Sunday, April 13, 2014

NIKE Air Trainer 1 MID PRM QS

I am fascinated with the sartorial man of the future...

Will he wear an impeccably-fitted grey suit like Vincent Freeman in Gattaca, or dystopian hypermodern plastic harnesses like Korben Dallas of the Fifth Element?  Will he carry a light-up umbrella like Rick Deckard in Blade Runner and part his hair classically like Dr. Dave Bowman in 2001: A Space Odyssey?  Will he borrow Ripley's Reeboks from Aliens, or Marty McFly's Nike Air Mag's from Back to the Future II?  I would like to agree with Krista Now from Southland Tales's assertion about the future: "scientists are saying the future is going to be far more futuristic than they originally predicted."  How will the futuristic sartorial man present himself? Will he draw from the past, (our present), while embracing the technological advances of his time?  Would he, this modern man, look out of place in the year 2000, or even in 1950?  Give him a sleek haircut, a suit tailored to his frame, and shoes to propel him forward through time and space...

What better way to blast him to infinity and beyond than with a pair of kicks that embody the part to the fullest.  These Nikes are polarizing: they demand attention; they dazzle the irises; they literally reflex the world around us, and; they look as though they were worn by an extra in Minority Report.   One thing is for sure, they are not safe. way to describe many of my purchases.  I think "safe" for some, is "classic" to others.  Safe is the antithesis of dangerous, daring, outlandish, or....horror of horrors, trendy.  However, safe lasts, safe endures, safe looks just as good in 1950 as it will in 2050.  I'm thinking a Rolex GMT, a pair of Tod's driving shoes, a Charvet dress shirt, a Ralph Lauren Chesterfield Coat... all safe but classic pieces.  Investments even.  Again, safe, these ain't. 

Some background.  On 27 January 2014, Nike released the Air Trainer 1 MID PRM QS in this radioactive oil slick of colorway.  They also released two other decent but relatively bland Air Trainers, an Air Trainer SC and an Air Trainer '94.  Details of both are available via an easy web search.  This pair, however, is the true star, standing out as a dazzling constellation burning bright in a universe of inky space.  I came upon these sneakers by accident, during a trip to Miami that happened to fortuitously coincide with the limited release of this shoe.  I initially bargained my way into a pair through eBay from a gentleman who bought them spontaneously and had instant buyer's remorse and who was seeking to sell them quickly.  It involved a drive to the outskirts of Miami, a rendezvous at a 24 Hour Fitness to squelch the potential for any funny business, and a subsequent triumphant drive back to my hotel.  Fast forward 3 days.  Wandering back from a late dinner in Coconut Grove, I happened upon Soles Inc., whose service I cannot praise enough.  As I walked in, there, behind glass, was one pair of the Air Trainers I had purchased on a swoosh (get it?) chase three nights before.  The pair was in my size, 13, and shockingly, not marked up.  5 minutes later, I departed with the satisfaction that I had one pair that would remain deadstock for my collection, and another that I would rock.  The following day, departing through security at Miami international airport in these shoes, I felt like I could press an invisible button and Rocketeer myself straight to my destination.

As I reflect back on this purchase, I wonder: would the sartorial man of the future wear these? 

Maybe, he already is.  


Sunday, September 22, 2013

NIKE RT1 HIGH McFly 2009 Barney's Exclusive

Back to the Future themed-post, take II, rolling...

To err is human, to forgive is divine.  I have erred.  You see, as previously chronicled here, I explained that prior to recreating the iconic Air Mag from Back to the Future II, Nike created just four McFly-themed sneakers: the Hypedunk Supremes 2008/2010, the Nike Hypermax McFlys, and the Nike Zoom Tre AD.  But they were all of them deceived, for another ring was made, in the land of Mordor...err, wait, wrong movie.  There was however, another sneaker produced in the McFly colorway, also exclusively sold through one store, and also produced in extremely low numbers.  

Behold, the Nike RT1 High in the McFly colorway.   Produced as a Barney's New York exclusive, these kicks dropped in early 2009 and were only made available in limited quantities.  Nike included the option of a pair of sea-foam/mint laces to match the soles as well, though, the gray laces give them a more stealth appearance.  Although the alternating light and dark grey leather, white sole-trim and  pebbled rear panel give these shoes their own unique stand-alone look, it's clear this pair fell from the BTTF II tree. 

Some rather unique details that propel them forward through time:  my favorite classic/futuristic sneaker detail: horizontal repeating motorcycle jacket-esque ribbing.  The mint paisley on the back of the tongue is a classy hidden touch.  Additionally, a detail that I would venture to be lost on most individuals who are not aware from whence the "Nike" name is derived, is a blink-and-you-missed-it set of stitching on the tongue, an outline in sea foam of the Athena Nike Winged Victory, found at the top of a set of steps in the Louvre. 

Up, up and away....

Friday, September 13, 2013

NIKE Air Revolution VNTG QS 2012

Loving the future does not equate to a dismissal, disregard, or a weariness for things past.  Au-contraire: many times that which is past, can be made new again.  That which is past may in fact have appeared in its day to have been ahead of its time.  More interestingly still, that which is past may still appear to be futuristic-looking. Some things have designs that remain current, relevant, and timeless: these are classic pieces.  However, what really stand out for me, are those pieces that look retro and futuristic at the same time.  

What do I mean?

First, what don't I mean? I don't mean things that were meant to specifically look futuristic in the past.  Consider such things as "futuristic" cars of the 1950s....these vehicles look futuristic, only from the perspective of someone in the 1950's imagining what the future would have looked like.  What happens is that these vehicles look overly 1950s, vice appearing to look futuristic.  

But to achieve both a retro and futuristic look is genius: essentially to look "classic" in any era.  To me, those things that most effectively look and feel futuristic are those, for which, appearing to look pioneering or visionary was incidental.  How does this happen? Through timeless design.  I tend to also favor certain colors that to me appear futuristic.  Think the DeLorean: stainless steel. Obviously the shape is very 80s but the boxy look is making a resurgence in automotive design. Upgrade the technology and the DeLorean still looks au courant today, or, tomorrow.  But the stainless steel was a key in the timeless design. Imagine if the DeLorean had been green or blue? Just not the same.  To me, whether stereotypical or not, greys, silvers, blacks and whites look futuristic because we all envision the future to be sleek, uncluttered: ie, objects will look almost simple because we would have evolved them to their most efficient forms, free of adornments.  Not everyone subscribes to this idea, see: Jean Paul Gaultier's costume designs for the hyper-futuristic The Fifth Element. 

The NIKE Air Revolution re-issue (yes these are a design from the past, but with a brand-new color way), accomplish the difficult task of look retro and futuristic at the same time.  Let's examine: we wore high-tops in the 1980s (original NIKE's), in the 1990s (LA Gear, DK Knights) and through the 2010s (Air Yeezys)...and today.  The Air Revolutions are sleek, uncomplicated and look as though a guy from the year 2025 could wear them, existence of powerlaces or not.  Also, a very small detail make these shoes: the repeating vertical lines on the rubber ankle strap. 

Imagine these being worn with distressed light-wash Diesel jeans, a fitted graphic tee and a clean short haircut.....while listening to Obsession by Animation driving a White Range Rover Evoque.