Sony PlayStation is celebrating it’s 15th Anniversary and to make this date a special one Sony is set to introduce the Killzone 3 video game, the PlayStation Move Motion Controller, and a special Nike x Playstation Pack! The pack includes the “Move” Zoom Huarache Trainer and the Killzone Special Forces Boot both of which are a Friends & Family release.
SoleCollector was lucky enough to hook up with Ron Eagle, Director of Product Publicity at Sony, and talk about this special pack!
What inspired the Zoom Huarache Trainer?
It started with the first conversation on doing the project. Kris Aman (VP, Nike Global Category Athletic Training), Brian Mitchell , Chris Wright and I got on the phone and started talking about the general scope of the project and what we wanted to accomplish and how it lined up with our calendars. Shooting to have it around our 15 year anniversary and Move launch in the fall seemed like the sweet spot.
The blue usage is a two way play. The Move logo is that blue color and the PlayStation Move Huarache design elements were derived from the Move controller. Brian Mitchell came up with the overall design concept of using the black base from the handle of the controller; the clear sole from the sphere on top of the controller; the multiple color elements like the sole, gradient, insole and laces help to show the virtually limitless color combinations possible within the sphere on top of the controller. As I mentioned, the blue also had a second purpose, as I wanted to pay homage to the original PlayStation AF1s and work that gradient pattern into the design as well.
For the Special Forces Boot, what inspired the materials, colorway and graphics?
The graphics used on the boots all come from the Killzone universe. The Helghast language across the top of the boot is taken directly from the game. As are the Helghast images on the ankles, insole and tongue. For those not familiar with the franchise, the Helghast are essentially seen as the bad guys and the glowing red eyes are very symbolic for the franchise.
Overall, what were you trying to say by including both shoes within this pack? Are there any good stories about the design process this time around?
That first phone conversation in early summer was the real tone setter. Kris and Brian asked specific questions about what was significant for us in the coming year and what and where we could provide energy for both brands. Who and what is the intended audience? That type of thing. We talked about a lot of things, but the elements that made the most sense was the upcoming Move launch, which is out now, our 15 year anniversary and their bringing the new Huarache Trainer to market around the same time.
If I remember correctly, this was the point where I tried to throw a wrench in the whole process and asked what they thought about doing a two shoe pack and adding another element to the overall package. Thankfully, there wasn’t that dreaded, “Hello…you guys still there…?” moment on the other side. (laughs) In fact, Kris asked me what I was thinking about and we continued to talk about the concept and what would be really different. We wanted this one to be more subtle, no overt PlayStation branding and something that no one would see coming. We talked about materials before we landed on a specific shoe. I mentioned that I had bought a really cool strap for my Panerai made from vintage WWII leather – it actually came from a pistol holster and has these aged details and patina that make the material interesting to look at. I asked if something like that was possible and while that type of leather wasn’t practical, it lead to more discussion on what I was thinking about in terms of highlighting one of our products.
I told them that I was thinking about Killzone — it has great iconography for us to work off of and more importantly it ties nicely to the overall Move theme as Killzone 3 will support Move control and be out later this year. Kris picked up on it immediately and asked if I was familiar with their Special Forces Boot? I wasn’t at the time, but they took me through the boot, how it had come to life and who used the boots. It was a great choice as no one would think that we were going to be doing something like this, but it gave us a great base to work with. It’s just another great example of the folks at Nike getting it and why it’s such a good experience working with Kris and his entire team. We had some pretty over the top conversations on what could be on the boot and both Brian and Kris had to remind me that I had said subtle in the beginning! [laughs]
The design that Brian came up with really is that, if you put these boots on with a pair of jeans you will not see anything from a branding standpoint. The leather used has that worn-in look and with the exception of a bit of the heel stitching and the outsole, no one would know that you are wearing a boot that has some really unique elements built into it. The part that really makes Brian’s design cool for me is that the overall thought was that each element comes directly from the Killzone universe. That worn-in leather was chosen because the world in which the game takes place is hostile and not the type of place you would would find spit-shined patent leather. The outsole was made to look like you have walked through those combat environments with dust and debris. Even the colors and material for the eyelets and lace tips were taken into account. It’s so highly detailed, the guys up in Portland just don’t miss a thing and I really hope that the folks that see them can see the amount of work and attention to detail put into the whole package — it tells a complete story and really is another example of two different brands bringing out the elements from each that make both brands so relevant to pop culture. I just couldn’t imagine doing it with anyone else.
You know this was coming, but have to ask, where do you rank this package compared to the previous collabs you have done with Nike?
Ha! That is like asking a parent to pick a favorite child. I will say this, I think these tell a complete and compelling story and I love the choice of shoes, material and always pushing to bring something new and different to the table. It’s something both companies are known for and expressed here in a very unique way.
You can read the full interview over at SoleCollector!