What do the super high-cut AF1 Downtown (2017), the zippy Lunar Force 1, (2015), and sock-shoe hybrid Presto (2016) have in common?
These were the fruits of the collaboration between Nike and Acronym, the tech-leaning design studio that creates, as hypebeast.com describes, “...highly-innovative and versatile designs that often utilize a monochromatic palette.”
It was Acronym co-founder Errolson Hugh who worked on the three models, and for his latest team-up with Team Swoosh, he decided to push the boundaries of sneaker design even more, veering away from his team’s usual processes by looking at the Nike Air Vapormax Moc 2 “as a visual project.”
“There is absolutely nothing retro about it,” he describes. “It's so forward. The physical aspect of it, once the laces are removed and with the elastic tongue…there is not really much that we felt we wanted to do functionally because it’s great,” he describes.
The Munich-based team was trying to figure out how to express speed and agression through graphics, and their solution was a mash-up of the camouflage pattern and Acronym’s logo. “The patterning is basically the A from Acronym. It's the original shape, and then it just gets turned into a grid,” says Hugh.
“Each of the intersecting lines of the A inside the square makes the surface, and we just delete and inverse the various surfaces that result from those intersections. It makes for a kind of progression that you get these surprising shapes out of.”
The graphic is both arresting and covert, and very much within Hugh's legacy of bold silhouettes replete with hidden detailing. A casual study of the design does remind you of that idea of movement the team was aiming for. Also, it kind of looks like the trippy baby of two very classic menswear patterns, the houndstooth and the chevron. Check it out from all angles here:
What makes this even trippier, beyond the fantastic pattern, the huge block of highlighter neon, and the fact that there are no laces, is John Mayer. The guitar-strumming singer, who, by the way, got his Moc 2 early, stars in a Spaghetti Western-style video for the sneaker. With Mayer is the Acronym designer himself, who plays two roles in the video: a cowboy and sort of space ninja.
We know. So meta. Best to just wear the Vapormax Moc 2 and leave the concept fighting to Acronym and Mayer.
These dropped last March on acrnm.com. That initial launch was followed by the releases of the light bone/volt/light bone colorway on March 26 and the black/black/volt on April 26, but one more drop is coming up. The sail/cargo khaki/dark stucco will be released on May 15. Get ready.
The Nike Air VaporMax Moc 2 x Acryonym is available at the Nike SNKRS app, nike.com, and select Nike retailers.