Posts Tagged ‘Process’

Kanye West’s Unreleased Clothing Line Pastelle Sheds Light on Creative Process

The creative output of Kanye West ranks among the most talked about subjects in pop culture over the last decade and a half. From music to sneakers, West’s work has seen critical and commercial success with interviewers wondering just how he does so much or maybe even more so who does what and what’s his role in making it all happen.

An open and curious collaborator, West has been known to build in bulk ala Michael Jackson, cutting down each album or in some cases collection to the point of perfection. Just as Dangerous scrapped an LL Cool J feature, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy trimmed muscle for the sake of a lean, compact classic. It would appear his approach to clothing is the same.

So, in an analogy, for every “All of the Lights” there’s a “Momma’s Boyfriend,” and for every Yeezy Season there’s a Pastelle. The clothing line that never was and the clothing line that currently is mirror that of the two suggested songs: one a smash hit posse cut pulling from all the biggest names in music past and present, the other an emotional tribute unarchiving the references of Billy Joel and Mobb Deep with the help of DJ Premier, Q-Tip and Soulja Boy but never released for consumption.

Kanye West in the Air Jordan 8 "Aqua"

A new piece by Karizza Sanchez of Complex details the mysterious, coveted and unlaunched collection from Kanye known as Pastelle – or Past Tell Museum – brought back into conversations years ago with rumors of an Ian Connor bring back but still shelved serving as fashion’s Detox.

In the piece, Kanye’s Dream Team of collaborators and consultants ranging from Kim Jones to KAWS are profiled in regards to their work in the Pastelle pyramid with the likes of Taz Arnold and Ben Baller offering insight on what happened in the production process and why the line ultimately never happened.

Perhaps most interesting to sneakerheads is how the structure of Pastelle – or in some cases lack thereof – laid the blueprint for YEEZY Season as we know it. Of other curiosity is how many of the samples produced for Pastelle now prove ahead of their time and ahead of market, adding weight to Kanye’s claim of presenting the leather jogger to FENDI years before En Noir made it happen or drawing full-length Air Nike shoes as a kid in the ’80s.

Will Pastelle ever happen? Was Kanye on the cusp of merging streetwear, sportswear and vintage 10 years before modern times and five years before he truly hit his retail stride? The answer to the first question remains unknown, but every answer to the latter lives in this piece here.


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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