French purveyors of street culture have always held their heads high with the knowledge that whatever they rock is done so with impeccable style and vision. Parisian tastemakers La MJC along with Colette and their sister online store Sold Out have created this double header of ASICS, with only 100 pairs of both styles available worldwide in December! But don’t get it twisted, as Michael Dupouy at La MJC explains, this collection is not about hype or keeping to where the market is right now, it’s simply a natural extension of his childhood nostalgia. Read on to find out more!
Can you explain a little how Colette, Sold Out and La MJC all relate to one another?
It's easy. Sold Out is a website created by La MJC for Colette. It is strictly dedicated to street culture products. Sold Out is a selection of products at Colette by La MJC. Since the reopening of the physical store, Sold Out is now integrated into the Colette website, representing its 'street' section.
Ok, now we understand. Tell us about the new project with ASICS? There are three shoes in total right?
Yes, three shoes. The idea was to represent the relationship between Colette and La MJC, which are now close partners for designing creative products for street culture addicts. The project used the simple formula: Colette + La MJC = Sold Out. We tried to make this algebraic equation a tactile concept by having each individual sneaker bear the signature of the store, the agency or the website. The first chapter in this three part series was the Saiko Runner x Colette, released in September 2008. Chapter Two is the Gel Lyte III x La MJC and Chapter Three is the GT-II x Sold Out.
Who designed the shoes?
Sarah from Colette designed the Saiko Runner. I designed the others...
How did you approach the process?
The challenge was quite difficult considering that there have been many good versions of the GT II and Gel Lyte III produced lately. For example, Patta did the best sneaker of 2007 with their take on the Gel Lyte III. My idea for the La MJC Gel Lyte III was to pay tribute to the late '80s/ early '90s performance running shoes I grew up with. They were full of vibrant colors. This may have been a bit of a risky design choice for 2008, as the trend was clearly back to basics with bold and simple colors. But that's why the Sold Out GT II is more accessible and easy to wear. I think both pairs have a good balance to attract different kinds of sneaker lovers. And thanks to ASICS, the shoes come with cool gifts, which make the products more appealing.
Nice scarf... where did you get the idea?
Thanks. The idea came when ASICS informed us about the release date. December is freezing here! So creating a scarf made sense. We wanted to protect sneaker freakers' necks! Another little anecdote: the release date coincides with my birthday.
Well happy birthday... The Gel Lyte III has some nice fruity colour but still looks like a vintage runner (ok, a little bit). How did you see the use of colour changing over the last year or so?
As I previously mentioned, the Gel Lyte III doesn't follow the 2008 trend. People want basics and simple things this year, probably because they are bored with the 'color invasion' during the past two years. I started designing the shoes about fifteen months before their release. And I still like them as they remind me of a period for which I'm nostalgic.
Are you happy that the shoes will not be released outside of Colette, Patta and Solebox? Isn't it nice for other people to be able to get the shoes?
Yes and no. It's always cool to manage your own distribution when you create a special product. Also, considering we did three different styles of only 100 pairs each, Sarah and I decided along with the ASICS people to offer it exclusively to the people whom we are close to in Europe. Patta and Solebox are doing really great things. I respect them a lot and am happy to see my shoes in their stores. When you produce limited quantities, it's complicated to have a larger distribution. Anyway, people overseas will have the opportunity to buy them at Sold Out and at Patta and Solebox's webstores.
A while back it seemed like trends were globally consistent... Do you think style is changing between Europe, Asia and America?
Not so much. Of course, there's still a bit of a difference but trends and style are global nowadays. For example, people can easily recognize that I'm French when I'm in the US. Although I think my accent may give me away before my style does!
And finally, what was your favorite sneaker of the year?
Difficult question. I would say mine of course. But to be honest, my favorite was not hype at all. It's a sport shoe called Nike Everyday+ with a nice infrared colorway. It's reminiscent of the beginning of sneaker culture, where you would go to a sports store, choose the model you wanted, and just add your own touch to make them perfect in the streets. There were no limited numbers, no resale value, no market, no selective distribution. They were just nice sneakers with a new design and they were comfortable as ever. I believe in performance shoes. All the legends come from that basic idea. To me, sneakers first and foremost serve a sports function. Stop thinking about fashion when you think about sneakers. Those two words will never get along.