Friday, April 23, 2010

Parra x Patta x Nike Air Max 1

Hottest shoe of the year? Yeah, most definitely. At least so far anyways--and honestly it's gonna be hard to top this one. I imagine that 8 months from now when all the sneaker blogs are doing "Best of 2010" roundups, this will be near the top of the list.

I mentioned this sneaker last month when posting about my Patta x Nike AM1 Denim & Cords (link) so check that out for the backstory on the involvement Patta (the Amsterdam sneaker store) had on this shoe. In this post, I'm going to discuss the contribution that Parra (the Amsterdam-based artist) made.

So in case you're not familiar with Parra, he is a Dutch artist with a distinctive hand drawn style featuring Rubenesque women and wild neon color palette influenced by his home near Amsterdam's red light district. To me, his work is reminiscent of the animated Beatles cartoons of the Yellow Submarine era, although I don't know if that's intentional or not; it's just my opinion. While he was well known in the local Amsterdam art scene for many years, especially for his poster art, he didn't hit it big in the international art scene until 2005 at a London art show. I personally didn't discover his work until Stones Throw (my favorite record label) started featuring his work on album covers and tshirts in 2007--notably on the 2007 Hella International box set--and shortly thereafter his work was featured at Jeff Staple's Reedspace (link) after which I became a huge Parra fan myself.

Parra has deep roots in the art, DJ, hip hop, and skate scenes, and his connections to those worlds has made him highly sought after for a variety of collaboration with brands such as Nike, Vans, Zoo York, and Etnies but has even extended to corporate giants such as Heineken, Foot Locker, Volkswagon, and Ben & Jerry's. Parra also has his own apparel line, Rockwell Clothing (link), which is distributed in the United States through Stones Throw.

In the sneaker world, Parra has had several collabs prior to this one, including the Patta Amsterdam Nike Air Max 1 (2005), the Parra x Nike Air Max 95 Running Man (2008), the Rockwell x Alife x Patta "RAP" Everybody Mid (2008), the Parra x Nike Air Maxim 1 (2009) and two Vans sneakers in the Parra x Vans Pack (2009).

But of course, the real star of the show are these Parra x Patta x Nike Air Max 1 which created a frenzy among sneakerheads last month. Rumored to be limited to 248 pair, the bulk were sold at the Patta shop in Amsterdam with around 40-ish hitting the Nike Sportswear 21 Mercer location in NYC and a few more at the Nike Sportswear 1948 shop in London. Immediately after the release, they started to hit eBay commanding prices in the $800 to $900 range. They're currently available at Flight Club for an average price of $879. If you're really into these kicks, consider copping the matching Parra x Nike varsity jacket that dropped in late 2009 (link). Yeah it might be a bit hard to track down, but it's bound to be easier (or at least chepaer) than finding the actual sneakers.

NOTE: These are NOT my sneakers. I was unable to get them (but not for lack of trying) however my fellow Heat Seekers Krew (link) member Tom @samcolt12 was able to cop em from his buddy @_MAYOR_ of the ATF crew. Big ups to MAYOR for hooking Tom up; good lookin.


If you'd like to see some examples of Parra's art, check out his MySpace page (link)

If you'd like more info on how the releases panned out, check out this (link) on the Patta Amsterdam release day and also this (link) on the NYC release day.

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