Behind the design.
Bryson Tiller recently teamed up with Nike as part of their "Behind The Design" program to create his own pair of Nike Air Force 1s, which he created in honor his hometown of Louisville, Kentucky and the city's ties to boxing.
To create the shoes to his liking, Tiller paid a visit to Nike's iconic Bespoke iD Studio located at 21 Mercer St. in SoHo.
“I didn’t expect there to be all of these different textures and options,” reveals Tiller. The design studio offers a wealth of full-grain premium leather colors, different types of customizable woven labels and even glow-in-the-dark elements that Tiller put to good use. “It’s inspiring to see what’s possible, and I designed a pair based on my hometown and boxing’s tie to the city.”
“I wore a uniform to school, so the white-on-white or black-on-black Air Force 1 Low was the simple sneaker to wear, but it was the standard. You were cool if you had on a pair of Air Force 1s,” says Tiller. “It’s still a staple for me while on tour.”
Unfortunately, while Nike shared some photos of the design process they didn't actually reveal the finished product. Although, they described the Louisville inspired Air Force 1s which feature an upper flooded in university red full-grain leather, which is intended to recreate the look and feel of boxing gloves- as a nod to fellow Louisville native Muhammad Ali.
Additionally the kicks include a tour yellow eyestay and custom tongue tag inspired by the branding found on a pair of the same gloves. Metallic gold dubraes, an off-white midsole and a gum outsole complete the premium, city-inspired design.
He likened the process of designing these one of a kind Air Force 1s to how he approaches his profession.
“I’d never seen how shoes are actually put together, but I always like to create my music based on an image. Once I have an image, I start to create the music around it. It was the same with designing a Bespoke Air Force 1. I focused on images that highlight my obsessions – Louisville, and my hometown boxing hero’s rise to greatness – and I built around those.”
“Whenever you fly into Louisville, you see a sign that says, ‘It’s Possible Here.’ I remember my first time seeing it – I think I was coming home from the studio in LA – I was working on my debut album, and I just thought, ‘Wow, it is possible here.’ Everybody always thinks you have to move out of the city and go where the music industry is, but it’s possible in Louisville, and it’s possible anywhere. You just have to believe. So, I put ‘POSSIBLE’ on them as well.”
Check out the full "Behind The Design" page on Nike.com.