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Acronym’s Errolson Hugh interview

via Hypebeast

Acronym’s Errolson Hugh interview  via Hypebeast


Despite the radical things we’ve done to it, the model is still instantly recognizable as an Air Force 1”.

That's the spirit of the collection realized by Errolson Hugh, Acronym founder, and his team.

Hypebeast asked him a couple of interesting questions, that you can find here:

How do you view the direction of style and fashion as it pertains to technical apparel and footwear?

Technicality in fashion is something that, when we began ACRONYM years ago, was a completely foreign idea. Nobody was really pursuing that or understood the need for it. At least not on a practical physical level. There were plenty of things that ‘looked technical,’ but nothing that we thought really worked. Now, in the past few years, the industry is coming around and there’s much more of an understanding of it.

I think the interesting thing about this is that anything that’s high-tech now will be everyday later.

How does designing footwear differ from designing apparel?

Footwear is interesting for us because, obviously, it’s newer. At the beginning, when we first were approached by Nike to look at the Air Force 1, the first thing we asked ourselves was, “Why should we do this? What could we possibly bring to the table that Nike doesn’t already know how to do?”

In the end, we decided to approach it the same way we approach apparel design, which means look at a problem, or look at an aspect of the functionality, and see if there’s a way to improve it. We took ideas that we’d developed for apparel and applied them to the footwear.

What was your relationship with the Air Force 1 and Lunar Force 1 prior to this?

Interestingly enough, no one in our studio had a personal connection to the Air Force 1. Obviously, in regards to culture, we all knew what the shoe meant and where it was from. But I had actually never worn a pair of Air Force 1’s before. The advantage of that turned out to be that we could proceed in a radical way, because it wasn’t a sacred object to us.

How does it feel to be one of the few people to ever update the Air Force 1 design?

It’s a big responsibility. It’s the same thing as when we were asked to do ACG. There’s a lot riding on it and it’s not something you can mess up. If you don’t bring your “A” game and deliver, you’ll never live it down.

How does this Lunar Force 1 differ from any Lunar Force 1 or Air Force 1 Low before it?

The donning and doffing allowed by the zipper is super simple. You can tie the laces once with the tension you want, and then you never have to deal with the laces again. You just zip in and out.

Also, the way the zipper is inserted into the shoe makes an extremely graphic impression. I don’t think that sort of visual language has really been seen before, particularly in the Air Force 1.

What was the development process like for this shoe?

After we had the idea and knew what we wanted, the next thing was figuring out how to communicate it to the product developers and the factory. Again, we followed our apparel process and built a prototype. We took an existing shoe and used masking tape, markers, scissors and glue, and mocked one up.

How many different prototypes for the Lunar Force 1 did you create?

I don’t even know. We probably made three in Berlin, just hacking them together. I’m going to guess there were at least another three or four after the handoff to Nike.

Can you describe each update in the Lunar Force 1? How do the updates impact the wearer’s interaction with the shoe?

We treated the Air Force 1 as the ultimate pop culture sneaker. With that in mind, we wanted our changes to be identifiable as changes, so there’s not really any kind of blending of our work and the original shoe. The shoe exists as it is, and you can clearly see where we’ve intervened. This is in three main areas.

The first and most obvious change is the introduction of the zipper, which sits just below the eyestay and allows you to step in and out of the shoe without having to adjust the laces. The tip of the Swoosh actually floats above the zipper, which is one of my favorite details. The third change we made is to the construction of the tongue. It’s longer than normal, as is the eyestay.

How do you view the different paths into fashion and apparel design today?

I think it’s changing rapidly. Today, with the amount of information that’s available on design, on fashion, about the way people dress, there are so many more points of view. There are so many more people who wouldn’t have paid attention to it before, but who now have it as their focus. What I find really interesting, or what I hope happens, is that we get many more individual approaches to it, because the diversity can only improve the offerings and the inspiration for everyone.

What are your favorite Nike shoes?

Probably the Sock Racer, just because of when it came out, how crazy it was. At the time, I wasn’t into shoes at all, and would rather have been barefoot. So that was a huge thing. It was like, “Ah, this is almost that, but better.” Flyknit, absolutely. I pretty much live in Flyknits. Sock Dart, same reason. And, I mean, if I really start thinking about it, I can go on and on. But those are three that come to mind.