I have been working with Ron Eagle, Director of Product Publicity at Sony PlayStation, for years and am always amazed at how deep he goes with the shoe projects he is involved with. Once again, PlayStation and Nike have teamed up to create something so very serious. It goes without saying that this is going to be a pair of shoes you either love or hate - there will be few that are in-between. I'm lucky enough to have a pair and I'm going to tell you right now - these joints turn heads - ! So how limited are they? Try 24 pairs. Unfortunately, these won't be released to the general public and they are even more limited than the PlayStation AF1s. You might see a pair of these up for a charity auction or given away on the site... so stay tuned! Talk about it on the forum here.
Here is a recent interview I had with Ron:
Can you give me some information on these shoes?
We have been working with the folks at Nike for quite some time,� where events overlap or they have a need for gaming and televisions to help showcase and augment the energy that they are putting into presentations and events, we have always wanted to help out and be a part of it.� We've also worked with them to create custom showcases of Nike product (like laser etched AF1s) during events that we are putting together like an NBA player's lounge.� It's always been a great partnership and really makes sense, in that both brands have so much pop culture relevance and audiences that overlap into each company's product categories.
The shoe came about, when I got a phone call saying that they wanted to make a shoe for me to say thanks for the support.� As a shoe guy, I was really excited and surprised - I wasn't expecting it and in fact was working on a different project with them for a large game that we have coming out.� So it was really cool, just to have them say thanks and acknowledge that they valued us and the things we were doing for / with them.
How did the concept come about?
When I got the call and was told that they wanted to make a shoe, of course the first thing I asked was... what kind?� They told me they were working on a new training shoe, one that would be technically very advanced, but would harken back to some of the great training shoes from their past, like the ones worn by Bo Jackson and John McEnroe.� As soon as they said the word McEnroe - I was completely sold as the original Air Trainer 1, is one of my all time favorite shoe designs and something I remember wearing to school.
It started from there, asking me about favorite colors, and anything that I did or didn't like.� The designers are just so good at taking input and making really slick creative choices, that when the line drawings come over, I'm just stunned.� As you already know, we like to do things that haven't been done or are totally unique and that was one of the things that the guys at Nike knew that they wanted to do when they asked me what I liked.
How was it working with B Mitch and the team in Training?
Working with the designers at Nike is always inspirational.� In all cases, we are creative people and enjoy looking at things that we believe will move the needle, will do something different, or create a feeling or emotion for both brands.� It's very easy to fall into a rut and do the same things over, because they were successful before.� I think we are able to do things that are much more creative and push the envelope, because there is a shared passion for bringing unique elements to the fore and putting our collective energy into these partnerships.� It was kind of funny when they wanted to show me the designs that they had come up with.� The first one shown to me was very clean, lots of blues and greys.� I had told them I didn't want an all black shoe because we had done that with the PS AF1s and the PS 360 / 90s. The second, they hedged a little, I remember something being said, like, "I know you didn't want to do black, but look at this graphic and design - we like it and think it would be really sick."� Boy was it! I had never seen anything like it and loved how "loud" the shoe was and the amount of detail that they put into it.
What did you think of the shoes when you received them?
I was completely blown away - there are so many details, so many different things to look at and yet it's also very cohesive.� The quality of the materials, especially the lenticular, was just crazy.� I really love how much the shoe changes in light, the brightness of the colors against the black, and the fact that the left and right shoe have different graphics / colors was just really cool.� It was also very nice of them to tie back to the "different and cool factor" that the original PlayStation brought to the gaming industry in 1994. To be able to visually reference a game changer for our industry and acknowledge our history with Nike dipping into their history with visual cues from the Air Trainer line to create something very new and unique is just hard to put into words.� The shoe has the heritage from each brand, but also shows the progression we have made and continues to celebrate that central to pop culture theme that we both enjoy.
What is your favorite part of the shoes? I know there are a lot of items to choose from..... I so dig the sole - close second to the upper.
Wow - that is a tough question because of the amount of detail.� I dig the sole as well, but I think the lenticular material did it for me.� To see it change from yellow & green to red & purple / blue and so many colors in between - just blew me away.� It was something that we started on the 360 / 90 and has been taken to a whole different level here.
One other small thing that I really like (again so many details), but one that might get over looked, is the purple seam around the toe box area, just that added touch of color and pop was such a thoughtful choice that brings that area of the shoe together and reminds me of the gradient pantone from the stylized PS2 logo on the game console.
How do they rank to the other PS shoes?
Another tough question, we were working toward something with the other shoes.� The launch of an NBA videogame with the PlayStation AF1, the launch of the PS3 with the PlayStation 360 / 90s.� This being a "thank you" it could have been so many things - yet the guys at Nike got that it should be unique and it makes it very special to me because of that.� As to where it ranks, I think other folks will have to decide that one, I would imagine that there will be many opinions on it - for me personally, it's right there at the top with the other two shoes that have been created.
What is your next project? It's too early to talk about it - but we have had something very cool and unique in the works for a while and hopefully will be able to share it with you soon.� I can only say this, you will once again be blown away by the creativity used by the designers and I don't think it's something that anyone will see coming - which for me will be the best part.