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Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Center Stages

Galerie Emmanuel Perrotin in Paris played host to a confluence of designers, artists and musicians in support of Stages exhibition, sponsored by Nike and benefitting Lance Armstrong's foundation...


Kaws / Pucci's Peter Dundas, Emmanuel Perrotin, PR diva Karla Otto

Stefano Pilati, Olivier Zahm

Tom Sachs / Guillaume Salmon, Colette, Sarah

Palais de Tokyo's Jerome Sans / Chanel PR Camille Miceli

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Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Your First Look: Cassette Playa for Nike

"A toxically mutated lizard" is how Carri Mundane describes her new sneaker collaboration with Nike Sportswear, a reptilian remake of its classic Blazer style. It first appeared in the London designer's spring 08 Cassette Playa collection. Well, actually, the Blazer first appeared in 1973 as Nike's first hoop shoe, but has recently been adopted by skater punks and other "urban shamans," as Carri calls them. So she used colors that "reference the faded neons of Eighties' skate culture" to create Cassette Playa Blazer, available December 20 at Nike Sportswear in Shoreditch, London, and Soho, New York. In the meantime,

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Monday, December 8, 2008

Your First Look: A.P.C. for Nike

Leave it to A.P.C. to strip a sneaker to its essentials. Here's what Jean Touitou says about his spring collaboration with Nike: "We had a longing to make an elegant and simple sports shoe, capable of evoking a carefree summer feeling, an atmosphere of white trousers, summertime and narcissistic youth. Quite naturally, we asked Nike to reissue a version of their All Court model from 1975. We intentionally chose primary colors for the swooshes—one red, the other blue. As for the white swoosh on white canvas, its purpose is to take the dream even further." Suddenly, anything else seems vulgar...

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Monday, November 24, 2008

Get Your Sneak On

By Lee Carter...

"The closest thing I have to a dress shoe is a pair of black ostrich lace-up sneakers," said Alexander Wang at the Nike Sportswear store at 21 Mercer Street just days before winning the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund in womenswear. "I don't really follow the usual dress codes for formal events. I think the most important thing is to feel comfortable. We're not in the Titanic days anymore."

Clearly Nike Sportswear knew what it was doing when it invited Alex to custom-design his own Air Force 1 kicks (other styles to roll out soon) in a new service called NikeiD Bespoke, exclusive to the Mercer outlet. My own appointment came later, so I tagged along to observe and advise Alex as he worked one-on-one with Nike's Design Director, Jesse Leyva, who gave us quite the education. Did you know Nike invented the word deubré for those little shoelace tags?

Alex moved quickly and intuitively, flicking through all 80-something swatches in a blur of denim, suede, leather and reflective materials—like an ambulance speeding down Santa Monica Boulevard. He settled on a mostly monochromatic mix of black croc skin for the upper, black patent leather for the Swoosh and in back a spotted gray/white pattern called Safari, which was introduced way back in 1987 by legendary Nike designer Tinker Hatfield.

"I had no idea what I was going to do coming in," Alex said, "but I always seem to gravitate toward the same aesthetics, whether it's my own collection, an interior or whatever. I go for tone-on-tone combos and I love graphic and textural qualities."

Every detail took on monumental importance. We gasped in horror when mock-ups came back showing red threading we thought might look interesting, but so obviously wasn't. The correction was made pronto and conversation returned to an amaaaaazing zipper on a windbreaker (which he bought) and how Michael Phelps is kind of dorky in real life, when he's not winning multiple gold medals.

At one point Alex asked Jesse if a large metal brush he saw on the wall behind us could be used to distress the shoes after they arrived in four weeks. Hmmm, does this mean we can expect distressed Wang sneakers in the future? "Maybe. It takes the wait away from breaking in your sneakers. Nothing looks worse than brand-spanking new sneakers." This must be true because I looked down at his feet and saw scruffy old Nikes probably from the year he was born.

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Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Hint Tip: Ace Hotel

Back in February we learned, and immediately spilled the beans to you, that Portland's cheap-but-chic, grunge-observant Ace Hotel (we know such things because we recently stayed there on a trip to the sprawling Nike campus) had plans to open smack in the middle of New York City. Now we're hearing the new space, in midtown at 29th & Broadway, will finally launch February 1, just in time for Fashion Week.

Some of the signature anti-glam things you'll find: a restaurant by the owners of the Spotted Pig, an old-timey barbershop, a gym with vintage equipment, Smeg refrigerators (from the time people called them ice boxes) in half the rooms and views of the Empire State Building. Apparently the place is full of history—until recently there was even a boxing ring in the basement. And even though they're all about cheap rooms, they want you to know they have rock star suites, too. You know, just in case.

(By the way, in a related tip, the elk-emblazoned wool blankets on the seats of Number (N)ine's Northwest-inspired fall collection, made in collaboration with Ace, will arrive soon.)

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Thursday, May 8, 2008

Give Me Liberty or Give Me Nike—Or Both

Just in case you thought spring hadn't arrived, check out Nike's new Liberty Dunks, launched at Opening Ceremony last Tuesday. Nike designers were inspired by Liberty of London's famed floral fabrics, resulting in two limited-edition styles: Wilshire and Pepper...

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Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Curator Aaron Rose...

Last Thursday night we opened Being True at The Journal gallery in Williamsburg. Commissioned by Nike, Being True is a photography exhibition in which myself and the lovely and talented Emma Reeves asked 22 photographers to search through their archives and look for iconic images of American youth. It was a great project and the artists did not disappoint. Every time we got a new batch of photos it felt like Christmas! Some of the photographers involved are Terry Richardson, Tim Barber, Cheryl Dunn, Jamel Shabazz, Naomi Harris, Tobin Yelland and Ed Templeton. There's also an amazing little portfolio that we made in honor of the show. Art directed by design firm Work in Progress, the publication is one of those super limited-edition goodies that can't be bought. The only way to get one is to go out to The Journal and see our show!...

Emma Reeves, Aaron Rose & Nike's Christian Parkes

Artist Kaws

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Wednesday, February 6, 2008

You may see these Nike Dunks on celebrity feet the night of the Grammys. Created in celebration of the awards (hence the glittery swoosh), the hi-tops will also be available to the purchasing public on Sunday, but in very limited quantities and only at Fred Segal in L.A.