Boxfresh & Intercity & Art & Sole: Swich It Up
Intercity, the design studio behind Art & Sole, have recently been busy working on this curatorial sneaker/art project to help promote Swich It Up - a charity-benefiting design competition launched earlier this month by British streetwear label Boxfresh...
In aid of UK charity Teenage Cancer Trust, and in partnership with retailer schuh, the competition invites creatives to re-design the Boxfresh Swich hi-top silhouette. The winning design will go into production and will be sold at schuh nationwide, as well as through the Boxfresh website, and the winner will also win £1000 plus a work placement at the Boxfresh headquarters. For each competition entry Boxfresh will give £1 to the charity, as well as 10% of the sales of the production shoe (to find out more, visit the Boxfresh Facebook page here).
In order to demonstrate the possibilities of the competition, and to inspire creativity in general, Boxfresh asked Intercity to help curate an art-based project and commission five international artists to come up with their own version of the Swich.
For us, this was a great opportunity to commission some of the (sneaker) artists that we’ve either talked about on the blog so far, or have been wanting to feature on it. The project also gave us the opportunity to create an Art & Sole design (shown above), for which we worked with graphic artist Toby Neilan. Our shoe features a pointillist pattern (which would look great printed onto a pebbled leather upper) based on the multi-coloured category signifying dots from the Art & Sole book/website - a theme we first explored in our collaboration with Nike.
In addition, the five artists we commissioned included (in order of image appearance below) Jason Munro, Thomas Danthony, Ermsy, Elroy Klee and Rude. Below is some further information on each of the artists, plus a little explanatory text on the inspiration behind their designs.
We first came across Jason Munro when we commissioned him at the end of 2011 as part of our ‘A Few of My Favourite Sneakers' project. Munro is a London-based graphic designer and illustrator who especially enjoys character design, something which is evident by his 'Urban Fox' creation. As he explains: ‘Given the amount of recent media attention the urban fox has received, it seemed like an interesting starting point for my design. Whilst also being an aesthetically attractive animal, I think the fox serves as a perfect symbol to remind us that nature is not just something that exists outside of city borders. Whilst we travel around in our cars and spend our day behind closed doors, the world outside continues. We would be wise not to forget that whether it another person, bird or fox, we all have to live together. After all, like the rest of us, the fox is just trying to survive in the only way it knows how.’
Thomas Danthony, a French born illustrator currently living in London, first came to our attention when agency Handsome Frank showed us his (sneaker) work earlier this year. Danthony likes to tell stories through his intricately detailed illustrations, which are often inspired by light and the passage of time. ‘I wanted to create a design that people could wear easily in everyday life,' says Danthony, 'something simple. The inspiration for the shoe is represented in the background of the image, where geometric and futuristic shapes and patterns bring the shoe to life.’
The most recent contibutor to our ‘A Few of My Favourite Sneakers’ project (more to come on that later), Paris-based Ermsy is a graffiti artist, illustrator and graphic designer with a taste for sneaker-related projects. ‘I decided to illustrate the shoe using some of my favourite mark making tools; spraypaint and paint markers. Everything was done in one hit,' explains Ermsy, 'no mistakes alllowed! I picked colours from a night cityscape, with the yellow/orange glow of the street lights fading into concrete greys.’
Based in The Netherlands, Elroy Klee is an art director and illustrator working in the fields of concept realisation, illustration, 3D and set design. His work is a mixture of urban street art and typography with a Dutch design influence - a theme that is certainly evident in his design. ‘The inspiration for my shoe was the fact that I come from Holland (a country known for their wooden shoes). I created a wooden version of the Boxfresh shoe, with a colour scheme based on the Teenage Cancer Trust identity.’
The final shoe in the set comes from Rude, an image-making collective who utilise a passion for hand-rendered illustration and screen-printing. Rude have also been part of our ‘A Few of My Favourite Sneakers’ project previously, where they demonstrated their eye-popping use of texture and colour. As they explain: 'Rude love colour and pattern, so in-keeping with this concept we’ve designed our perfect Boxfresh hi-top for 2013'
Thanks again to all the artists involved in the project for using their creativity to benefit a great cause, inspiring other creatives and raising funds for a very worthy charity.
To enter Swich It Up and to download the blank template, simply visit the Boxfresh Facebook page here. The competition closes on 25 February 2013, with voting open until 4 March and the winners announced on 19 March. Good Luck..!