Heads up! The Kobe 9 EM 'Philippines' release on Nike.com happens this weekend. Follow @nikestore on Twitter or check out details here: http://www.nike.com/us/en_us/launch/c/2014-05/kobe-9-premium
Meanwhile, I talked to friends from around the world to ask about the the Kobe 9 EM 'Philippines' and the kind of design feedback and emotional stimulus it inspires:
Andy Butler (@andybutletnet) of designboom.com: I like that the shoe acts almost as a prologue to a much bigger story. At first it seems to be a simple reference to the national flag of the Philippines, but upon further investigation, details such as the woven graphics, the handwritten numbering and the tsinelas on the sole give you a glimpse into Filipino basketball culture.
Joe Amio (@JTNB) of joeisthenewblack.com: I'm not usually a "red shoe" guy but once I found out the heel counter referenced "jeepneys" and then the weaving pattern of the toe area referenced the "weaved mats" I immediately felt attached to the shoe. It's been over fifteen years since I have visited the Philippines but I immediately flooded with the unique memories of zipping around on different jeepneys.
Jay Tiangco (@justjayt): The upper design reminiscent of the banig was well translated, and also one that can be transformed into a multitude of colourways that would be attractive to not only the Filipino Community (in Canada), but also the mainstream consumer market as well. Coming to the realization that the chrome accents on various parts of the shoe were an ode to the Jeepney was a nice touch.
Jacques Slade (@kustoo) of kustoo.com: They are dope. Nike is really making use of the EM and creating great stories behind it.
Jay Tiangco (@justjayt): The tsinelas graphics on the bottom was the icing on the cake for me. It immediately brought back memories of my first time back in the Philippines, as an overconfident Canadian kid going back home for the first time, wearing Nike Air Bo Jackson Trainers to play ball in, only to get beaten on the court real bad by the local kids who wore tsinelas for full court 5-on-5's. And to house it within an icy gum outsole was the perfect way to execute it.
Joe Amio (@JTNB): My absolute favorite detail is the virtual "tsinelas" on the sole! I remember playing with kids in slippers and wondering how they were doing it. Me and my cousins would always say Nike needed to make an "Air Tsinelas"!!! It really is a tribute to the love that Filipinos have for the game.
Go deeper into the design story of the Kobe 9 EM 'Philippines' by perusing through this sublime visual breakdown by @LockerRoomLegend: http://www.lockerroomlegends.ph/2014/04/the-nike-kobe-9-em-philippines-visual.html MH