Haven’t been following sneakers as much lately. (Problematic considering I named this blog ‘Kicks and Keychains’.) Not writing about either hobby nearly as much as I set out to, probably just because I reached a limit with them.
But occasionally, something you developed a taste for can come back and re-spark some joy. This just happened earlier today, scrolling through my Instagram feed to see this awesome Air Max 1 ‘Schematic’.
The colorway plugs right into the huge trend that peaked around the time I began this blog — the ‘deconstructed’ look. I do not have my ears pointed toward the fashion industry, but in the sneaker world I know everyone credits the movement’s origins to the Off-White x Nike collaboration. That collection plays with textures and highlights internal materials, commanding your eyes’ attention with its proud imperfections.
In coincidence, an artist with his own deconstructed look blew up at the same time: Joshua Vides. The style was different than the Off-White approach; best demonstrated under his ‘Reality to Idea’ concept. His work shows how a final product would appear if it still had its rough pencil marks from the first time a designer sketched the dream on a napkin. Vides went viral from applying the style to all-white Nikes, eventually gaining so much recognition he joined the footwear company at the 2018 All-Star Weekend. There Vides met the renowned Tinker Hatfield, presenting him with a custom sneaker ode to the legendary Nike designer.
Vides has continuously applied the technique in creative ways to everything from safety cones to Air Force 1s to an entire ‘garage’ exhibit complete with working Nissan NSX. (I personally picked up the awesome pin seen below when it was released last November!)
More than anything, I feel both deconstructed styles tip the cap to the underappreciated dreamers originally behind these innovative designs. Which is a perfect segue back to the Air Max 1 ‘Schematic’.
As you can see, Nike borrows cues from Joshua Vides and Off-White by stripping down the classic silhouette. What I believe makes it truly appealing is the tribute to another design stage that hasn’t yet received attention.
To execute on a design, you need to take it from Sketch to Blueprint to Workshop. Sketch and Workshop are well-covered; Blueprint is overlooked. That’s why this ‘Schematic’ design is so enamoring to me with markings like measured millimeters, notes on the fabrics to use, and even an artist signature from the previously-mentioned Hatfield on the right heel.
Like I mentioned before, I have been less enamored with certain hobbies lately. But sometimes one just hits you. No official details on release yet but I won’t lie — tempted to open my wallet for this one!