Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Way to Go, Triumvir

Triumvir - DeathSquad M-65 Jacket - Winter 2008 from brandon cheng on Vimeo.

Triumvir x Fly x Nike SB Dunk Mid Beijing
Back in August 2008, my friend Runyo Chen from Nike China told me he was working on a project with “flystreetwear,” a landmark skate shop in Beijing and Shanghai. You may recall from my previous blog posts featuring flystreetwear a few times upon my visits to China. Jeff, the owner of fly, was the “missing person” featured on the Nike SB Milk Blazers. Jeff’s shop has been one of the key focal points in the development of China’s domestic skate scene for almost a decade now.

So as the conversation progressed about the Nike x flystreetwear project, Runyo caught me completely off guard when he asked if Brian and I could design this particular SB shoe… “this can’t be happening!” I can’t really describe how I felt, but I did have flashbacks of me painting custom Nike’s in my parents garage. Now I was given the chance to design an official Nike shoe from Nike SB. My belief - I’ll believe it when I see the samples…

Triumvir x Fly x Nike SB Dunk Mid Beijing
For the first time in the lifespan of Triumvir, Brian and I were given a chance and a concept by an outside source (Nike) to design a shoe. The inspiration and concept of the shoe was based on “a Beijing native’s perspective of their own city, with the slogan skate towards Tienanmen Square.” The Dunk Mid is going to be a special edition for fly’s Beijing shop and the first Nike shoe ever to be named after China’s great northern metropolis, “Beijing.” We were asked to incorporate the following categories of what Beijing is known for into the design of the shoe: dust, traffic, highways, noodles, Tienanmen Square, and the capital of China. Below are a few pictures of the design phase that we sent to Nike and the actual shoes we received.

Beijing has a rich history and has been the capital of China for many centuries now, so to find a balance between it’s past and present we used red and gold on the shoe. Red and gold symbolize fortune and prosperity in Chinese culture; the colors also reflect that of the Chinese flag.

The graphic on the insole is a combination of flystreetwear x triumvir’s logo. Fly’s logo is an old Chinese coin and if you may recall Triumvir’s Chinese “3″ logo which still can be found on some of our garments from past collections; most notably on our past t-shirt sleeve labels. We had to find a way to combine our logos together somehow and during the design phase, for some reason I remembered seeing some old Chinese daggers that were linked together with coins and red string that I saw in some old Chinese zombie movie…and there you have it.

This project means a lot to me and all the guys… and girl here at Triumvir. It was an honor for Brian and I to have the opportunity to design this project for Nike and flystreetwear. We all know Triumvir started from the humble beginnings of painting custom Nike’s but the Beijing Dunk has other sentimental attachments to me just like my other sneakers. My grandmother was a native of Beijing before she escaped to Taiwan during the Chinese Civil War. I grew up listening to her stories of her beautiful Beijing. She still stuffs me with Jia Jian Mian noodles, a popular Northern Chinese dish I eat when I visit her in Taiwan. So a Nike shoe inspired by Beijing and Northern Chinese noodles is a reflection of my past. Beijing has changed since her escape with my grandfather and is now a metropolis of northern China with a bustling population, high-rises, and the worst traffic any foreigner will ever experience in their entire lifetime, but in the center of it all, the Forbidden City lies motionless, its presence is there to remind us all that our culture is what binds us together.

Thanks to Jeff of flystreetwear, NIKE SB, and Runyo Chen; the Beijing Dunk was Runyo’s last SB project. Thanks for giving Triumvir this incredible opportunity.

Photos by Quang Le


2K ^_^ j4 said...

Very nice, those should never bless the ground with their soles.

2che said...

The concept these guys use for their gear is sooooo crazy.. these guys are mad talented

Anonymous said...

i like it