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Courtesy of Nike — featuring the Nike Air Force 1 PPP Collection >>
April 26 marks the release of a collection born from a mutual love of basketball that celebrates the games ability to unite a community of diverse backgrounds together under one love. Nike partners with PIGALLE, also known as the Pain O Chokolat crew, to create a collection that represents an authentic lifestyle of basketball. A classic uniform of sport, the iconic Nike Air Force 1 Hi and Lo are paired with a tank, short, basketball, and hat to complete a look that represents a community committed to the game. Refusing to let the boundaries of urban living keep them away from play, the Nike x PPP Collection combines sport heritage and style allowing you to move from the court into everyday life with ease.
Building on a decade-long relationship between Nike and Pain O Chokolat, the Nike x PPP (Pain O ChoKolat, PIGALLE Paris, Pompon) Collection brings the spirit of Paris’s creative class to sportswear. Inspired by the patina that develops over time on a well-used basketball court, the scuffed surfaces resulting from hours of play and the rusted metal hoops that surrender to the elements, the collection is interpreted in varnished and tie-dyed treatments for an aged look.
Two versions of the Air Force 1 — one AF1 Hi and one AF1 Low — give the iconic bestseller a unique treatment. Intended for lifestyle wear, fine leathers are applied to the classic AF1 silhouette. Crafted using techniques common to the construction of menswear brogues, excess padding is removed, leather laces are added, and an oversized gold metal eyelet accents the workman boot look. The leather uppers are finished with a waxed coating that will take on a look that’s exclusive to the wearer as it breaks down over time with everyday wear. Finally, the transparent outsoles reveal a geometric pattern — a coach’s diagram of strategic basketball maneuvers.
Founding member of the PPP crew, Stéphane Ashpool played professional basketball back in the day. Ashpool currently coaches at the community basketball court he petitioned to build, and has a personal connection to the Nike Air Force 1 as the shoe was his footwear of choice on the court.
“I like the fact the AF1 was released the year I was born —1982. I love the little details like that. I wanted to take the shoe and bring it to life. When you put the shoe on you see the story, so I wanted to relate the patina, the way of dyeing and the texture together so it has the feeling of life.”
The Nike x PPP Apparel Collection, comprising two tank tops, two pairs of shorts, a hat and a ball, was created for the game to the crew’s specifications. When asked about the details, Ashpool explains, “We cut the bottom of the short for a handmade old-school look. These pieces are made to be comfy. It’s based on what we wear.”
Using color to signify the characteristics of the game, the Nike x PPP Apparel Collection indicates the rivalry between competing teams. Special tie-dye treatments to the cotton shorts and tanks create fades and deliberate distressing that complement the shoes — perfect imperfections that bring different eras of the game together. A two-toned black-and-white basketball is a visual play on the senses, alternating colors as its spins in the air during play. And the cap, embroidered with the iconic PPP logo — a P enclosed within a diamond shape — is the ultimate symbol of a community bonded through sport.