PONY & Ricky Powell
The latest collaboration to come out of the recent PONY (Product of New York) heritage archive comes in the form of a reissue of the vintage 1982 Slamdunk model, and stepping up to work on the shoe is legendary street photographer (and fellow New York resident) Ricky Powell…
Born in 1961, Powell is primarily recognised for his work throughout the late 80s and early 90s within the Def Jam music label; photographing hip hop acts such as the Beastie Boys, LL Cool J and Run DMC (his images of the Beastie Boys regained prominence via social media this year with the unfortunate passing of group member Adam Yauch). Previously Powell has also worked on footwear projects for Puma, and has lent his hand to other work with companies such as Pepsi, Dickies & streetwear icon X-Large.
The Powell Slamdunk comes in a very subtle dark denim waxed canvas upper, with PONY's chevron stripe in 3M reflective silver dashed across each side. Powell's signature is spread across the tongue tabs of both shoes, and ‘The Rickford Institute' (a conceptual university created by Powell as a theoretical place embodying his DIY ethos) is handwritten on the reverse. His Dog Walker photograph (the theme of the collaboration) has been printed on both insoles, and the same image can also be found on the shoebox, as well as on one-of-two matching T-shirts available as part of the capsule collection. Interestingly, being a devout vegetarian and animal lover, Powell wanted to create a shoe using materials which wouldn't compromise his beliefs and ethics, resulting in the use of the heavy waxed canvas to keep the shoe as robust as possible without having to use leathers.
To celebrate the release of the shoe, last week saw a launch party held at London’s Foot Patrol store (see images below), where there is also a small installation of Powell's photography. Powell was in attendance for the party, and even gave a private slideshow of his work, to a lucky few, on the night previous to the launch. A video featuring footage from Foot Patrol (as well as the launch at the SPRMRKT store in Amsterdam) can also be seen below.
Lastly, although not neccesarily sneaker-related, we really wanted to mention Will Robson-Scott's new film (shown bottom) which profiles Powell and offers an insight into the everyday life of this very eccentric character. Definitely worth watching...
The PONY & Ricky Powell Slamdunk (and the rest of the capsule collection) is available now from select stores including Foot Patrol, London.
To read more about the collaboration, visit the PONY website here
Black and white images courtesy of Foot Patrol