We caught up with multifaceted artist FILFURY ahead of our Air Max 95 ’20 for 20′ release
FILFURY is an artist, director and designer from the UK currently living and
working in Los Angeles.
Nike Air Max has always meant a lot to FILFURY.
“Originally it was about fitting in – Air Max gave me a visible allegiance to the kids on my estate,” he explains. “But it quickly became about more than that, I began to get obsessed with the design language, the tech, the colours. For me, I need to see a visible air-unit – that bad-boy bubble – so now it’s become my daily uniform. Air Max just makes me feel me.”
FILFURY’s early fascination with the design language of Air Max has shaped his whole career. As a creative, for him sneakers aren’t just shoes, they’re materials to experiment and create with – on a very literal basis. He began taking his sneakers apart and reconstructing them into beautiful new forms. “It was exciting,” he tells us. “It opened up a whole new palette of elements I could create with, and I loved that you could still recognise the shoe by its textures, fabrics and colours.”
FIL is now internationally renowned as the pioneer of sneaker deconstruction as a high-concept artform, and has worked on multiple art projects for size?. In 2013, to celebrate the launch of the exclusive Air Max 93 & Air Huarache ‘Teal’ Pack, size? commissioned FIL to create artworks comprised of the exclusive shoes.
“My idea was to resurrect the once-extinct – the 93s and Huaraches hadn’t been seen for some time – so I created these animal skulls in my mashed-up sneaker art style,” FIL explains. “Those shoes are so sick – the bright teal colourway, the electric purple Swoosh… they just look spanking.”
Since then, FIL has created huge sculptural installations for size? – most notably at size?’s flagship Amsterdam store, where he designed and constructed a 40ft sculpture of the size? question mark using a sneaker-inspired graphic language. “I was playing off things like the toe-box materials and the elegant graphic lines you’d find in an Air Max,” he tells us. “It’s still hanging in Amsterdam today. It was quite a responsibility to create something that’d stand the test of time, I had to make it classic and timeless – not just throwaway fashion.”
Fil doesn’t just work exclusively deconstructed sneaker art. He’s also a graphic designer and director, working on commercials, music videos and films. He still credits sneakers as having paved the way, though: “The sneaker mash-ups created an opportunity for me to create my own lane. They allowed me to follow my dreams of bigger work and bigger budgets to really bring my crazy ideas to
When we ask FIL about what size? means to him, he’s animated. “I’ve grown up with size?, it’s been a constant in my life,” he says. “Sometimes it’s been online, but any time I’m in the UK I hit it up immediately – there’s always something I can cop to get my little fix. size? is the epitome of British trainer culture.”
Guest written by Iona Jackson, Breaks Agency.