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Nike Court Force Lows: Stussy London

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After Stussy’s incredible Court Forces depleting our funds and forcing us to sleep rough last year, here’s some Court Force Low action to capture a similar buzz to their hi-topped brethren. The premium materials flipped on previous CF retros are a hard act to follow, but with the assistance of their London store manager (and James Jarvis action figure), Leon, they’ve dropped two jewels that take in Stussy’s trademark ripstop and some of the ever-controversial patent leather, but keep things nicely restrained, with a product that harks back to a happier time, when basketball shoes kept things simple, and shelves weren’t awash with unwearable colourways. Definitely a product that pays attention to detail without being overtly fussy, we were impressed enough to get the man behind the shoe to give us some background on his creations…

CT.

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Leon, how did you get involved in Stussy?

I just wandered into Soho eight years ago, and they gave me a job in Hideout. The rest as they say, involves folding t-shirts…actually, I was at Gimme 5 packing boxes, my ex-girlfriend had a job there doing PR. I’d been working at Gap previously.

Did you have an interest in streetwear prior to working there?

I guess I had, but I didn’t realize it.

Were you a Stussy fan?

Yeah, I was. It gets to you in the end doesn’t it? But I went through a lot of rubbish styles before, with some shocking looks.

What was the most shocking look?

Oh, a really bad early ’90s b-boy look where I was trying to dress like Mobb Deep. I had a massive Helly Hansen jacket.

Did you get the choice of any shoe you wanted? Or were you just given a Court Force?

Jesse from Nike came over and he had three different styles of shoe and we had to put them through the three shops. Like, “That makes the most sense, that’s the most commercial…”

Why two colourways?

The lighter one, without black was originally intended as a Hyperstrike, but they both ended up being produced.

Did you have any interest in the Court Force before all this?

I never owned a pair back in the days, but in this country it seems few did. It’s like the Air Force 1, no one over here seemed to rock them until ‘95. I’m a fan of old Nike running shoes. That’s what I wore as a kid. Bring back the Pegasus! The first pair of Nike shoes I bought with my own money were a pair of white Air Trainer Max. I suspect Mobb Deep may have worn them and it might have influenced me, or Jeru Tha Damaja might have worn them…

I always had Jeru down as a Timberland man…

Actually, he was. Perhaps Shyheim rocked them…

I’m more of a Chi Ali man, but he was good…

I think ‘AKA The Rugged Child’ is the best Wu album.

‘Show And Prove’ with Kane and Shyheim is amazing…Where did the inspiration for materials come from?

It is nice to put as many different materials on the shoe as possible. We’ve got nubuck, suede, ripstop, patent and 3M. And we were going to have a clear sole that faded the colour. But we couldn’t have it.

That sounds pretty elaborate…

I wanted it to be all one colour originally, but a few shoes like the recent Dunk Hi’s had done it already.

We noticed there’s a tie-in toy by James Jarvis for the shoe, how did you end up a toy?

I’ve been a toy for ages. Not in the hip-hop sense. I’ve known James for something like 7 or 8 years.

How did you meet up with him?

Through Michael (Kopelman) and people, that’s how I met Russell at Silas and that’s how I helped my mate Will Sweeney get some work at Silas and that’s how we used to meet. But we DJ’ed together. Me, him and Will playing records noone wanted to listen to, like really boring psychedelic records. He made a model of me for the Sony toys he did for Japan, packaged like Kinder eggs.

It’s a good likeness…

I’m not as angry as that nowadays. The face is angry. I think James bases a lot of toys on people he knows. James kind of did this for us rather than Nike. This is the closest there’ll be to a James Jarvis Nike shoe.

Does the shoe come with the Leon figure?

In our store, they’ll come with the shoe. They’ll sell separately in the other stores. We’re kind of trying to outdo Adam at the LA store packaging his record with the Blazers. I like the idea that I’ll be in people’s homes and they don’t want me to be there. If they really knew me, they wouldn’t invite me in.

When you say a magic word, will they all come alive?

I’d like them to. Moving around at night, putting shoes in the wrong boxes.

What are the numbers on these?

That I don’t know yet. Limited. Extremely limited.

Will you be selling them first?

We should have them the week before.

What do you think the reception for them will be? The usual cynicism on sneaker forums?

I hope if anyone says anything, they’ve got the balls to say it to my face in the shop…

I like the fact it’s a strong colour…

With some colourways, there’s just too much of it isn’t there? Not enough people who get the option to design a shoe seem to think, “What would I like to wear on my feet?” Some people can be amazing artists but they have no idea how to make a shoe. I wouldn’t say I’m a trainer obsessive, but I’ve been a fan for a long time and i know what I like. Nice colours and something a little different.

Do you prefer the black or white ones?

I prefer the black ones, but opinion is mixed. The patent on both is a ‘beer-toe’. Wipe clean for summer wear.

Anything you want to add?

Don’t do drugs. Oh yeah, I forgot to mention Mark Ward, because he helped me on the shoe and he wants Google hits.

The Stussy Court Force Lows drop in the London Stussy Store on June 24th…

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One Comment to “Nike Court Force Lows: Stussy London”

  1. 06-02-2006 at 05:41
    EUKicks » Blog Archive »

    […] Check out these kicks coming to the UK and France this month.  You can pick up a pair of these Nike Stussy Court Force Low at the Parisian sneaker shop “Colette” on the June 24th.  If you are not in Paris in late June check out Colette’s online shop “Sold Out” on July 5th to pick up a pair. […]

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