Silk plays a very special role for CLOT and the brand’s co-founders Kevin Poon and Edison Chen’s, both due to the traditional importance of silk as a Chinese textile but also because of how it has shaped the success of the brand, mainly through use on CLOT’s highly-collectible Air Force 1 collaborations.
While the CLOT Silk Royale brocade pattern rose to prominence after being used on several highly-popular collaborative Nike Air Force 1s, the first of which dropped in 2009 as part of the 1World pack, it was first seen on CLOT products in 2007. The pattern was co-designed by the boutique and designer and graphic artist Kazuki Kuraishi, and has since become one of the CLOT’s most recognizable patterns.
To produce the Silk Royale pattern, CLOT adheres to the same manufacturing processes and standards of quality that were applied thousands of years ago in ancient China. According to the brand, CLOT “makes a point of tapping some of the most technologically advanced production processes available today.” The 100 percent silk jacquard pattern is exclusive to CLOT, and has become a hallmark of some of its greatest collaborations.
The “Silk Force 1s,” as the collaborative Nike projects have affectionally became known, featured a silk upper that could be torn or otherwise removed to reveal a mystery base layer. Since the 2009 release, CLOT and Nike have teamed up on a number of Silk Royale Air Force 1s, most recently announcing a three-way collaboration with fragment design. Thus far, there have been five Silk Royal CLOT x Nike Air Force 1s.
The first pair was strictly limited to 250 pairs and tied in CLOT’s heritage by celebrating Chinese New Year. A second, white version, followed in 2018, before blue and the fragment design black pair joined the ranks in 2019.
“For the longest time, we’ve been very fascinated with silk. In addition to being very long-lasting and soft, it represents our culture in a visual way,” Kevin Poon explains. “We’ve always been very interested in what it represents. Silk has been part of our DNA since the very early beginning. Other than some of the recurring logos and slogans that we use, our Silk Royale pattern has become part of the brand.”
The CLOT x Nike x fragment design Air Force 1 “Black Silk” re-stocks tomorrow, November 29.