow still only ran for $ 110.

“LeBron put them on [for the first time], jumped up about four to five times, stopped and said, ‘These are the most comfortable shoes I’ve ever worn,’” smiles Cooper.

Check out the Air Zoom Generation’s sketch progression below, in our latest Sneaker Sketch of the Week. 
1 1150 ZG 146158_040_original2 1150 ZG_2_original3 1150 ZGS_1_original4 1150 ZGS_2_original5 1150 ZG 146158_041_original

6 1150 ZG_4_original7 1150 ZG_3_original

8 1150 ZG 3Dgeneration1_original

9 1150 ZGS_5_original10 1150 ZG allsketches_original

11 1150 ZG 146158_068_original

12 Bron AZG

13 1150 2003 1500 AZG 114 1150 ZG LeBron First Game Generation 3

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fragment design x Nike Tennis Classic AC Release Date

Even though the year’s biggest tennis tournaments have come to an end, Nike hasn’t stalled with release of their famed tennis silhouette. The foremost, the Nike Tennis Classic, recently received a leather update equipped with a sporty gum outer thanks in part to collaborative partner fragment design.

This new NikeCourt Tennis Classic release features navy and burgundy color options, equipped with tonal laces, metallic gold hangtags and gum outers. Give them a look below and expect the release on October 15 at retailers including Footpatrol.

fragment design x Nike Tennis Classic AC

Release Date: October 15, 2015

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Ken Link Named As New Jordan Brand Design Director

words // Nick DePaula:

In a major leadership change at the Nike World Headquarters, longtime Swoosh designer Ken Link has recently been named as the new Jordan Brand Design Director, where he’ll set seasonal initiatives and frame the design language of the brand’s performance footwear. His first full season of led products is expected to release in Summer 2017.

Since Nike launched the Jordan Brand as its own subsidiary in 1998, both the performance and lifestyle product silos have come from the same team of designers, with designers working on sneakers of all uses simultaneously. Going forward, the company has decided to split their team of designers into two separate design teams that will focus individually on performance and casual sneakers.

Link, one of the most respected personalities on campus, has been with the company for twenty years, and created several iconic basketball and football models throughout his career. He’s previously held down roles as Design Director of Nike Basketball during the mid to late 2000s, and most recently worked as a Design Director at the Nike Training and Nike Cleated categories.

“Kenzo” worked on the Zoom Kobe 1 and 2, and is most associated with his design work for LeBron James on the LeBron 2-6 and the first three Zoom Soldier models.  While working on training and cleated product, he crafted the Zoom Revis, Alpha Talon, Zoom Vapor Untouchable, Lunar Trout and many, many more statement level products.

As Jordan looks to expand further into football, after recently announcing the University of Michigan will become the first Jumpman football program, you can also expect to see Link’s work showing up again on the gridiron.

Stay tuned for more information on a new design direction for future Jordan Brand products, and we’re looking forward to seeing what’s in store for the brand ahead.

Kenzo Kobe 1 launch B
above: Kobe Bryant and Ken Link at the Zoom Kobe 1’s spring 2006 launch event.LeBron 2 Sketch 1200 Kenzo

above: Ken Link’s Nike Zoom LeBron II design

 

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Interview // Nike Basketball Design Director Leo Chang Details The Hyperdunk 2015

words & interview // Nick DePaula

When the original Hyperdunk launched in 2008, the shoe marked a new era in many ways. It weighed just 13.0 ounces, which at the time Nike’s CEO Mark Parker said was the lightest basketball shoe to date. (I remember a couple sneakers listed on Eastbay at a shade under 13 ounces before then, but who’s counting, right?) These were real light, even with an all-new high cut silhouette that was new to hoops footwear. They also incorporated Nike’s new Flywire technology, an upper panel simply made of plastic and fabric strands that mostly looked really cool, but also became a marketing dream for the company across all categories. The shoe single-handedly moved the industry towards a focus on lighter weights, with synthetic materials a new focus and leathers a thing of the past.

Nike was so damn confident in the shoe that they even invited media to their sprawling Beaverton, Oregon campus during the summer of 2008 for a detailed walkthrough of the model’s design and development process, along with a “media weartest” of the shoe. Every single brand holds media run events now — but it was unheard of to that point — as sneaker blogs weren’t yet an established presence then and brands were reluctant to host a real-time on-court feedback session. They’d rather just tell you how great the shoes were and have writers relay those claims in their stories.

Kobe Hyperdunk 2008 Nike Launch 600I’ll never forget the then-head of Nike Basketball turning to us after our interview and saying, “I can talk these up all day long, but what better way to judge them than to lace them up yourselves and give them a run?”

So that’s exactly what we did. With Nike execs and Kobe Bryant himself standing right on the sideline watching us.

