words & images_Nick DePaula
When we set out to create a series of collaboration shoes for our 7.7.7 event in Los Angeles, the Sole Collector team agreed that we should have a consistent color theme across the board. Black/ Purple/ Red it would be. We all preferred black based shoes, red was often our bar logo color accent color, and of course, purple represented the hometown Los Angeles Lakers. [Sorry Clippers fans!!]
Retrokid worked on the Reebok Ventilator, Steve styled up the K-Swiss SI-18, and I was fortunate enough to work with AND1's Marketing Director at the time, Jerome Jackson, on AND1's newest performance monster, the Onslaught.
We had a mostly black and purple theme in mind all along, with red contrast stitching as an accent that would help to tie it in with the rest of the shoes on hand. Being that the event was held in LA, and the Onslaught was the only basketball model of the three 7.7.7 collaboration shoes, I figured we could draw even more inspiration from the Lakers and also use yellow as a pop color.
You'll notice yellow on the shoe's "AND1" & "Onslaught" branding hits, as well as on the full-length TPU spring plate, to call out the company's newest innovation. Perhaps the two best attributes of the shoe, the purple synthetic used along the upper, and the all-over 'S' pattern along the outsole, were entirely the work of Jerome, and a last second surprise that helped to make the shoe a huge success. I originally had selected a rich purple suede for the shoe's overlays, [Sorry -- I was going through a suede phase!] but Jerome wanted something a bit faster that would fit with the Onslaught's high performance look. He nailed it with the lightweight purple synthetic chosen.
The shoe's outsole also originally had color hits of purple and red on alternating pods, and again, Jerome Jackson threw in an awesome touch with the repeating 'S' swatch pattern along the outsole. Only 72 pairs of the 7.7.7 Sole Collector x AND1 Onslaught were released, and being that it was the first ever shoe that I was lucky enough to work on, they're easily among my favorite shoes of all time.