Ok so this popped up on the twitter the other day:
And I was like omg WANT! WANT!
I mean just Yum, look at them, they have that certain quality of BAD ASS that pale pink satin pointes lack.
And the Nike brand just throws in another level, like they’re probably all springy and cushy like a running shoe.
Great name too. Arc Angel. Want!
Then read down a little further and was like, wait- whut?
This is not a real ad! This is a portfolio! Adult Beginner has been totally fooled!
So once I got over my huge disappointment at not being able to immediately fly into the car and zoom over to my local Nike store and Demand to be brought several pairs to try on Immediately, I started thinking about the design and the guy who designed it and if he is a dancer and if his focus in this project was the shoe design itself, or the graphic aspects of the ad,
Because it looks like this is the kind of thing we called a Paper Project when I was in school, where you do full color designs, detail drawings as needed, swatch all fabrics, basically it’s fully designed on paper but never intended to be produced in real life.
When I was in school these projects would end with a big class critique, during which our teachers would rip the designs to little shreddy shreds and our classmates would try and make up for the public crushination by pointing out the things they liked.
Consideration of budget never entered into these paper projects or thir critique, which is one of the ways in which art school does Not prepare you for the professional world.
But anyway, so I was wondering all these things and then was like, Dude, this is the Internet, why wonder, why don’t I just ask the guy?
So I did.
And was delighted to receive an email from Guercy Eugene that same night, answering my questions about his dance back ground and his ideas about the open heel, and he has such an interesting story that I thought you might like to read it too:
(also he apologized for his English, which is not the first of several languages he speaks)
“I was actually a ballet dancer back in middle school for about 3 years. I attended a magnet school (South miami middle school) which supported kids who had talents in dancing, art, theater, and music. We learned a variety of dancing from Ballet to contemporary dancing and even tap dancing. It was quite an experience for me. i was the only guy in my graduating class in ballet, but i knew that this was where i wanted to be. My parents came from a very poor country (Haiti) so an opportunity like dancing at a magnet school gave me a chance to clear my mind. I then got into art. Fortunately when graduating from middle i was accepted to a school called Design and architecture senior high school where my main concentration was Product design, which brought me to where i am today designing products, mostly footwear. I kept in contact with most of my friends that continued ballet dancing that attended the new world school of the art and they gave me some insight on what i could do to improve the training for ballet dancers. So ii started sketching and keeping in mind that minimalism is key, and that adding more materials to that product will make it worse, so i ended up deleting the heel which provides more ventilation, dancers wont have to buy a new pair every year because all you would have to do is adjust the strap. I also added a d3o element that would protect the dancers foot on impact. This material is a soft gel like material, but when hit it harden and turns into a shell that can take a large amount of pressure.”
I was pretty excited and shot back some more questions, but didn’t hear back which is fine, he is a student after all and probably too busy doing real work to answer questions from crazy shoe-crazed Internet-crazies.
This d30 stuff is apparently also used in high-impact body armor. Interesting idea.
The heel I wonder about: considering how much time dancers en pointe spend not actually up on pointe, seems like the edge would be painful and I wonder if the shoe would feel secure, not to mention that the stretchy band at the back of th heel might want to slide up into the Achilles tendon without any shoe-back keeping it down and away.
These are all things I would have checked while I Totally Danced Around the Nike store.
Keeping an eye out.
You hear me, Nike?
And a big thank you to Guercy Eugene, for making this cool design, and for answering my questions. Thanks man!