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The Art & Sole Cortez iD Project

Four artists custom design a book cover in celebration of collaborative sneaker culture

by Karen Day in Design on 16 March 2012

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From designer Anton Repponen's completely transparent silicon trainers concept to Cole Haan's LunarGrand hybrid wingtip kicks, the myriad of visions for Nike running shoes seems infinite, particularly when put in the hands of a few crafty artists. Highlighting the beauty of special edition sneaker culture is "Art & Sole", a book written in 2008 by design studio Intercity, now in a new mini edition. To celebrate the release of the petite publication and the launch of Nike Cortez iD, Intercity tapped four talented artists—Matthew Nicholson, Shantell Martin, Rose Stallard and Jiro Bevis—to each create a custom book cover for a pair of Art & Sole Cortez sneakers inspired by a corresponding colorway.

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Working with red (Bevis), blue (Stallard), green (Martin) and magenta (Nicholson), the artists created the covers using the mediums of print, sneaker-art, moving image and sculpture. They were also asked to incorporate a reference to the "history of running" as part of the Cortez's 40th anniversary. The Cortez gets new life in the "Art & Sole" limited editions, which recall its classic style with a gum outsole while also alluding to a standard NIKEiD base model by keeping each pair a tonal gray color.

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The sneakers are limited to 40 pairs in each color scheme, and the full package—shoes, specially-designed box and mini Art & Sole edition—will sell from London's Nike iD store in Shoreditch starting Saturday, 17 March 2012 for £125. Shantell Martin's atom-inspired take will launch the collection, with each artist's shoe subsequently available in the three days following.

"Art & Sole" mini edition, as well as the original version, sell online from Laurence King.

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