We start things off in our retrospective of size? Exclusives by looking back to our first project together with Dave White back in ’05.
For those of you unaware of the name, Dave White is a Liverpudlian – now Dorset based – expressionist painter. Some of his first notable works in the early ’00s were a series of sneakers painted in a wildly energetic style, with paint continually layered to add a 3D element to the canvas. The use of paint-splatters created the effect of motion, something that would continue into his later work of animal studies years down the line. One of the pioneers of painting images of sneakers onto canvas, his unique style would soon take him onto the cover of esteemed design publication Creative Review, and would also open up a whole new world of collaboration in the not too distant future.
We first worked with Dave way back in 2005 on a pack that included the ‘big three’ – a collection of icons that brought the revolutionary Air Max line to the masses. Created to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the original Neon Air Max 95, the pack consisted of an Air Max 1, Air Max 90, and of course, the 95. The Air Max 95 is one of Dave’s favourite shoes of all time, so it was a fitting choice to pay tribute to something that itself that was an incredibly original creation at the time. No one before that point had even considered creating a shoe inspired by elements of the human anatomy.
The Air Max 1 and Air Max 90 were draped in the signature colours of Sergio Lozano’s legend, with black, grey and neon yellow suede covering the upper on both styles. Reflective 3M laces also acted as a detailed homage to the laces and rear panels featured on the OG Neon 95. We then took a stripped back approach to the 95, removing its signature palette of both colour gradient and material, and replacing it with a clean white leather upper. The vibrant neon hits remained in their rightful place to form the bond between the rest of the pack.
Together with the help of design agency Rosie Lee, we brought Dave’s studio environment to life inside the Carnaby Street store as an installation, complete with paint splattered floor and easel which saw action on the launch night. As a special gift, with purchase for the first 10 customers, a limited white Tyvek Nike jacket was produced with White’s linear shoe interpretations, along with a specially designed box containing other goodies.
A fourth shoe had been sampled alongside the aforementioned three and was also on show at the launch event held in our Carnaby Street store. Dave painted it live in his signature expressionistic style straight onto canvas, but we’ll touch on that one later this week…