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Wanted: Steven Alan Brings Understated Style to New Nike Line

Steven Alan mines Nike’s design history for his collection of subtle-but-sharp kicks.

Wanted: Steven Alan Brings Understated Style to New Nike Line

If you like wearing stylish sneakers but dislike looking like a reject from Step Up 3D, your footwear options can often seem scant. Nike has brought designer Steven Alan to the rescue, with his new collection of classic, low-key designs that say “Yes, I have evolved beyond my five-year-old pair of New Balances” without looking like you’re auditioning for a pop-and-lock dance crew.

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Here’s Steve himself, describing his creative approach in a video from Cool Hunting:

Alan visited Nike’s designers in Portland, Oregon and sifted through their archives for inspiration, looking for “certain images to bring back and reinterpret.” He zeroed in on monochrome, timeless styles that he could update with modern fabrics and materials.

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images © Nike

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Alan says he wanted to create shoes that he could wear every day, with a “modern, yet old school” feel to the fabrics. He also heavily downplayed the branding (both Nike’s and his own); you have to really stare at the shoes to know who made them. Of course, you’d probably be doing that already because the detailing is so lusciously refined.

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Alan describes his Nike collection as very “vanilla.” We think that sounds more than a bit self-deprecating, but then again, there’s a reason why that’s the world’s favorite flavor.

The collection is available online at Steven Alan.

[Read more at Cool Hunting]

About the author

John Pavlus is a writer and filmmaker focusing on science, tech, and design topics. His writing has appeared in Wired, New York, Scientific American, Technology Review, BBC Future, and other outlets.

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