On the back of yesterday’s leaked images, Nike and Parisian fashion and sports community Pigalle today launch their first capsule collection, hitting the shops on April 26. Consisting of two Air Force 1 trainers (a high and a low top) shorts, a top, a hat, and a basketball, the collection builds on a decade-long relationship between the sportswear giant and Pigalle’s creative director, Stéphane Ashpool, which saw them renovate and reopen a local Pigalle basketball court in 2009. “I’m the unofficial Mayor of Pigalle,” Ashpool says, “so the collection is a mixture of community, sports and fashion.”
The trainers come in a grey and brown color choice, both of them with a very distinct patina pattern. The aged leather look symbolizes the used and scuffed trainers worn by players on basketball courts: “We designed them with passing time in mind. With the many layers of colors, it’s an ongoing process—every pair will look different depending on how the you choose to wear them,” Ashpool says. But as satisfied as he is with the trainers, Ashpool is also very happy with the way the basketball turned out. “I’m very proud of it, it’s black and white so it will look cool in the air when it’s spinning,” he says smiling.
In line with his take on the importance of a local community (his best friend lives above the Pigalle shop and his mom takes on the odd shift in the store), Ashpool and Nike have made sure that the trainers are affordable. “We want them to be accessible for the community through reasonable prices—it’s a project for the community!”
Sitting somewhere in the twilight zone between high-tech sportswear and luxurious fashion, the Pigalle trainers feature a “thicker sole with extra layers and lunar insole cushioning for comfort and knee protection.” The trainers take their cue from Nike’s hardcore performance products fused with Pigalle’s lifestyle and community values. “Turn them over and you’ll see basketball coach details inscribed on the sole, it’s a reference to my love of basketball.”