I would like to introduce our project NEXTIDEVOLUTION. This is the project which breaks the barrier in the mind for ordinary people and those with disabilities by using the creativity of an artist.
Usually Nextide makes graphics for T-shirts to express this message, but now the famous Japanese stores United-Arrows and Ships sell NEXTIDE items such as tee shirts, caps, bags and sneakers. We donate profits to UNIFA which is a non-profit organization for popularizing barrier-free fashion.
We have released two prototype sneakers. One is for 2006, the other is for 2007, but both are made by ASICS with NEXTIDE designs, and they are selling at the ONITSUKA TIGER SHOP.
They will also be selling at URBAN OUTFITTERS in New York next spring as well.
#1. Conceptual graphics: Aiko Nakagawa (FAILE in NY)
Notice the double zip the on back heel? This is so that people are able to put them on and off without using laces. It is very difficult for disabled persons to tie up their shoes, so they were forced to use velcro instead. The point of this item is that we propose this idea to ordinary people and prompt them to think about those with disabilities.
#2. Conceptual graphics: ROCKMONSEN
This one has a rear-entry system like ski boots. Part of the heel falls down behind so that it is easy to put on and off. The other has straps for rolled ankles. Usually, straps are shown outside in one direction but this model is designed so that straps have the variable changing directions which are needed by both right-hand and left-hand persons.
This project concept was created with Shinji Sudo, who is the general producer of NEXTIDE in Japan. He feels the difference between both disability persons and ordinary people since 1995, when his son was born with a disability.
Finally, he discovered the way to express his message with artists and fashion in 2003. Jeff Staple was creative director for three years and introduced designers all over the globe who made new standards of fashion and culture. From next year, Aiko of FAILE will join NEXTIDE as creative director and we hope more designers and creators will also become involved with this project.