Nike is awesome, and we talk about them a lot. They’ve collaborated with artists and designers to produce everything from apparel to architecture installations (their global director of design actually majored in architecture). That’s just the tip of the iceberg though. Last year, the company out-awesomed itself when it came out in support of gay and lesbian athletes in a major way, releasing sick-looking, geo-specific shoes and hosting a summit to abolish homophobia in sports that coincided with pride month. And even though that was just last year, so much has changed.
Sci-fi and the future; I think about these all the time. The science fiction tales of the last 100 years has inspired so many of the objects we now have in our day to day lives. One of the fields sci-fi has absolutely had an effect on is in fashion design, as evidenced by these futuristic pair of Nike’s, the WMNS Roshe Run “Metric”.
I came across this pair of sneakers the other day and for whatever reason they seem perfect to me. I currently wear boots most of the time so seeing these mid-tops, created by Taka Hayashi for Vans Vault, are something so different than what I’m used to but would certainly brighten up my wardrobe. There are a few key things that I think really make this shoe work. First there’s the balance of polished and natural materials, specifically the leathers used. I love on the toe there’s a suede that gives it that natural vibe, but then you get a bit of the Horween leather that elevates it a bit. Then there’s that black and white printed band at the top of the shoe. I think this graphic element is so interesting, it helps to break up the more straightforward nature of the shoe.
Now the hard part… tracking a pair of these down.
Found through Hypebeast
My obsession with camo seems to be unwavering. I recently came across these shoes from Clae, a model called Newman, which comes in two pretty rad colorways – tan and black camouflage. The patterns are rather subtle, especially on the black version, each looking like they could be a part of a carefully considered car interior. I mean that in a really good way.The pattern lines up with weave of the fabric in just the right way. I’m not sure though which I think is better, the tan or the black camo, they both certainly have their merits.
You can snag yourself a pair by clicking here.
The idea of camouflage can be traced back to the notes of Charles Darwin who recognized the patterns of animals and insects served as a survival mechanism.
When we see leaf-eating insects green, and bark-feeders mottled-grey; the alpine ptarmigan white in winter, the red-grouse the colour of heather, and the black-grouse that of peaty earth, we must believe that these tints are of service to these birds and insects in preserving them from danger.
My first passionate encounter came in the form of a pair of camo trainers that were made by XLarge. I think I purchased them in 2002 in a strip mall in Downtown Sacramento. They still sit in a box underneath my bed and they’re one of my prized possessions. But before that I had no affinity to camo. If anything I had grown an aversion thanks to years of high school classmates in baggy camo cargo pants. Over time though I’ve certainly grown quite an affection for camo, which was certainly fueled by Hardy Blechman’s immense compendium DPM: Disruptive Pattern Material. In it he covers not only the history and variety of camouflage patterns but also their occurrences in pop culture. It’s the holy grail of camo.
So I thought I’d put together a collection of camo objects that I’ve been gathering over the last few weeks. Hopefully you find some that you like. Just remember to dress sparingly with your camo. Too much camo and you might end up looking like a crazy war vet.
It’s come to my attention that I don’t have a good pair if black sneakers. As someone who’s a fan of all black everything this almost seems counter intuitive. Luckily I came across this leather goods brand called HÆRFEST, pronounced Harvest, who are based out of New York. They’ve created a leather trainer called the AE16 which has a beautiful mix of black marble leather and matte leathers. The pairing of the two different leathers is such a great effect. To say that I’m kind of obsessed with these is an understatement.
You should also take the time to check out the rest of their leather goods by clicking here. They also have a pretty incredible visual inspiration blog which you can find here. I’m looking forward to seeing what HÆRFEST comes up with next.
On Saturday, I attended the opening of Jenny Sabin’s My Thread Pavilion for Nike’s Flyknit Collective. Sabin’s work focuses on the intersection of art, architecture, design and science, often starting at a molecular level and building into works of a much grander scale. Employing this process, Sabin started by gathering data from the Nike FuelBands of a select group of New Yorkers. After analyzing and mapping the information gathered, she created a visual structure by weaving together threads into cylindrical segments, which were stitched together to form the Pavilion.
The result is a large, hive-like dome. Upon first look, I immediately found myself getting lost in the maze of intricately woven threads and small tunnels. But after ducking through one of the 2 openings into the pavilion I found myself in a spacious cavern with cellular-looking walls.
The Pavilion was constructed using two different types of thread, one that is solar active and the other reflective photo luminescent. Every five minutes the lighting in the Pavilion changes, representing the light in the early morning, afternoon, twilight and midnight—the most common times people run. As the lighting changes, the Pavilion undergoes a transformation from stark white into a glowing green, to a beautiful intense blue (my personal favorite) and ending with an amazing red/orange. These changes in lighting give the piece drastically different feels.
My Thread Pavilion was created as part of Nike’s Flyknit Collective—a group of six artists from around the world commissioned to create works of art based on Nike’s new Flyknit technology. Flyknit debuted in the London Games and employs the use of simple threads woven together into complex patterns to create shoes that are formfitting, lightweight, sustainable and, most importantly, performance-enhancing. My Thread Pavilion will be on display for the next six weeks at Nike’s Bowery Stadium.
Since 2008 hard graft has been making fine leather and felt goods, ranging from bags to iPad cases. They’ve continually upped their game every year, rethinking their concepts and pushing the boundaries of their design thinking. Last week though, they may have outdone themselves.
Quite a while back we set out to find the right Italian workshop that shares our ethos in crafting limited shoes by hand. Cobbling them together with pride, bit by bit. It’s fair to say our search was quite a bumpy ride – bigger factories turned us down instantly and small artisan workshops that were up for the challenge where extremely hard to find. But, hands down we have found the perfect match and here’s the first results of our ideas.
It seems to me that hard graft is making a natural transition from bag making to shoe cobbling. They have such a strong design language which beautifully translates to the world of footwear. My personal favorite of the bunch, there are three models which come in two colors, are the Men’s Hight Boot in all grey. It’s amazing how much the boot looks like one of their bags, with the leather body and the touch of felt on the back of the ankle. It’s a manly, sexy boot that looks timeless.
This is a huge jump for hard graft. I’m really looking forward to seeing what comes next.