Posts Tagged ‘Named’

Pusha T Says Drake’s Upcoming adidas Line is Named After His Son

If you have the Internet or a Soundcloud account, then you’re well aware there’s a pretty vicious rap battle going on at the moment. Pusha T and Drake are sparring at a high level and both fighting dirty. The latest blow comes in the form of “The Story Of Adidon” which alludes to Drizzy having a son that’s both secret and neglected. This allegation came as a surprise and caused some confusion with the following lyric linking the child to Drake’s adidas deal:

Adonis is your son
And he deserves more than an Adidas press run

This morning, Push — also under the adidas roster unless a recent change was made — called into The Breakfast Club to discuss both the beef and the lyric in question.

“Who rolls out their child with a sweatsuit?” questioned Pusha. “See the adidas situation is this: the child, allegedly his new line on adidas is called ADIDON which is named after Adonis his son. We couldn’t know about your child until you start selling sweatsuits and sneakers?”

Hear what Push had to say in the call to The Breakfast Club below.

Lead image by Nick DePaula


Opinion // In defense of Virgil Abloh’s Off-White Air Jordan 1 being named “Shoe Of The Year”

words // Nick DePaula:

I was on a panel way back in 2013, somehow tasked along with nine others to pick the “Shoe of the Year” — an impossible task for the most part. We each had tastes ranging across the spectrum of both performance and lifestyle. Some of us never cared about the tech or latest innovations, others exclusively valued the sheer looks, and a few others were admittedly heavily weighing hype, exclusivity and the attached name(s) more than anything.

Needless to say, the panel was a mess. After an hour of banter and back and forth, somehow the black / royal Air Jordan 1 was selected atop all others from an entire calendar year of relentless releases.

My choice was the LeBron 11, in black and red specifically. I thought that shoe was an undeniably incredible design, and featured new angles, new Swoosh placements and an ignorantly bouncy full Zoom Air unit that was amazing to walk around in. (They weren’t exactly great to hoop in, but this wasn’t a tech review session…)

I was badly outvoted down the stretch, but my biggest shouting point was that the so-called “Shoe of the Year” should represent THIS YEAR.

The Air Jordan 1 was the best shoe of 1985. It’s an icon in footwear that literally will never get old, no matter how many remakes, re-issues or even Flyknit editions get released.

The black/royal colorway also happened to be my very first Jordan shoe, back on October 6, 2001 — a day I still fondly and vividly remember. But the shoe shouldn’t be remembered as an iconic entry for 2013, or even 2001, as far as I’m concerned. It’ll be just yet another time (of so, so many) that Jordan Brand re-released one of its classic early models.

With all of that said, I’m actually 10000% on board with Footwear News’ designated “Shoe of the Year” selection for 2017 — the Off-White Air Jordan 1, designed by Virgil Abloh.

Sure, it’s also the same base model that originally released in 1985, in pretty much the exact original ‘Chicago’ colorway that it’s remembered for, but this version means so much more, and for so many different reasons.

When Virgil Abloh set out to design an entire lineup of Nike’s most iconic silhouettes, latest innovations (and perhaps-forced-because-politics additional add-ons), he did so with a lofty deconstructed and loose approach to filter through each of the ten designs.

“What we’re talking about here is larger than sneakers, it’s larger than design culture. It’s nothing short of state-of-the-art design,” Virgil framed it in his NikeInc release. “These 10 shoes have broken barriers in performance and style.”

With Michael Jordan’s debut signature edition serving as the pinnacle model of “The Ten” for the Chicago native-turned designer, Abloh set out to reveal the panels, layers and details that went into each of the original designs.

And he crushed it.

The Air Jordan 1 in particular, took on a level of cultural impact that quite frankly, Jordan Brand had been shockingly absent on of late. For the last few years, there’s been a weird haze clouding the brand. The game shoe has been mostly unveiled to a sea of indifference, the most beloved Retro models are sitting at stores, and the brand’s general aura has been seemingly, slowly slipping away.

Virgil helped to not only reinvigorate the perception of a retro Jordan sneaker, but did so while putting his own imprint onto the entire look of the model — this isn’t just some new exercise in color and panel choices.

It’s the exact opposite — it’s a collaborative take using an already iconic colorway. There’s a nuance to the finished product that can be seen across the entire “Ten” series, that perhaps Abloh didn’t even initially realize he’d be soon achieving.

Either way, the capsule also allowed for the Air Jordan 1 to be worn by a wide array of folks considered to be at the pinnacle of influence from the blurred silos of the athlete, entertainer, fashion or guy-with-Instagram worlds.

From the start, the collaboration could be perceived as new territory for the brand, and a departure from Jordan’s comfort zone. The fact that the best photography of the shoe during the early stages of its seeding featured the 1 High styled along with adidas Calabasas pants said a lot.

That’s how real people wear things nowadays — but it’s literally never an image you’d see from a brand, of course. The Off-White collection has shown up in all tiers of fashion, from emerging youngster Luka Sabbat, to Virgil himself at the Met Gala, and a host of others simply on the go, allowing the shoe to take on a creative lens that Nike has been desperately seeking to connect to.

