Sneakersnstuff and adidas Originals have released a new EQT silhouette designed exclusively for the Swedish store. Over nearly two decades, Sneakersnstuff has built a solid reputation for carrying the most hyped new releases and for their iconic work with brands including adidas, New Balance, Puma and Asics. Founded 18 years ago by Erik Fagerlind and Peter Jansson in Stockholm, an expanding a network of shops in London, Paris and Berlin, the trainer store has been in the black book of trainer-obsessives Europe-wide ever since.
Sneakersnuff’s latest offering is a new model, the EQT Support Ultra PK, designed as a SMU project with adidas Originals. For the launch, Wang & Söderström, a Copenhagen-based creative duo known for their digital and physical explorations, were asked to put together bespoke visuals and in-store installations.
We spoke to the studio’s founders, spatial and furniture designer Anny Wang and architect Tim Söderström, to find out more about their shared visual language with Sneakersnstuff and how they translated the shoe into their own physical-digital world.
How did the project with Sneakersnstuff come about? Can you describe the brief and how you approached it?
We got lucky to get an email from Adam from Sneakersnstuff a while ago. He reached out for any possible projects and we had a good vibe between us from the start. When these particular shoes came about we made it happen; the shoes fitted our world with its various materials.
The brief was quite open and we are happy that our aesthetic wasn’t compromised — we shared the same vision as the client from the beginning. The inspiration to the brief came from one our personal projects called Treasures a series that shows contrasted material collections in a still life staging. We wanted to present a visual language that mixes our own, the shoe’s and Sneakersnstuff’s universe.
What’s the story behind the campaign? What aspects of the shoe were you keen to communicate?
We wanted to zoom in to the shoe on a macro level and to tell a story about the material qualities in a playful way. We didn’t want the campaign to be a technical demonstration, we wanted it to show the diversity of materials in the shoes and how they interact with each other. We wanted to show how the perception towards one material can change depending on what material sits next to it.
In the campaign animation we presented a deconstructed version of the shoe and playfully captured a storyline of the materials’ emergence. We also focused on the technology behind the shoe as well as the feeling when you wear them. For instance, the Boost sole which is made out of a small granular material that pops and blows up which creates the cellular styrofoam look.
What programmes did you use?
For this campaign we used 3D software, mainly 3ds Max, Vray and Modo. It is in the 3D software that we can then elaborate our ideas and we sometimes let the intuitive process in the software decide the end result.
How do you make a connection between the digital and physical?
Our main tool is 3D software and has been for the last few years, but we also started to create physical objects and installations to explore the transitional behaviours when the two worlds meets. In every work we do we strive to be on the borderline between physical and digital; it’s the borderline we love to explore. In our digital work we often incorporate references from the real world, like a wind or a squeeze. This, combined with surreal materials and warped physical rules, ripples your brain in a certain way. The section between physical and digital is not only a big inspiration source for us but also a field we believe has a lot of unexplored potential. A field which marries mixed reality environments and omnipresent computing environments together to bridge the physical-digital divide. It’s a hybrid not only for aesthetic reasons but to stretch and explore our senses further.
How did the design of the EQT model influence your work?
The design, material and colour combinations gave us a lot of inspiration to work from. We extracted parts from the shoe like the Boost sole, the Primeknit, the translucent details and glossy stripes. It became a fun quest to make the campaign as tangible as the shoe.
Behind the scenes video directed and filmed by Gustav Stegfors