Ahead of the worldwide release of the Lost Art x NikeSB collaboration line, we caught up with Lost Art head honcho Dave Mackey:
So how's it going?
It's been bonkers, trying to film an edit in Liverpool at the end of February in 2 days, down the docks is probably not the best.
Everything in the edit has been filmed down at the Docks?
Yeah, from Seaforth to Brunswick, we've been following the route of the old Liverpool overhead railway... That's kind of the concept behind the shoes.
When we first thought about doing this shoe that has to represent Liverpool, everyone was like “The Beatles!", “Sgt. Pepper's!",“The Yellow Submarine!" or “Liverpool FC", and I was kind of like thinking that these are tired cliched things to do with Liverpool... So I started investigating, into some stories, and things I'd heard about Liverpool having in the past, and discovered this overhead railway line, which is non-existent these days, it's disappeared completely. It was actually the first overhead railway line in the world, and it ran from Brunswick to Seaforth, right through the heart of the city, past the Liver buildings, before the Liver buildings were even there. It looked amazing and the story was amazing. As I delved into it, it made perfect sense; there was so much to it, that you could really do something good, there was a lot of things that would work with the shoes, colours and fabrics and so on.
How does the railway influence the shoes then?
There's a few things that bring the whole project together, but the shoes themselves use fabrics that mimic colours used on the train cars, the guard's uniforms and also taking inspiration from the docks, the colours surrounding that area in the past and the present. As I was working on the project, the actual route of the overhead railway line became more of a focus to me. It became apparent that that's where most of the skate spots are, and where Liverpool skateboarding had taken place for so many years. So we've actually produced a zine to go along with it, kind of showcasing the history of Liverpool skateboarding, also the edit which takes in the route.
Which shoes did you choose for this collaboration?
As the 'new' model... I think it's actually been cancelled from the SB line now, but I think our shoe will be the last BA, which is pretty rad.
I could have picked a Dunk, or a Janoski, like everyone else, but I wanted to do something completely different. Also being a fan of BA, and seeing the shoe reminded me of the Axion Aries from the late 90s which is when Lost Art opened, it just all fit together quite nicely... Also the Bruin is the best skate shoe Nike do, hands down!
The text on the sole was inspired by the fluff bruin. The best bruin Nike ever did well maybe the second best after this
Also the reason why it has two different swoosh colours on each shoe was inspired by Mike V, of all people, in PublicDomain. I would rent this from the video shop when I was baby sitting for my cousins. We didn't own a video player at home so every weekend I would offer to baby sit just so I could watch this vid. This is the part I was most hyped on and always loved how he was wearing two different coloured Airwalks but they still looked like a pair. The difference is only subtle and it doesn't look wrong or stupid
Have all the Lost Art team been wearing the shoes?
Yep like I say we've been filming this edit, we've had Vaughan Jones, Charlie Birch, Tom Harrison, Chris Jones and myself...
How long has the shop been going, and when did your relationship with Nike begin?
The shop started in 1999, so we're into our 16th year. I've been a Nike account since 2003 or 2004, we weren't in the first group of shops, but we were in the next group. I was riding for Nike as a team rider from the very start, I was actually the first European team rider, so I've been associated with Nike for an awfully long time!
Weren't you probably the first UK skate shop to sell Dunks though?!
Oh yeah... In 1999 we went to SF and went to 'Ross Dress for Less' and saw these Dunks that were black and grey. I think these ones were Nike's first attempt at a skateable Dunk, but they didn't have SB logos, and no boxes. I think I bought about 30 pairs, brought them back, and sold them all in the shop, they went in seconds!
So even before SB, you knew Nike would be a goer in the shop?
Have you done collaborations with shoe companies before?
This is the first one that been from the bottom up. We were part of a 'shop series' that DVS did about 10 years ago, but that was just to do an insole, I think there were like 20 other shops that did it at the same time. We've talked about doing other stuff in the past but it just hasn't come off, for whatever reason. This one felt right though, and we started talking about this one 3 years ago, so it's been a long time in the making! It will help raise the profile of the store, without a doubt.
Did you know it was going to take 3 years when you started this project?
No, not at all. It was a weird one, a lot of changing of staff within Nike had caused the project to be pushed back. And then there were issues with deadlines for other quickstrike stuff, as it had to fit within a timeline that would work with the other releases.
I think coming at a time that's good for Nike though; they need something like this to bring the spotlight back to skateboarding. It'll help increase awareness with other skate stores that Nike are still doing good stuff, with core skate stores.
When do the shoes hit the stores?
They'll be in Lost Art from March 14th, and worldwide from the 21st.