And then, there’s the damn quote marks, which stated overly obvious items on each shoe in plain capslock text, in this case “AIR” – “85” – “SHOELACES.” They’ll most definitely become a signature touch of Virgil’s for the forseeable future.

When he hand-scribed out early seeding pairs to friends and celebs, the “Air Whoever” midsole text added a nice personal touch. Now, we’re seeing Abloh double-quote literally every Instagram Story caption, or something as simple as “Logo” below the iconic Swoosh of a Nike shirt.

The spontaneity of the premise has allowed for people to put their own spin on the approach, all while being admittedly simple, subtle and even juvenile, a hallmark of the early Off-White design approach.

With the help of a well-executed “Ten” launch event-slash-panel in New York aiming to explore that inner ability of expression, dubbed “OFF CAMPUS,” Nike has repositioned itself favorably amongst a crowd of creatives. It was that entire premise of being a “creator” that had been at the root of adidas’ surge in popularity, adoption and relatability over the past two years.

Thanks to Virgil, I can honestly say that there’s a new perception, and a new view towards the Jordan Brand, and the greater Nike as a whole. The Off-White Air Jordan 1 might not be the most mind-blowing design the industry has ever seen, it doesn’t take innovation or technology to a new place, and surely has seen its audience of critics along the way. In many ways, Nike took a leap of faith to allow Virgil to even “DESIGN” ten nine of its most celebrated silhouettes, and the newest Hyperdunk, in the first place.

The collection — headlined by the Air Jordan 1 — also unquestionably captured our attention since the summer and into the fall, nudged Nike along in righting the ship of this awkward and unexpected slump of sorts, and can deservedly be dubbed the “Shoe of the Year,” even if the base model didn’t actually debut in 2017.


THANKS: Nice Kicks Staff Named To Complex’s “Most Influential Of 2015” List.

words // Matt Halfhill:

What a year 2015 has been.

I could not be more proud to have myself, George Kiel III and Nick DePaula all included on Complex’s “Most Influential People In Sneaker Media” feature.

The end of 2014 prepared us for the big comeback of 2015. With the editorial restrictions of being a retailer, we finally got our right to freedom of speech back when the retail arm of Nice Kicks was sold.  At last, we could bring all of you the news like we had from our beginning through the early part of 2012. It was great to be back to doing what we do best.

In October, I stepped back from being the Editor-in-Chief, handing those duties over to someone who could not be more deserving — George Kiel III. George has been rocking and rolling with the team since 2008, when we made our first round of hires to expand our team in the Austin area. While many thought I exited stage-left from the business, it couldn’t be further from the truth. I think anyone on the team could attest that I have never been more involved with the business, working behind the scenes on a number of things, including assembling a team of All-Stars with more combined experience in sneaker media than the age of Nike.

Early in the year, an industry veteran joined the squad to round out the roster, bringing with him a work ethic and creative ideas that top virtually anyone in the industry. Nick DePaula, for years, was the Editor-in-Chief at Sole Collector, making it so much of what it is today by laying the ground work of what sneaker media should be. Along with his industry insights and relationships with everyone in the business of footwear top-to-bottom, there are nothing but great things coming.

I recognize how hard it must have been for Nick Engvall, a Nice Kicks OG, to write the Complex list with the vast field of so many people in the sneaker media landscape who all bring something new and exciting to the business. Fifteen is a very short list for all of the great people out there, whether it be on YouTube, independent sites, Twitter, Instagram, and other spots on the web.

2015 has been a great year for all involved in sneaker media.

To be named one of the most influential people in sneaker media after 10 years of doing this business is a humbling honor. I can’t describe how great it feels to be named amongst a list of peers that I respect so highly. The list of individuals is a league of extraordinary individuals who have dedicated their lives and careers to bringing you news, opinions, and history of sneakers. They’ve all elevated our collective sneaker culture.

But without the entire Nice Kicks team, I highly doubt I would be named.  Every single person on our team brings their best day in and day out to make Nice Kicks what it is.

I would also like to shine light on one of the most influential people in this business that is an industry secret. My wife and co-founder, Allison Halfhill, must receive as equal praise as myself. She is the reason Nice Kicks is what it is today. She is the reason that “good enough” isn’t acceptable. Far beyond organizing and spearheading the On-Foot Look column of styling sneakers with fashion, she pushes everyone on the team forward and challenges all of us to bring our best. Whether it be a brainstorming session for content stories or managing relationships with advertisers, she is it.

For those who know me personally, my mind is always racing with new ideas. If it wasn’t for Allison, nothing would ever be filtered through or executed. Period.

Next year marks the 10th anniversary of Nice Kicks and I personally can’t describe just how excited I am for our team and our fans. We have some incredible projects in the works. Incredible.

The entire year will be a busy one, but we owe it to all of you who have stuck with us through the years to make Nice Kicks what it is today.

Without you, the people, the readers, the fans, Nice Kicks Nation, YOU are the reason we are where we are.  Keep pushing us forward and expecting nothing but the best from myself and my team.


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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