In keeping with the theme of designing/coloring your own kix with the launch of their Adicolor project back in March, Adidas created a design contest whereby artists would utilize a blank Adicolor High and the Adicolor marker/paint set to create an original sneaker design in hopes of becoming the next Adicolor Partner (collaborator). After the votes from an open public pole on the Adicolor website were tallied, the design submitted by artist Ari Lankin of NYC was declared the winner, garnering over 12,000 votes. As the last Adicolor Partner, Ari’s design has made its way onto 25 Adicolor Highs set to release TOMORROW, Oct. 28th, at the Adidas Originals Store in NYC. On the eve of their release, KATC caught up with Ari Lankin to ask him a couple of questions about his Adicolor High.
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KATC: Thanks for taking the time out of your now hectic schedule to answer some questions for us, and, congratulations on your win. Let’s start at the beginning. How did your design come about?
Ari: I wanted to design a shoe that was wearable, yet interesting. Something that looked good both from a distance and up close, something unlike anything that you could find in stores. Since I only had one pair of Adicolors to try my design on, I took my time in trying to figure out the design.
KATC: How long would you say that it took to figure out what you wanted to go with?
Ari: I spent two weeks looking at the shoe and making the sketches. The sketches were very loose and contained notes rather than tight renderings of the shoe.
KATC: How many initial designs were your toying with?
Ari: I narrowed it down to two ideas but I ended up going with the Hokusai inspired wave because I felt like movement of the shoe the best. The other design was more surreal and trippy.
KATC: After you decided on the design, what was your design process like?
Ari: Once I decided what I was going to do, for the most part, I just went to town and painted the wave freehand and did some stencil work on the trefoil and crossbones. After I was declared the winner, I wrote an outline of how I wanted the the shoes to be made. Adidas followed it pretty well.
KATC: Break down some of the design elements for us.
Ari: The insole is from a sketch in my sketchbook that I did before the competition. It was actually the second proposed drawing because the first one was too risque. The Skull on the tongue is an original drawing I made just for the shoe, notice the three stripes on the bandanna. The “wave lace” is an original design that I came up with for the shoe as well. The laces were inspired by the wave and the fact that I like patterned things.
Images: Ari Lankin
Produced by: MaZe