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ART OF SNEAKERS
AIR FORCE 1
Symmetry defines the iconic pivot point of the Air Force 1. The circular pattern on the hardwood legend’s outsole serves both function and fashion, allowing the wearer to turn on a dime but also enriching an unmistakable aesthetic. When the sneaker arrived in 1982, it launched a revolution in Air-enabled performance and lifestyle footwear that still resonates today, and the pivot point remains a staple of both basketball and sneaker iconography. Organically elevating the AF1’s innovative look and deep-rooted heritage, Amsterdam-based photographer and director Joost first created his signature, symmetrical sneaker images thanks to an interest in his brother’s passion for sneakers and their iconic colorways.
“I wanted to shoot something new with sneakers, and my brother is obsessed with Nikes. To me, his collection is just the same shoe in different colors and a big color palette. I just pick shoes based on the color I like, but he told me the stories behind the colorways in his collection.” An interest in his brother’s favorites sneakers, and in sneaker culture at large, pushed Joost to explore new methods of capturing their essence. In an effort to create a nonrepresentational image of something as recognizable as an iconic sneaker, Joost ultimately developed a motion blur technique, which captures the colors of iconic kicks as they rotate around an axis point.
“For me, seeing my brother’s collection was just seeing a color change in the same shoe. I thought, ‘What if I just get rid of all the information of a shoe, so you don’t even recognize it as one? If you just have the colors, do you still know what shoe it is?’ That’s how I came up with the abstract motion blur.” After Joost turned his inspiration into action, the motion blur graphics he created with iconic sneakers instantly struck a chord. His new abstract technique highlights the iconic colors of Nike’s most eye-catching sneakers, while also giving each shoe a more nuanced, visceral identity.
“When I shot it, it worked,” reveals Joost. “People really noticed the color and they wanted the images either because they recognized the shoes or because they were drawn to the color palettes. Just like an iris, all of these shoes have an identity based on color.” In order to illuminate the modern legend in a new way, Joost created a run of exclusive motion blur graphics that bring the symmetry of the pivot point to life in unforgettable Air Force 1 colorways.