words // Brennan Hiro Williams
The Road to the Masterpiece finally comes to an end next month with the release of the Nike Kobe 9 Elite. Eric Avar's new design features an innovative combination of Flyknit, Flywire and Lunarlon technologies, making the Kobe 9 Elite one of the most unique basketball shoes in footwear history.
Today, Nike provided a look at three more intriguing colorways of the Kobe 9 Elite, telling the story behind some of Kobe's inspirational muses, including art, culture and the city of Los Angeles:
For over 18 years now, Kobe has bled purple and gold. The five championships during his illustrious career in Los Angeles reflect his commitment. Utilizing a unique take on the Lakers traditional colors, the Kobe 9 Elite 'Inspiration' colorway will be worn by Bryant upon his return to the court. Retail launch: March 1.
The Blue Period was a three year-stretch of artistic brilliance by the Spanish cubist painter Pablo Picasso, whose artwork during this time featured somber shades of blue and blue-green. The Spanish master serves as the guiding inspiration for the Kobe 9 Elite 'Perspective' colorway. Retail launch: March 8.
Michelangelo, the Italian Renaissance artist who reigned supreme in the 1500s, could be considered one of the greatest artists of all time. Known primarily for his life-like human sculptures, his work inspired art for centuries to follow. With similar Italian roots, for Bryant, detail is everything, leading to the creation of the grey-based Kobe 9 Elite 'Detail' colorway. Retail launch: March 22.