It may seem like athletic sneakers and plants are worlds apart, but a creative Instagram account is bringing the two together like you’ve never seen before.
Since February 2016, Tokyo-based artist Kosuke Sugimoto has manned the account @shoetree_2016, which, as its name suggests, combines shoes with trees and other green plants. The account sees fan favorite designs such as the Nike Air Max, Nike Air Foamposite One, and Air Jordan 1 get turned into living, breathing organisms.
The jaw-dropping results can be described as part art project, part vintage sneaker museum. According to Sugimoto, all of the sneakers featured in his work are old releases that have begun deteriorating over time. Rather than throw them away, he’s found a way to give the kicks new life.
“Degradation of sneakers is regrettable for me. I don’t want to make it trash because it’s a wonderful design,” Sugimoto tells Footwear News. “My inspiration is remains and ruin. For example, Beng Mealea in Cambodia. I want to express [that with] sneakers.”
For now, Sugimoto’s work is available for sale in Japan only with prices between 12,000 to 14,000 JPY (roughly $105 to $122 USD) depending on the sneakers used.