For this project I was inspired by the music artist Ye (Kanye West) , his music work, fashion and his sneaker design work he has done over the years with Bape, Nike, and Adidas.
Ye or Kanye is a very interesting artist for me, I was not very interested in his work at the beginning, but when the album Graduation was first released I remember I was on vacation in San Francisco and one of my cousins that drove me while I was there was continuously listening to the album and It grew on me.
Since I was a little kid I was very fortunate that my parents bought me some very cool sneakers and I´ve always been a big fan of major sneaker brands like Reebok, Nike and Adidas. So when the Adidas Yeezys appeared I was so confused by the design, I didn´t like them one bit at all, but over the years I think I understood the artist vision, he was leading a revolution in many ways and he is a great visionary for that.
The Netflix documentary Jeen-yuhs released very recently and that was the moment where I started thinking in doing a Kanye related project. In one part of the documentary he says that he wants to be the best dressed rapper, so when I started thinking about what to design it was very important for me to design the character based on the idea of using the same template but with different and emblematic outfits wear by the artist.
Kanye, has made very popular so many outfit trends and he has designed so many sneakers over the years. At the beginning I only wanted to make 5 designs total so it was very important for me to decide which sneakers from what eras would I be choosing.
There are so many great sneakers and color ways, but at the end I chose the Bape collab from the College drop out album era, the Nike Air Yeezy from the Graduation album era, the Yeezy 350 V2 from the Life of Pablo album era, the Yeezy 700 wave runner from the YE and The Kids See Ghosts album era and the Yeezy Foam RNNR from the Donda album era. I wanted to make the Nike Air Yeezy 2 but it was not an easy decision to make the 1.
The design process was very simple, I started sketching the character and the shoes using the iPad Procreate app, from there I exported the file to images, and later I used those images as a template in Illustrator, I traced all the elements there. Since I discovered Procreate I started neglecting the Adobe suite but I´m beginning to re-discover the importance of programs like Illustrator, and I´m still fascinated by them.
I did only a few tests for the lettering design, because I already knew what type of letters I wanted. The part that took me a lot of time was to chose a text, I did a lot of research, I searched and searched for Kanye quotes, tweets and interviews until I started looking the lyrics for the first Kanye album, College Dropout, there is a song called Breathe in Breathe out that has the lyric “What you gon’ buy next? Whatever new trend is” and from there I thought It was exactly what I needed, because I could be using YE instead of YOU, and it still reflects something related to buying the products or whatever the new trend is.
The Final Designs
At the end it was so much fun to make 5 different variations of the same design, so many different color variations for them, the clothing, the lettering and the shoes themselves.
The online store
For the animation I wanted to design a piece that could be used on a fashion show, something abstract but with style, so I ended up using all the sneaker images I designed using illustrator and I made an animated piece on Adobe After Effects for each of the sneakers. At the end I included an audio track that I made using Ableton Live as well.