In conjunction with its launch of the John Elliott x NikeLab Vandal High, online retailer MR PORTER has published a deep dive into the collaboration's origins. It begins with the L.A.-based designer describing his first trip to Nike headquarters in Oregon. "It was like going to Willy Wonka's chocolate factory combined with NASA," says Elliott. "That adrenaline rush was something I will never forget. They had to kick me out of there. I did not want to leave."
If the renowned designer sounds like a Nike superfan, it's because he is, having grown up as a Swoosh obsessive who sent unsolicited Bo Jackson shoe designs to Beaverton as an enterprising eight-year-old. As a teen, Elliott would adopt the Vandal as his go-to model. "No one else at my school had Vandals," he says. "They were hard to find. I just love the silhouette. It's a slender last, a slimmer toe, a bit asymmetrical. Of all Nike's basketball shoes, it lends itself to fashion the best."
For more Nike news, check out the brand's award-winning ad for the Air Max 2017.