Kellen Fredrickson // Feb 15, 2019
There lies an intersection in fashion today that precariously sits between the worlds of form and function.
Furthermore, it’s key to understand that this grey area of design is seemingly the one that, more often than not, is a graveyard for successful execution.
Let’s take a step back to get on the same page.
When high fashion meets sports performance, the results can be unpredictable.
Sheer genius is juxtaposed by disastrously ugly nonsense.
Few designers have truly mastered the art of walking the line between the absurd and the sublime. Recently, we covered how Yohji Yamamoto is one of these rarities.
With that said, there comes a time when the worlds of sport and style are married exceptionally. And the John Elliot x Nike Lebron Icon is a perfect case of the stars aligning in design.
John Elliot, championed for his laid-back West Coast motifs that results in elevated yet sensible collections. We’ve come to expect nothing but refined cool from the Los Angeles-based designer.
So, when the original JE x Nike Lebron Icon released last year, it hit all the right spots.
Boasting a distinctly Nike Air unit monolithically situated underfoot, the original iterations of the model also featured premium leather material as well as translucent synthetics adorning the upper that somehow echoed varying corners of high-fashion while staying true to performance footwear.
The ability to slightly modify the look of the Icon based the socks someone was wearing was a cool idea, and by leaving the initial offerings in tonal white and black livery, the shoe was as ubiquitous as it was visually striking.
With that said, the shoe failed to garner as much attention as other Nike collaborations of 2018, an unfortunate oversight considering the genius of design that allowed the Icon to find itself perfectly at home paired with casual basics and glitzier ensembles alike.
The cool thing about the new iteration that saw its first taste of public airtime during John Elliots FW19 show in New York was the fact that, rather than drastically altering its original inception, simply adorned another timeless colorway straight from the Nike archives.
Presented in an icy golden shroud, the new Icon screams Air Max 97 vibes. The popular golden colorway that found such success on that model is repurposed and retooled on the Icon, to even greater effect.
John Elliot is no stranger to the classics, as he’s also reworked the Vandal silhouette in previous collections.
This subtle nod to timeless color and design adheres to the primary goal of these sneakers: looking cool, but in an effortless way that seems as at home on the street as it does on the court.
It’s hard to deny that, should the new Icon see a retail release, they will likely go fast. In my personal opinion, these are the most desirable iteration next to the friends and family exclusive all-white pair that were, in a word, truly angelic.
Keep your eyes peeled for the potential release of John Elliot and Nike’s most recent Lebron Icon.