Friday, 25 February 2011

Music/Art exhibition at NYC MoMa - with a little bit of a twist

New York's Museum of Modern Art is hosting their third exhibition on the intersection of music and art. Its title "looking at Music 3.0" presents the New York scene on the 1980's and 1990's, a rich period when graffiti, performance art, and hip hop emerged from the underground. The show features the work of dozens of artists like Keith Haring, Diamanda Galas, Karen Finley, Christian Marclay, Sonic Youth, Run DMC, Afrika Bambaataa, Kathlene Hanna and Le Tigre, and Laura Levine, just to name a few. The little taster above is a Levine's stunning portrait of Talking Heads bassist Tina Weymouth and hip hop legend Grandmaster Flash, shot in 1981 for a cover of New York Rocker. 

In light of this artistic emprise to explore the cross-fertilization between art and music in the 1980's and 1990's, it doesn't seem like a bad idea to do a bit of digging ourselves to explore the murky world of sneakers and sneaker culture of this very same cultural underground. The temptation would be to dive headlong back into the 1970's but really that venture can be saved for another rainy day. If anything, I guess it would be nice to bolster the work of the MoMa with some genuine sneaker scholarship to paint a fuller, more replete image of this historic window in time...  

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Big Big News Indeed!

The Air force 1's absence from the online NikeiD design studio has been a glaring issue with sneakerheads over the past few years. And save for a brief appearance on Christmas day last year, the classic sneaker has been able to be customized at only a handful of locations worldwide. Thankfully though, the Swoosh is bringing back the AF1 to the well deserving and patient masses. Remember this date! Friday, February 18th will mark the sneakers long awaited return to NikeiD. No word has been given as to how long the shoes will be available for but if you want some customizable kicks, you had better get your skates on and move fast; only 350 kicks were released last time. Ouch!

As we're talking about two things that really excite me, firstly customization and secondly, the bona fide phenomenon that is the Air Force One, it's about time that we take a little look at what is achievable with the silhouette of the AF1 as our blank canvass. From the sublime to the ridiculous here are some ideas for anyone that has got their creative game tight enough for the NikeiD studios...

Where is my complimentary poster?

How do you honor the past when you have to define the future? When Nike sold the Air Force One in 1982, they sold you the sneaker, you got a poster. In those days posters were the internet and the cable television of that time period. A kid would take a poster and put it on their wall and that was the game to communicating to that kid. The beauty of this system was that it made the shoe into something more than just a shoe, a shoe that represented a culture, a phenomenon and consequently an icon. 

Most bizarrely Nike never advertised the sneaker. There's never been a commercial. THe only brief period was when a complimentary poster would be found in your new Air Force One shoebox. For that poster Nike needed individuals to capture and personify the essence of the Air Force One. The 'Original Six' were chosen and represented the shoe. This meant that the ones who knew about the sneaker, knew that there was a poster with six guys on it who were super human.  

Thursday, 10 February 2011

More than just a sneaker

Here's an all important attempt to explain in an explicitly deconstructed visual language that the whole wide world might understand as to what it means to a sneaker head to lace up that fresh pair of Nike kicks on their feet and flaunt them to all them other street cats! Well then, here goes:

The best a blazer can be

Monday, 7 February 2011

Nike Mini Swoosh

Who doesn't love the mini swoosh on the side of the Air Max 1 toe box guard? It's such a great accent , but long forgotten by Nike a few years back. In 2009, Patta brought it back in their 5th anniversary shoe series and many sneaker enthusiasts loved the missed iconic accent return. Unfortunately though, we'll probably not see it again unless its requested by someone doing another Air Max 1 collaboration. For now, it was good seeing this fan favourite symbol back again.

As you can see, the above image has the 2002 Nike mini swoosh compared to the 2009/2010 versions. Just like the never ending changing shape of the Air Max 1 through the years, the mini swoosh has evolved to a shorter stubbier look. Luckily, its not a debacle re-hash like the recent shape trends of the AM1. 

Which one do you prefer? Original or New?

Thursday, 3 February 2011

Cabinet of curiosity

Sneaker storage is always something of dilemma. The challenges of finding adequate space are never ending. Shoe boxes, though they contain and protect one's prize, are not necessarily too pleasurable on the eyes. Worst of all is how do you combine a complex formula for classification that includes those kicks that are not too special to stomp around town in? 

The answer is simple...