As expected, the shoe was an absolute beast, and it featured a combination of what Nike loved to call “lightweight containment” that was entirely new to the game. In the mid-2000s, shoes were beginning to get clunky as hell (see: Shox Bomber), and the Hyperdunk shifted the industry completely away from the two ever-present styles at the time: overly retro-driven models like the Air Force 25 and overly-complex mechanical cushioning setups like the many full-length Shox bricks and adidas’ $ 250 “computer shoe”, the adidas 1, which quite literally bricked.

“You’ve been with us for the journey, and we always talk about the Hyperdunk in 2008 being a defining moment for us and a new era for innovation in basketball,” Nike Basketball Design Director Leo Chang told me last week. “Before, it was always a leather or a synthetic leather upper on a crazy innovative bottom. The explosion in innovation throughout the whole shoe started with the Hyperdunk in 2008.”

Each year since, the Hyperdunk has become Nike Basketball’s marquee team franchise model, providing players of all sizes with an all-around product that looks to offer up a blend of protection, versatility, traction and cushioning. The newest version, the Hyperdunk 2015, looks to combine the best of each model. There’s the protective higher cut, the midfoot support wedge, tried and true herringbone traction, and most importantly — in my opinion — a return to both heel and forefoot Zoom Air.

To hear all about the latest addition to the editions, I recently caught up with Leo Chang for a full breakdown of the new Hyperdunk 2015.

Hyperdunk 2008_2015 Lineup 3

Nick DePaula: The first Hyperdunk in 2008 was such a landmark shoe. You then did the 2009 on the Hyperize, and then the 2010 and 2011 too. Olivier Henrichot did the 2012 and Peter Fogg did the 2013 and 2014 after that. Once Foggy retired, how’d you decide to take the Hyperdunk series back on?

LC: In my current job, obviously I can’t do everything. [laughs] As the Design Director, I have to overlook all of the line in footwear, and I have a great team of designers that are amazing, so I’m not going to hog all of the projects. Foggy was a great designer and he’d done some pretty legendary stuff, so I trusted him to take it somewhere new. For the ’15 in particular, it was an interesting time, because Foggy had decided to retire from Nike and go ride motorcycles or do whatever the hell he wanted to. [laughs] So, it was a weird transition and we needed someone to design the shoe, so I just hopped back in there.

NDP: With the original Hyperdunk taking some inspiration from the Mag, and this being the 2015 edition, how much did that come into play in terms of offering some inspiration?

Leo Chang H 2LC: That was Avar’s vision from the beginning, and I always thought it was cool to start from there from an aesthetic standpoint. I just love the Mag, and it’s one of my favorite sneakers of all time. It’s just such a cool silhouette, and to this day, it’s still such a futuristic shoe. I wanted to kind of go back to that.

When we did the Hyperize, it was still there, and then 2010 was there through the collar. Then from the ’11, it shifted a bit, but there were components here and there. Through the Foggy era, it diminished a little more, and I felt like being that it was 2015, it’d be a good time to go back to that, but not be too literal.

From an aesthetic standpoint, the idea was around, “What would I do to modernize the 2008 Hyperdunk?” It’s kind of like in iconic cars like Porsches, you see the lineage of the gesture for models like the 911. You see how they evolve, and it’s really iconic and they just modernize it every time. It’s like an iPhone too. Each time, it’s more refined. I wanted to take that approach, and looking at the original Hyperdunk, you had the very iconic triangular shape in the lateral foam stockfit component that was a stability feature on the first one. Then, you had the floating heel clip.

At the time, it was also a very new collar silhouette, and it had the high to low hybrid height. That wasn’t really a thing until the Hyperdunk, and now it’s everywhere. I wanted to look at the silhouette as a point of doing what the Hyperdunk did in having a high collar, but still articulating where it needs to. From there, just cleaning it up and letting the upper be more simple. It felt right to do that. To me, it was a more modernized and sophisticated styling of the original Hyperdunk when you look at it iconically. That all goes back to the Mag too.

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NDP: The shoe is really bold in the way it can be blocked, and the NIKEiD options on it are really cool in how versatile it can be blocked.

LC: Yeah, and I had a lot of fun on there! I went a little crazy and got like three colorways on iD. I thought they did a good job of letting you call out those blocks really boldly.

NDP: It’s real good. Did you have specific ways to block it in mind when you were designing it, or were there some alternate blocks along the way that you were toying with?

HD Paul George IGLC: I wanted to create options, since the Hyperdunk is such a universal shoe. I think it needed to adapt. Sometimes, I love to see the whole triangle wedge plus the heel part blocked as one. And other times I think it’s cool when just the triangle alone is. Or you could also do the heel and triangle in colors separately. You could have those options and that can help to extend the life of it. It was always about keeping the toolbox open.

