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潮流社論|獨家專訪球鞋藝術家 Edmond Looi!DINO Nike AF-1 骨骼設計是最特別的系列嗎?

過去的很長一段時間裡,運動品牌們憑藉深遠的文化底蘊和球員在場上表現出的偉大精神力,推動著球鞋在市場上的不斷發展,而人們曾經歷過的記憶以及愛好者們的相互歌頌,更是在此中形成一股凝聚力共同傳承於每個世代。

如同 1982 年 Nike 品牌歷史中的「最初六人」Moses Malone、Michael Cooper、Jamaal Wilkes、Bobby Jones、Mychal Thompson、Calvin Natt,聚在一起腳穿 Air Force 1 於飛機跑道拍下經典照片,奠定其代表文化連接的精神橋樑;2007 年 Nike 將相同靈感賦予在「新六人」LeBron James、Kobe Bryant、Amare Stoudemire、Vince Carter、Rasheed Wallace、Tony Parker 繼續與新時代的人們緊密相連,使其 Air Force 1 成為在球鞋領域中經典的不朽之作。

不過隨著時代不同,單純的品牌歷史與人物精神的「故事」法則早已轉變為其中賣點,長年下來人們渴望的早就不再是一雙簡單的「經典款」。近年通過品牌 x 品牌的相互聯動,到直接面向設計師拋出橄欖枝都能看出有所不同。任意舉個例,2017 年 Nike 因應 Air Force 1 走至 35 歲里程碑,力邀 Errolson Hugh、Travis Scott、Don C、Kareem Biggs Burke、Virgil Abloh 幾位在時尚、街頭、音樂具有號召力的核心人物,從他們藝術思維重新定義 Air Force 1,便是現階段繼續吸納群體並鞏固「鞋款地位」最有效的方式。

這樣能夠創造雙贏的策略,能夠拓寬品牌對不同設計的包容性並提升合作對象的自我價值,隨著科技發展的迅猛,受到啟發並解除地域環境的設計師們,通過網路的方式也能向大眾展示在設計上無邊無際的想像,將原本就底蘊深厚的鞋款注入全新創意,定製出不同於官方的作品同樣吸引著人們。

當然品牌方也深知這一點,除了與檯面上不同文化背景的知名人物聯手之外,也找來定製單位玩出不同花樣,比如過去為慶祝 LeBron James 成為 NBA 史上最年輕完成 3 萬分的歷史成就,Nike 亦與定製單位 The Shoe Surgeon 攜手通過鞋款設計與材質上的考究,合作打造一雙足以彰顯精神價值的 LeBron 15 奢華賀禮。

事實上這種定製項目在 Instagram 還有許多種,像是以下要介紹的球鞋藝術家 Edmond Looi 也越來越受到關注。不僅知名鞋履設計師 Salehe Bembury 和超扁平藝術家 Takashi Murakami 都是其粉絲,這回潮流社論也幸運找到了他,進行了一次簡單的重點專訪。

這裡稍微介紹一下這位球鞋藝術家的背景,來自於馬來西亞的 Edmond Looi,定製習慣受到 Virgil Abloh 的設計影響,先前以 FRAGMENT DESIGN x POKÉMON 為靈感重製 OFF-White x Nike Blazer 解構形象頗具玩味「驚豔」一票人;去年,也因應 Travis Scott x Air Jordan 1 的設計為拆解,順應倒鉤細節以「骨骼」進行創意延伸受到許多圈內人士不少的讚譽。

這樣的設計,也成為爾後 Edmond Looi 專屬的元素標籤,假如你點進官網會看到各式各樣以 Air Force1 或 Air Jordan 1 為藍本的 Dino 系列骨骼設計。從開始各種面料的平面拼貼,再到後期「挖空」鞋側縫合其他物料的組合,通過對材質上的探索配合豐富有趣的配色所不斷延續的設計進化,都能彰顯出 Edmond Looi 在 Dino 系列每雙製作的獨到美學。

不僅如此,面對嶄新時代來臨 Edmond Looi 也意識到球鞋領域正在進入全新階段,透過參透 NFT 的市場價值,利用新技術的視覺展現配合打造出在新興市場延續自我藝術價值的 1 of 1 Dino 系列。

1.HI!Edmond Looi 初次見面,你在成為球鞋藝術家之前是做什麼工作?

