Photography By Angel Gonzalez/Vagrant Sneaker ©2013
Back in March of this year Nike iD invited me to take part in a private online design session. They gave me the duties of finding inspiration from anything to create a color-way for the new Nike Free iD builder with the engineered mesh. Without hesitation, I took on the project. What you see here is the fruition from a few photographers I took around the East Village, NOHO, Soho and China Town in lower Manhattan, NYC. Out of the four photos I submitted to Nike iD, I decided to focus on two that inspired me the most. One is this truck parked in NOHO and the other is this mosaic light pole in the East Village. It’s these images that scream New York City to me by representing the artsy, colorful and dark nature of NYC. Originally, I wanted to use blues, orange and black to showcase my interpretation of NYC. But, I chose not too because it’s what most people would use an ideal color-way for NYC…
Once I started my session with Nike iD I asked if we could just focus on the one mosaic light post photo, since it was limited to a 45 minute video chat. To me, it represents the East Village perfectly. A place I like walking around in and photographing. Looking at the colors of this great piece of art I picked the ones that stuck out the most and tried to match them with the Nike iD Free builder. The idea was to pick hues for this color-way design that would not be recognizable as NYC colors. Those were Dark Sea, Atomic Pink (more like an infrared orange), and Volt. Just like the colorful pop of the mosaic light post, which is what I wanted to translate, this CW I designed gives off the same impression. We did go through a few ideas by mixing the colors around, but this felt right. Especially once I put the black upper and laces in (Originally I designed the shoe with dark sea laces). This made the shoes CW a bit more dramatic by giving the colors some separation. It was perfect. Though on-screen it seemed like a lot was going on, I knew deep down inside that the turnout would be great. Now, I would only have to wait about 3 weeks to find out if my gut instinct was right.
Man, was I right. This shoe came out looking even better then I thought. It’s rich, vibrant and showcases the colors from the mosaic very well. The flow of the 4 hues couldn’t have worked better I think. Even trying to combine these another way on the builder would not give you this same result. One that I am very happy with. Also, to enhance this version of the Free, I decided to make it a hybrid by taking away the 3.0 Free outsole and adding in place a 5.0 Free outsole for more comfort. I wasn’t sure if it would take away from the sleek and low profile that the shoe is, but I took the chance and the silhouette still looks great with it. As for the Free model itself, it’s super lightweight and comfy compared to other Free silhouettes. It fits as if you are putting on a sock because of the way the upper is constructed. It also runs small, so if you decide to work on one definitely go half a size up. These are an 11 1/2 and fit perfect. If you’ve ever been interested in designing a Nike Free, this one would be a nice choice. There is another Free that can also be picked in the same builder with the fly-wire, but I thought that accent made the 5.0 Free look a bit weird. That’s why I chose the 3.0 instead with the engineered mesh that looks great in person.
You can say that I’m very ecstatic about the result of this project. Nike gave me the opportunity to combine two of my favorite hobbies (yes, I still consider my photography to be a hobby I passionately love). Designing color-ways and creating photographs. I’m very honored and humbled that I was asked to take part in this. It was a lot fun and a great experience that I will not forget because this is one of the best Nike iD’s that I’ve put together. Thank you Nike iD Team.
Enjoy the photos and shout-out to my homie sQMunro for the asset on the mosaic pole shot and for giving me the idea to photograph these on cobble stones. It was a perfect match to shoot it in the street and enhance the story of the shoe’s inspiration. Especially with the on-foot photos where you can see the taxis and cars around me. Peace!
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