Nike Designer Leo Chang Gives the Inside Scoop on the KD V

December 7th, 2012 by

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SN:  Like in the case of the KD V, it’s getting more and more common now for some of these models to go up on Nike ID before they’re even available in stores and people have a chance to do their own colorways before they can even buy it. As a designer, how do you feel that impacts the stories you’re trying to tell with the shoe and the inline versions that you guys eventually have coming to retail?

LC:  Great question. I think we’re prepared for it because we work closely with iD to make sure that the things they do don’t overlap with what we do and the options that they have there may not be the options that you’d get inline. So we work really close with them and we share graphics and all that. That’s stuff that Erick Goto is providing to them so it’s like, hey if you’re gonna use this, don’t do it before we do this.

SN: So do you coordinate with them so, for instance, someone can’t go on Nike iD and make an exact version of this Bright Crimson “DMV” colorway?

LC: Yeah, we share all the colorways and the flow of everything so the makeups that they do in there don’t come too close. And even though the shoe launched on iD earlier, kids won’t actually get it until the shoe hits stores, because it takes some time for them to make them. So it all works out.

SN: The energy created by the Nerf and Weatherman colorways of the IV took the KD line to new levels of desirability in collector’s circles and the resale market. We’ve already seen the Chiristmas version which is pretty nuts, but are there any special editions of the V on the way that will give those some competition?

LC: Yeah, I think there’s some really cool ones. The All-Star is gonna be crazy! All-Star is gonna be next level. It’s pretty wild. I won’t give away too much on that, but Erick Goto and Eugene Rogers who worked on building that collection have taken it to another level this year, so it will be hot! Christmas Day was a fun one. It was around insights from asking KD what his favorite gift was growing up. And he was like, “Oh, I had this sweet SEGA system!” So I was like – what was your favorite game? Sonic? Oh, that’s cool. And I was like, we can’t really work with that direct link because it feels like Sonic is kinda OKC colors with the blue and yellow belly and red shoes and all that stuff. So let’s not do that, but let’s just have fun and actually make a shoe that’s like – what if KD was a video game? So we kinda played off of that.

Goto one day on his computer had this malfunctioning glitch on his screen that completely went haywire and it created this crazy pattern that was kinda like static on old school CRT TV’s. So he started doing these screen grabs like, whoa this is amazing and we were like, we gotta find someplace to put that. You know what? Old school video games. You had to hit the machine a few times and blow into the cartridge and stuff, so that was kinda the inspiration there – a static glitch. And there’s also the idea that KD wants to feel faster and that pattern almost feels like it’s a blur. And if you look at the sockliner, we have this old school pixelated version of him dunking and having little points and rewards and stuff. And it’s going back again to that’s his story and what we wanna play up on. And we’ll continue to do that. Aunt Pearl will come out again but we’ll have a different take on that this time around. I think it’s a little more sophisticated twist on it.

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