Last week we teased how Foot Locker recently joined forces with Amsterdam-based creative label, The New Originals, to redesign the iconic Striper jersey - and now we get to share the final outcome with you.
Recently celebrating its 5th anniversary, TNO is known for its eclectic and unique style. Its 'thinking out of the box' mentality and sharp focus on individuality is what makes its clothing stand out in the crowd. With the aim of producing performance clothing for creatives that highlight personal expression, The New Originals strive to build bridges and connect people from all different backgrounds.
Of course, as a Dutch-born and bred brand, Amsterdam’s cultural landscape strongly influences the work it does, with a mix of disciplines such as art, music, fashion, nightlife, and music seeping into the brand’s DNA. For its collaboration with cultural hub Foot Locker, TNO did what it does best. Taking inspiration from its signature colorful and playful visuals, the well-known black and white Striper jersey received a vibrant new colorway in pink and orange. Featured on the front is TNO’s whimsical mascot, Freddy, who tends to be the protagonist of every one of the brand's drops.
To mark the launch of the jersey, Foot Locker’s Kalverstraat store in Amsterdam will be taken over by TNO, with a tailored in-store experience that encapsulates the creative collective’s heritage. Starting from the shop window, customers will be greeted with a spinning boombox and colorful vinyls inspired by TNO Soundsystem, the musical side of the brand. A Freddy-inspired installation will be donning the jersey with customers able to scan a QR code that will direct them to the Foot Locker story hub to find out more information on the collaboration. Further QR codes scattered throughout the experience will link to a curated TNO Soundsystem Spotify playlist and a TNO webpage that shares more information about the brand's anniversary and Instagram.
We caught up with two of The New Originals integral members, Kogob Welde Selase and Eben Badu, to chat about the creative process, Amsterdam’s booming cultural landscape, and all things TNO.
I think the people we work with most are the ones surrounding us, and that's a big value within our company.
Established in 2015, The New Originals has been developing its visual identity and curating cultural events all over Amsterdam. What started as a blog 10 years ago has now blossomed into a fully-fledged brand with a focus on creativity. "Our environment was very creative from the start. We had musicians, painters, other artists, cooks, DJs, all kinds of different things, and this pushed us to launch a brand focused on all types of talent," explains Badu. "I think the people we work with most are the ones surrounding us, and that's a big value within our company. If you look internally within the team, a lot of people already knew each other before we started working together. But even for our collaborations, the partnerships with the creatives are almost always so relaxed because we already have a history together - it makes it feel more authentic."
The burgeoning streetwear scene in The Netherlands has had a strong impact on TNO’s design style, but also the variety of Dutch talent that it comes across has an even stronger influence on the brand's growing ethos. "We try to collaborate with a lot of different artists in general. Every season we try to tell stories. For example, what we’re working on now is all about brain games, and the next one is about music theory. We choose these themes so that we can also learn about different subjects that will in turn inform our practice. One of the things that we recently did was to collaborate with a local museum called OSCAM to design an XXL chess set. We really think playfulness is an easy way to share information," says Badu.
We always check out the latest pieces at Foot Locker because when we were younger, Foot Locker taught us about new trends in street style and about other cool brands through its collaborations.
Foot Locker has been a shining beacon of sneaker culture and streetwear for many of us since we were young. "We always check out the latest pieces at Foot Locker because when we were younger, Foot Locker taught us about new trends in street style and about other cool brands through its collaborations," comments Badu. "For our collaboration, in particular, we really found that Foot Locker resonated with the message that we were wanting to tell and share. We felt we could weave a story together whilst simultaneously creating a platform for creatives. As a brand, we are always striving to put a new twist on original things. The Foot Locker jersey is this traditional white and black colorway that people know of, so we put our own stamp on it by playing with a lot of colors. We wanted to go bigger and brighter, and our mascot Freddie has a small dialogue with the 2D elements which we loved."
For us, I think in the last few years we’ve really developed our unique identity, who we are, what we do - and I think it's a huge step to be so confident about it.
When it comes to working with global brands, the overall experience can help small creative collectives find their voice and grow. Welde Selase comments on how TNO felt a lot of synergy working with Foot Locker. "I think when you start a brand, it's common to often compare yourself with other brands. For us, I think in the last few years we’ve really developed our unique identity, who we are, what we do - and I think it's a huge step to be so confident about it. I find that when we collaborate with other brands, the outcomes show more and more what the real TNO identity is. For example, the Striper jersey is a perfect reflection of us and our design characteristics, and it’s great to see."
There’s no stopping TNO who has big plans for the future. "We currently have a store called Zeedijk 60 with two other brands – it’s more like a friendship-community store, but I think a big milestone for us this year is opening up our flagship store in Amsterdam. That’s been a huge ambition for us since we started, and now after five years we're finally ready," says Welde Selase.
There are only 100 pieces available, so you better move fast! The TNO x Foot Locker jersey is on sale in Foot Locker stores in The Netherlands as well as online at Foot Locker from June 16.