For this year’s Sneakerness event in Zürich, Nike invited the two Swiss artists and designers Grotesk and +41 to create an exclusive and unique pair of sneakers with NikeiD Bespoke. Two iconic shoes served as inspiration for the design – the Air Jordan 3 and the Air Jordan Sky High. The result, the NikeiD Bespoke designed by +41 and Grotesk, will be on display the first time ever during the Sneakerness on May 9th 2009 in Zürich.
Grotesk and +41 are both Swiss, living and working in two different countries. +41 is based in Lausanne, Switzerland and Grotesk in Brooklyn, USA. Independently they came up with the idea to refer to a vintage Air Jordan design, +41 to the Air Jordan Sky High and Grotesk to the Air Jordan 3. It’s the first time ever they work together. As they could not meet in person, both Philippe from +41 in Switzerland and Grotesk at the NikeiD Studio on 21 Mercer in New York City, collaborated online and created this Nike iD Bespoke sneaker.
With tons of possibilities when creating a Nike iD Bespoke they decided to take an honest and simple design approach. This in many ways is sympathetic of the existing design elements: One example is the 3 red laces rings referring to those of the AJ3. The shoe itself is well balanced just right with a choice of colors that are very subtle. Both designers felt strongly that they wanted to design a shoe more classical, more elegant and referential to what they would really like to wear, going deep into the design detail using simplicity without using and abusing the many colors and materials that are available.
+41 and the graphic design agency //DIY have been both set up by three graduate students from the “écal” (école cantonale d’art de Lausanne) – Philippe Cuendet, Laurence Jaccottet and Ivan Liechti. +41 is //DIY’s fashion brand which was set up in 2001, its name is a reference to the international dialling code of Switzerland, in an attempt to establish a solid Swiss identity. The brand explores new ways to combine easily wearable clothes and printed and embroidered visuals derived from their graphic worlds. Since 2001, their clothes are distributed in selected shops around the world. Always on the lookout for new ideas, the Swiss studio is working on what we call “the graphic design in the expanded field”, their qualifications englobe: graphic design, art direction, photography, illustration, music, fashion design, chocolate and video. +41&//DIY had the opportunity to work for and in collaboration with numerous prestigious brands or designers such as: Nike, Apple, Colette, Etnies +, Fairtilizer, Channel 4, Flammarion, Playstation, Red Bull, Yale University Art Gallery, Centre Culturel Suisse de Paris, GAS, Domestic, Big Game, Reine&Roi, Delvaux, SO_ME, Resfest.
Grotesk is a Swiss graphic artist living in Brooklyn. In the last decade he has developed a passion for folk Art, street photography, hand painted signs, vintage sport graphics, old school hip hop and urban anthropolog. His Client list includes: Nike, Also Known As, Staple, Alife, 5 Boro, Hellz Bellz, Irak NY, Stussy, Sixpack, Goliath Harlem, 2k, Uniqlo, Fifty24SF, Carhartt Europe, Zoo York, and many more.
About NikeiD Bespoke
NikeiD Bespoke is a new and innovative by appointment design experience offering consumers the opportunity to work one-on-one with Nike design consultants to customize select Nike footwear styles. Globally exclusive to 21 Mercer, Nike Sportswear’s first stand-alone retail space located in SoHo, New York, it is the natural evolution of Nike’s personalization and customization offering, first brought to consumers with NikeiD.com in 1999.
NikeiD Bespoke takes individual design to new heights with an unparalleled, creative individual design experience. It provides consumers with the greatest design freedom ever offered by NikeiD. Launching with the iconic Air Force 1 sneaker, consumers will be able to create a unique design by customizing up to 31 parts of the shoe, including the base, overlay, accent, lining, stitching, outsole, laces and deubré. Consumers will also be able to choose from 82 premium, iconic materials and colour options.
The Air Force 1 material options were meticulously selected to represent Nike’s heritage and innovation through the perspective of Nike Sportswear. Exclusive options include iconic Nike material prints Elephant and Safari – a design first used in 1987 by Tinker Hatfield who utilized two naturally occurring patterns on his Nike Air Safari running shoe and Nike Air Assault basketball shoe. Additional premium options include premium full grain suede, nubuck and leathers, Italian full grain patent leather, premium denim and reflective synthetic leathers.