Edmond Looi:我是個助理建築師。

2.是受到什麼契機,讓你決定走進球鞋領域?

Edmond Looi:市場,炒作。

3.從 DINO 系列中,我感受到你很注重結構化設計的表現,怎麼會想用類似「骨骼」的方式為靈感?

Edmond Looi:靈感來自 Supreme x Vanson FW17 和我的進化。

4.應對在每款球鞋上獨有的 Foam Fossil 設計,材質上的選擇你是怎麼做考慮的?

Edmond Looi:每次的選擇都不一樣。

5.如果要你從眾多 DINO 系列說出最喜歡的一款,哪雙配色令你最滿意?

Edmond Looi:Red Dino OG 1 of 1 NFT。

6.那麼有哪位設計師 / 藝術家你很喜歡?例如除了 DINO 定製鞋款之外,也常在你的 Instagram 看見 Kanye West 相關作品。

Edmond Looi:Adidas 的 Yeezy 對我來說是最具藝術感的設計運動鞋款系列。

7.對了,最近你的 DINO 系列也走進 NFT 市場,你怎麼看待球鞋領域未來的轉變?

Edmond Looi:新品牌的機會更大了。

8.能告訴我們接下來正在執行什麼合作企劃嗎?

Edmond Looi: 和運動鞋製造商與設計師合作,發展我的 Fossil Fuels 系列。

9.最後讓我們把眼光放遠,你希望 DINO 系列發展到什麼地步?

Edmond Looi : 有自己的 Dino 設計系列。

結:

其實在定製領域裡,要實際產出一雙完整的作品並不簡單,如何在鞋款上做出美學平衡考驗著創作者對細節的思路,更不用說購買回來的耗材與研發都是不可量計的。

而這也很好解釋了 Edmond Looi 的 DINO 系列為何如此限量的原因。除了得考慮到買鞋與失敗上的經濟負擔,也極為考驗個人手作的技術面向,同時在配色層面的美學涵養也是其中一環,看似簡單卻並不是每個人都能自做。

倘若感興趣的朋友,下方編輯也帶來一系列上腳的模樣,瀏覽完畢的同時不妨前往 Edmond Looi 的 Instagram 社交平台看看其他有趣的 DINO 系列。

For a long time in the past, sports brands pushed the unceasing development of the sneakers through the deep-rooted cultural heritage and the great spirits of the player performance on the courts.  The memory people went through together and the mutual praise among enthusiasts formed the cohesion to be passed on to each generation.

Just as in the classic photo of the Nike Original Six in 1982 where Moses Malone, Michael Cooper, Jamaal Wilkes, Bobby Jones, Mychal Thompson and Calvin Natt got together wearing Air Force 1 taken on the airplane runway that laid the spiritual bridge representing the cultural connection; in 2007, Nike presented the same inspiration in the New Six: LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, Amare Stoudemire, Vince Carter, Rasheed Wallace, Tony Parker that continued the tight bound with the people of the new age; making Air Force 1 the classic immortal piece in the sneaker field.

With difference in time, story principle of simple brand history and spirits of the persons have turned into the selling points.  People have no longer been longing for a pair of simple “classic style”.  From the mutual interaction between brands to extending the olive branch directly to the designers showed the difference.  For example, in 2017, in responding to the 35th year milestone of Air Force 1, Nike invited Errolson Hugh, Travis Scott, Don C, Kareem Biggs Burke, Virgil Abloh et al core people that were appealing in fashion, street art, and music to redefine Air Force 1 from their artistic thinking.  This would be the most effective way to continue attracting the crowds and consolidate the shoe style position.

This is a strategy that creates win-win, expanding brand inclusiveness to different designs, and elevating the self-value of the cooperation subject.  With the rapid technology development, designers that are inspired and are relieved of the territorial environment are able to display their endless imagination in design through internet.  They inject brand new creativity to the shoe styles with deep cultural heritage, customizing works that are different from the official style but are equally attractive.

