Nike is expanding its Nike By You collaborations, and this time they linked up with Multi-award-winning illustrator and street artist Karabo Poppy who has put an African touch mixed with her style on the iconic Air Force 1.
The various colorways are inspired by traditional African beaded bracelets with vibrant palettes that include red, orange, green and purple. Karabo Poppy also drew design inspiration from barber and beauty salon posters that line the streets in South Africa.
THE DESIGN INSPIRATION
THE STREETS OF JOHANNESBURG
This vibrant design speaks directly to Karabo’s love of Johannesburg’s street art, and the colorful hand-painted signage of its local barbershops and salons. Her goal is to make art both accessible and functional, which is why she’s chosen the Air Force 1 as her ideal canvas. Continue what Karabo has started with this theme by playing with your own color combos and branding options.
Karabo found her muse in the barbershops and salons of Johannesburg, so she pays her respects with an embroidered rose patch on the left shoe, and an electric clippers patch on the right. Customize with your own dynamic color combos, even on the tiny comb for the dubrae, to celebrate the beauty, ingenuity and innovative spirit of African hair.
“You are sure to look good if your hair and shoes are on point.”
BETWEEN FUTURE & PAST
This bold, high contrast design preserves the South African aesthetic by honoring its past, and making way for its future by updating it with a contemporary look. Karabo’s branding marks itself as your co-collaborator on the tongue, dubrae, and lace aglets. The rest of the canvas is yours.
“Art allows for a conversation between the past and the future to create something new in the present.”
“This became more than just a collab! The reach for African artists is expanding exponentially and I am filled with so much joy to create a first of its kind here with @Nike, where a sneaker design that has been a part of my life and the life of my family, community and the that of people I look up to has a variation designed by me 🤯. This hasn’t become real for me yet but can be real for you when you order it online.” said Karabo Poppy
You are able to customize these Air Force 1’s by Karabo – change colours palettes, finishes, and the logos.
Released on Thursday, 07 November 2019.