NDP: I haven’t played in these yet, but I’m real excited to. It seems like a “Best Practices” Hyperdunk to me combining the best of all of the models through the years. You’ve got the protective top line, the clean upper, herringbone traction and you brought Zoom Air back into the fold. I’m definitely most excited about that. The last Hyperdunk to have Zoom was also the last one you designed. Why’d you decide to bring it back after the shoe featured Lunar for three years in a row?

LC: From a performance standpoint, it was kind of a reset. I wasn’t in love with Lunar. Most people were neither here nor there with it, in terms of players. They couldn’t really feel the difference of it, and over time, it just didn’t evolve enough for me. I just felt like it got more vanilla over time, and I want there to be a feel of something. The responsiveness of Zoom is something that basketball players love all around. To bring that back into the shoe was, I think, a no brainer. That doesn’t mean we’re off of Lunar altogether, but I think when we get the right formulation of that, we’ll use it again. It just felt like the right time to get away from it.

NDP: Other than being used in the insole of the Kobes, is it not in the line otherwise as an embedded unit for this upcoming season?

LC: It works great as a drop-in configuration on the Kobes, and it’ll be around. For me, Zoom is a great basketball technology though.

Zoom Air BagsNDP: For the separate heel and forefoot Zoom units here, are they a 14 and 8 mm size, or what are they?

LC: Yeah, it’s exactly that.

NDP: With the shoe being such a universal shoe for players of all sizes, what kind of feedback have you been getting from all of the guys that’ve been playing in it?

LC: There’s a few things on the tooling that we did after hearing feedback from the past. One, is we switched to Zoom, as I mentioned, which is a step towards where we were in the ’11 and is great to get that responsiveness back. Another thing is we used a Phylite midsole, similar to the HyperRev, and on the lateral side it wraps over the outsole.

The reason why we did that is because the Hyperdunk is such a big team shoe, and durability was something that was important. We wanted to make sure it was fairly bullet proof. Typically, what we see from our college players and elite players who are doing two-a-days and just going so hard, is that on the lateral side, the outsole rubber wrap can peel out. When you look at all of the defectives that we get back, the common area for issues is on the rubber wraps through the forefoot on the lateral side. Most consumers who aren’t at that elite college level don’t ever experience that. Fa15_BB_HD15_749561-100_B_native_1200

NDP: Yeah, I’ve never quite had a peel out [laughs], but I’ve got a friend with a 40” inch vert that’s crazy explosive and it’s happened to him a few times.

LC: Some guys will just shred their shoes, so that was an area to look at. We wanted to bring in a foam that was ground-contactable, like a Phylite material, and wrap the outsole on the lateral side to protect it, so that you’d eliminate some of the delamming that would happen with rubber. It makes it more durable, and more flexible.

NDP: When the first Hyperdunk was launched, it was always bounced around between Vectran, Kevlar and ultimately Nylon for the Flywire strand material. What are you guys using here?

LC: The original one used a poly-based core, and we ended up using the Kevlar in the 2011 Elite, which reduced the stretch even more, which was great.

NDP: Man, that’s the best playing shoe of the last five years for me.

LC: Yeah, that was a great shoe. The 2015 edition now has a little bit of a wider cable in it, it’s about a 2 mm width, and we’re using less cables, but each one is a little wider and tougher. We sandwiched it between bonded mesh layers so that you get that feel of it conforming better, and it’s less boardy than synthetics. We just wanted the shoe to have that natural feel and also be contained around that.

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image above courtesy Jeremy Rincon

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Ryan McGinness x Hennessy V.S Limited Edition Bottle Design

Hennessy V.S cognac continues its collaborative legacy with the release of a limited edition bottle designed by artist Ryan McGinness. The label is a vibrant reimagining of the original and is one that captures the dualist aesthetic of both the brand and work produced by McGinness. The label said to be based on the artists ”Black Holes” series of work. Each bottle is individually numbered and can be purchased via Reserve Bar for $ 42 USD.


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fragment design x NikeLab Roshe LD-1000 “Black”

A favorite silhouette of Hiroshi Fujiwara, the Roshe LD-1000 continues to act as a collaborative platform for his brand, fragment design. Again under the NikeLab moniker, a new monochromatic iteration is set to release next week, adorned in a tonal black aesthetic constructed in suede and nubuck fabrication. Done up with nostalgic Nike script, waxed laces, exposed tongue padding and a Natural Motion sole, look for the fragment design x NikeLab Roshe LD-1000 “Black” on July 16 at NikeLab retailers globally and online.

fragment design x NikeLab Roshe LD-1000 “Black”

Release Date: July 15, 2015

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