If you're wondering why Nike goes to the trouble of designer collaborations with the likes of Ricardo Tisci when the decidedly un-stylish $60 Air Monarch is one of best-selling silhouettes in the sneaker industry, consider this: Recently, a seemingly fan made video appeared on Vimeo devoted to the collaboration. Not only does it offer up a beautiful and engaging two minutes of imagery, it also explains why Nike's decision to engage high-end designers is visionary.
As far as we can tell, and as far as we've been able to investigate, the short video is not an in-house Nike production. But it is an incredibly robust story, one that puts the R.T. Dunk and Nike's entire designer push into a context we haven't seen before.
The video features truly impressive CGI and postproduction editing in practically every shot. And throughout, it offers up a vision of a world we don't know-one so close to ours, but untethered by expectations and judgments, instead built on consensual freedom of love, acceptance, and joy. The video is not without tension: arguments turn to kisses, and the lonely shed tears. But the world it presents is warmer, fuller.
A wide range of genders, orientations, races, and physical abilities are represented, each having a space in this world (and seemingly more than they have in ours). When we are shown a single face, slices of others appear and disappear in front of the subject, reminding us that love is love is love, and each of our stories is all of our stories.
The collaborative direction that other brands have developed looks like a race to capture the zeitgeist of contemporary culture, using the leaders of that culture to do so. But this video presents a totally different world, an aspirational one not bound by reality and not too dissimilar from the one imagined by the couture divisions of high-fashion houses. Where Pusha T and Kanye West and Rihanna show us what's cool about what's happening now through their collaborations with Adidas and Puma, high-end designers have the potential to show us what could be amazing. Most of us can't afford couture, but these collaborations bring that vision-or even just a part of it-within reach.
The video is called #WeBelieveInThePowerOfLove. Now, in 2017, believing in the power of love seems somehow radical again. And this video captures all the excitement that comes with that.
When asked about the provenance of the Luca Finotti-directed clip, Nike responded somewhat cryptically: "Nike is excited to continue collaborating with Riccardo Tisci, please stay tuned for more details."
Consider us tuned in.
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