Billie Jean & Nike
A favourite artist of ours, we've worked with Sam Piyasena (aka Billie Jean) on a number of different projects, and looking at his work again we thought we should write something about the London Town custom Nike Air Max LeBron Vll shoes he did.
The project was commissioned in 2009 to coincide with the British release of the More Than a Game documentary film, chronicling the rise of basketball's LeBron James from his high school days to NBA stardom. The busy design is a reflection of James' exuberance on the basketball court, and incorporates a patchwork of traditional and not so traditional London motifs. The flames licking the side of the shoe depict the Great Fire of London, the African and Indian symbols reflect London’s culturally diverse population, and the undulating line pattern on the inside of each shoe is an aerial view of the River Thames. In a reference to the failed Gunpowder Plot to assassinate King James I, Guy Fawkes also makes an appearance on the shoe - although here he's playing basketball...
The project was commissioned by Nike art director Michael Spoljaric, and as well as London, the More Than A Game World Tour went to New York, Chicago, Washington DC, Akron (James' home town), Beijing, Shenyang, Shanghai and Paris