Lexus looked in an unlikely place for design inspiration for its latest set of wheels: the sneaker market.
The luxury carmaker teamed up with streetwear designer John Elliott to create custom tires inspired by Elliott’s Nike Air Force 1 kicks. The tires are featured on Lexus’ 2019 UX compact crossover vehicle, which was unveiled at Elliott’s New York Fashion Week after-party on Saturday. The sneaker-inspired design details include white-on-white layers, double-stitched leather and a stepped metal air valve reflective of Elliott’s stacked metal lace tip.
“The first-ever Lexus UX was engineered and designed for the city,” said Lisa Materazzo, VP of marketing at Lexus. “We wanted to push that concept even further by creating the ultimate homage to urban style: tires inspired by classic street-style sneakers.”
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Elliott said he relished the opportunity to work with a brand outside of the fashion industry and push the boundaries of his creativity. “We were excited to merge the streetwear narrative and design cues of our Air Force 1 with a brand like Lexus. We’re thankful they’ve allowed us to use this moment to celebrate the arts and to bring extra energy to our take on a classic,” Elliott said.
Released in October (and now mostly sold out online), Elliott’s all-white Air Force 1 sneakers (priced at $150) showcase an innovative layering technique that creates an illusion of color through shadows. Nike’s Swoosh logo is die-cut to reveal a pebbled leather effect. Elliott is a frequent collaborator with Nike, taking on such classic styles as the LeBron and Vandal High.
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