The brands naturally know about this.  In addition to working with the renowned figures of different cultural backgrounds, they also find custom companies to toy with different ideas.  For example, in order to celebrate LeBron James to become the youngest player in NBA history that achieved 30 thousand points, Nike collaborated with custom company The Shoe Surgeon to craft LeBron 15 through exquisite design and material; a pair of shoes that was extravagant enough to glorify LeBron’s spiritual value as the celebration gift.

There are many types of such custom items on Instagram, such as the sneaker artist Edmond Looi that we are introducing.  Famous shoe designer Salehe Bembury and Superflat artist Takashi Murakami are among his fans.  We are lucky to have found him for a simple highlighted interview.

Here is the background of this sneaker artist.  Edmond Looi is from Malaysia; his custom habit was influenced by Virgil Abloh’s design.  Previously his re-production of OFF-White x Nike Blazer deconstructed image using FRAGMENT DESIGN x POKÉMON as the inspiration stunned a lot of people.  Last year, in responding to disassembling the Travic Scott x Air Joran 1 design, his creative extension of “skeleton” detail conformed to the back-swoosh received a lot of praises from people in the circle.

This type of design has become the element tag exclusive to Edmond Looi.  If you go to his official website, you’ll see a variety of Dino series skeleton design based on Air Force 1 or Air Jordan 1.  From the collages of different materials in the beginning, to the later combination of hollowing out the side and stitching with other materials; Edmond Looi’s unique aesthetics in producing each pair of the Dino series manifest through his unceasing extension designing evolution in exploring materials and the matching of rich and fun colors.

Not only so; in facing the coming of the new era, Edmond Looi also is aware of that the sneaker field is entering a brand new stage.  Sees through the market value of NFT, he uses the visual display in new technology to build up the 1 of 1 Dino series to extend the self artistic value in the emerging markets.

1.Author:Hi, Edmond Looi, nice to meet you.  What was your job before becoming an artist for sneakers?

Edmond Looi:I’m work as an assistant architect. 

2.Author:What was the opportunity that brought you into the field of sneakers?

Edmond Looi:The market, the hype.

3.Author:From the DINO series, I find you pay attention for the performance of structured design.  How did you come up with the idea of using skeleton like design?

Edmond Looi:Inspiration from supreme x vanson FW17 and my evolution. 

4.Author:For each unique Foam Fossil design, how do you choose the material?

Edmond Looi:It’s different all the time to choose

5.Author:If you must choose your favorite pair from the DINO series, which pair has the best color coordination?

Edmond Looi:Red Dino OG 1 of 1 NFT pair 

6.Author:Which designer/artist do you favor?  For example, in addition to the customized DINO style, Kanye West’s works often appear in your Instagram.

Edmond Looi:Adidas Yeezy is one of the most artistically design sneaker line for me 

7.Author:By the way, your DINO series also enter the NFT market.  How do you see the future transition of the sneakers field?

Edmond Looi:Opportunities for new brand get bigger.

8.Author:Could you tell us about the collaboration projects that you are working on next?

Edmond Looi:Working with sneakers makers and designer to develop my Fossil fuels series

9.Author:Now let’s look into the future; to what degree do you want the DINO series to be developed?

Edmond Looi:At least an own silhouette of Dino 

Conclusion

It is not easy to actually produce a pair of complete piece in the custom field.  How to achieve aesthetics balance tests creator’s thinking on the detail, let along that purchased materials and the research and development cannot be measured.

This also gives a very good explanation of why Edmond Looi’s DINO series being so limited.  Besides considering the economical burden of buying shoes and failures, it also tests the technical aspect of personal handmade; the color coordination aesthetics cultivation is also a part of it.  It may look simple but not everyone is capable of making on their own.

For those who are interested, author includes photos of sneakers being displayed on feet.  After browsing, you may check out other interesting DINO series in Edmond Looi’s Instagram.

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