Joseph Merrien by August Prum February 9, 2018
Virgil Abloh’s Off-White brand has created some of the cleanest collaborative designs in fashion. Collaborations with Nike, IKEA, and perhaps Louis Vuitton in the future have seen Off-White become one of the hottest brands out.
Off-White and Nike teamed up for “The Ten” collection where Abloh redesigned classic Nike sneakers like Air Jordan 1, the Blazer, and the Air Force 1. This got us thinking… what else could Abloh and Nike cook up together?
The French graphic designer Joseph Merrien, aka Smeck, was able to imagine how additional Off-White sneaker collaborations would look and the results are dope.
I spoke to Merrien about the inspiration behind his designs:
“I always loved sneakers and the fact that they became something that you have to have in your wardrobe. It became the most important piece of our everyday outfit while it wasn’t that big decades ago.”
And why he chose these specific kicks:
“The Air Max 1, the Cortez, the LeBrons, the Air Jordan IV, the Chuck Taylor… All of them are iconic shoes, for different reasons, they went through time without changing and I kind of felt like I had the opportunity to update them.”
As for how he went about trying to recreate the Off-White aesthetic, Merrien told me:
“Off-White really is a modern and creative brand, characterized by minimalist, low-colored but high-contrasted designs. The idea here was to keep the elements which are the reasons why we love these kicks and add things that would makes us love them even more. In order to do that, I began drawing the original Nike versions of the pairs on a piece of paper, then, I took a black marker and started sketching words, drawing big lines and simple figures on what I just draw, trying to find the perfect balance.”
Perfect balance indeed.
For more of his designs, check out Merrien’s Instagram page.