Interview and Written by: Tom Bradley
Produced by: DAN H.
Interview with Mark Graham of ilovedust
ilovedust is a design collective working in stylized solutions for products and brands of all sizes. They recently worked with the globally recognized Jordan Brand on a special release of the iconic Air Jordan I basketball sneaker. The AJ I is largely considered to be among the most sought after, revolutionary consumer products of the 20th century so it is only fitting that classic American jean maker Levi's would put its spin on the footwear icon. Lending gold rivets and denim tailoring to Jordan's trailblazing silhouette, LEVIS drapes the AJ I in timeless cool, adding the attractive Air Jordan III "elephant print" design cue to further endear the shoe to sneaker heads everywhere. Freshness took advantage of the rarely provided interview opportunity afforded by ilovedust and the AJ I x Levi's experience has been made even richer as a result.
Complete interview after the jump...
What has it been like working with two brands of such iconic status?
Well, I think firstly we were really happy to be asked by Jason and the guys at Brand Jordan to work with them in developing the ideas that finally made it to production. As you can imagine each brand had certain specifics and ideals they wanted to make sure we represented within our designs.
With regard for international backgrounds, ILOVEDUST is about as eclectic as a bunch of creatives can get. How did you approach a project so steeped in American culture as this one?
Yes indeed both play large parts in American fashion culture but also both are world wide icons too. As a group we all love and respect both brands for different reasons, and as you mentioned, both are steeped in American culture as well as being bathed in a glorious history and quality. Each brand has a very different heritage and appeal, that was important for us to use, and helped shape the way we approached the brief.
We took a very hand's on approach when creating the work, taking our scissors out on fresh pairs of Jordan 1's and numerous 501's so we could keep the core values and qualities to each product apparent in the design. I think that helped a lot, and gave us something that was obviously faithful to both brands, pair that with our hand drawn elements and pattern making
Do you think being foreign born and operating outside the U.S. allows for an objectivity not available to domestic creative teams?
I don't think design is really constricted by a studios country's of origin these days, of course your education takes you down certain pathways but with so much inspiration available through the internet and magazines I think style now transcends any kind of boundaries. Nike work with SOOOOOoooo many different people like :Phunk Studio, Tado, Wood Wood, Parra, the list is endless
What were some of the inspirations that went into the product?
We were already familiar with Jordan's achievements and their unique outlook on what the brand means to people and the positive messages that the brand stands for, plus the fact that Michael Jordan is arguably one of the most iconic figures of the 20th century, pair that with one of the worlds most recognized clothing labels... It was pretty much all the inspiration we needed! these are the people and brands we have always wanted to work with.
What were you careful to include or edit about this product?
The image is crammed with little touches and nods to both brands, we wanted the graphic to be explored and discovered, we also just wanted it to look fuckin cool. I think we achieved both of those goals with this piece. The design was also laser cut into wood at first and had to be edited many times to get the cuts and fills looking right.
What was the desired result of your work on this project and do you think your original intentions will be felt by the buyers?
We achieved a great design on a project that took many twists and turns to finally end up at this point. I think people can see the time and care spent on creating this work for brand Jordan and the guys at Nike.