Kevin Poon: CLOT x Nike 1World Air Force 1

CLOT’s Kevin Poon previews their upcoming Air Force 1 design for Nike’s 1 World Project.

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Peering through the cultural whirlwind that represents Hong Kong, another day at the office furthermore exemplifies CLOT’s “Business as Usual” mantra. Established amongst the cities elite, the industrious brand prepares for yet another massive collaborative sneaker launch. Fully equipped with a healthy dose of traditional Chinese culture, CLOT harvest one of the more imaginative and original designs within the Nike 1World Air Force 1 campaign. Fascinated by the conceptual effort and use of innovative textiles put into the project, we discuss CLOT’s inspiration behind their 1World design, with co-founder Kevin Poon.

Interview with Kevin Poon (Co-Founder of CLOT)

Hey Kevin, what’s new on your end?

Hi, hows it going. Everything is new on my end lately. New Year, New Hopes, New CLOT. Spring Summer 09 Exhibition coming up soon, got the Chinese New Year in the end of January also.

So how did this collaboration between CLOT and Nike come to fruition?

We have always had a great working relationship with Nike and as you guys may or may not know, we (CLOT) have already made a few sneakers with Nike in the past few years, so I guess it was natural and organic collaboration to have us be a part of the Nike One World Project.

Your 1World Air Force One interpretation was nicely executed, how did the concept come about?

The concept actually came from our CLOT Royale Collection, as we Chinese we really like the idea of silk and its always been a idea of Edison to apply that onto shoes. We also wanted to push the envelope to make it next level by applying a special twist to the shoe.

I imagined it must of been difficult to get this shoe the way you wanted. What sort of difficulties did you encounter and how many samples did it take before getting the shoe just right?

Yes, it was difficult to get the shoe from the concept onto an actual shoe, especially as the idea was to create a shoe that has two layers and can be customized. The laser patterns also had to be identical to the silk on top. Since silk is very delicate fabric, it was prone to damage. With the help of Jesse Leyva from Nike and Fraser Cooke, we were able to overcome this process and come up with the final product that you see right now.

CLOT released the Nike Air Max 1 “Kiss of Death” a few years back and was very well received. How does this Air Force 1 compare with the design process of the Kiss of Death Air Max 1?

Nike Air Max 1 was our first shoe, that concept came about from a few friends (EDC, MC YAN, Myself) coming together to think of the design and what we could do to bring out the concept of Chinese culture. That shoe was based on a design of the pressure points of the foot.

This time around for this Air Force 1, we chose a concept that pays tribute to the themes of luck, happiness, and prosperity .The red upper shoe top layer can actually be peeled, burned, or torn off to reveal a bottom layer. The reason we did this was to inspire people to search for what lies within. We really just wanted to encourage people to see what others see but find what others don’t find. We are really happy with how the shoe looks.

We’ve heard that CLOT will be having special artists customize their own pair of these 1World releases? Can you give us any insight on that project?

We have 3 artists that are doing customization, I don’t want to ruin the surprise.

With a new year upon us, what do you have planned for both CLOT and yourself in the near future?

This year our 5th year at CLOT, and we have many exciting projects lined up for you guys so ride with us. I want to take this opportunity to thank Kevin Ma from HYPEBEAST, EDC, Mike Jones, Dozen Matters, Jesse, Fraser, Florance, Joe and the whole Nike China Team, Nike Hong Kong Team, CLOT crew, ACU Family, and you guys!

CLOT Website
Nike 1World Air Force 1 Website

Interview: Luis Ruano
Photography: Season Chan

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