In the early days of hip hop, a trio of graffiti artists from New York known as the Shirt Kings created a following with their custom air brushed t-shirts. In the Eighties, Edwin “Phade” Sacasa, Rafael “Kasheme” Avery, and Clyde “Nike” Harewood began transferring their passion for graffiti from the surface of trains to the surface of t- shirts.
Fabric became their new canvas and soon enough, the Shirt Kings were translating street culture and street art onto clothes, becoming the first to commercialize their graffiti. Some may say this was the birth of the streetwear concept.
Nike Basketball collaborated with Phade, one of the original members to create art for the summer 2017 basketball collection. With the airbrushing and the DIY aesthetic being popular, we wanted to go to the original source to create the most authentic version for our athletes and branded t-shirts.
The Polish artist, renowned for his editorial and fashion illustration (Including creating the logo and artwork for the Comme De Garcon Play Collection), brings fresh perspective to the league’s franchises.
Reworking 30 designs is no small task. However, for Polish artist Filip Pagowski (known for his work with major newspapers and fashion houses), it was the starting point for his first collaboration with Nike — a re-imagining of each NBA team motiff in his own unique illustrative style.
“The idea behind the project was not to replicate the original or the official logos of each team, but rather come up with something that portrayed the team or the place they are coming from, or both, and to have it done in some fun way,” explains Pagowski.
To tackle the challenge, Pagowski decided on three elements of each team to toy with: the team name, the city it represents and its mascot. While sometimes intertwined, these three aspects allowed the artist space to dive into the history of a given franchise and the facts or associated imagery related to the source of a nickname.
Hip-hop and basketball are often synonymous with players wanting to be rappers and vice versa. That’s why we’re so excited about this latest Nike Basketball apparel collection that pays tribute to the gaudy era of southern hip-hop album covers that frequently featured designs from Pen & Pixel, a Houston-based company with a penchant for photoshopped revelry that specialized in the ridiculous.
Nike Basketball’s homage comes in the form of a handful of t-shirts featuring iced-out diamond encrusted basketballs featuring the roster of Nike Basketball's signature athletes.
- Via Sneaker News
Nike Basketball x NBA NRG T-Shirt Collection.
This exclusive collection of NBA player tees embodies the essence of each player. Taking elements, gestures and signature moves to represenet each player.