NIKE BY YOU WORKSHOP X @herbbysince89
1/ Could you introduce yourself and tell us who Herbby is ? (Where you come from, who you are, your age (if you want), your origins, where you have lived…)
My name is Herbby. My name is inspired by the icon of modern music : Herbie Hancock. I was born in Basse-Terre, Guadeloupe, in 1989. I grew up in Noisiel, a suburb of Paris. I was immersed in a pronounced cultural universe, with a lot of music, books, outings, sports, travels at home and then abroad… I was a big football fan (and of Thierry Henry) until 1997, but when Space Jam came out in France, I gave up football little by little for basketball. Space Jam made me discover Michael Jordan, basketball, NBA, sneakers and Hip-Hop !
2/ What do you do professionally and what are your passions ? Are the two linked ? (Work and passion)
I share my love for Sneakers, Basketball, Hip-Hop and Art as a Consultant, Event Speaker and Content Creator. I’ve always worked in fields that inspire me because our passions contribute to our fulfillment and that’s what I’m looking for, above all. To quote Maya Angelou, a committed poet and writer : you can only become truly accomplished at something you love. On this basis, you can only fully invest in your passions to develop, move forward and be happy.
In addition to the activities mentioned above, I launched my concept of Block Party « HerbbySince ’89 » in 2017, in my city, to promote these same passions, through cultural, artistic and sports activities. The first two editions were a real success with more than 1500 participants in total, an innovative artistic direction appreciated and an atmosphere worthy of Spike Lee’s 90s classics !
3/ When we think of Herbby we immediately associate him with Jordan and Nike. Where does this kind of association come from, which is obvious as a logical continuation ?
People often think I’m a « Nike/Jordan influencer », which is not the case. Before launching my activities, I worked at Nike for five years in Retail, Marketing and Events : events for the Jordan launches at the Nike Store Champs-Elysées, Quai 54, Palais 23 for the 30th anniversary of Jordan Brand in 2015, Air Max Day, NBA tip-off 2017 with Kobe Bryant in Paris, All Parisian Games… Hence this logical association with Nike and Jordan.
4/ Today you have the chance to collaborate with Nike By You on a creative project. Can you describe the Nike By You Workshop project in detail ?
Nike By You Workshop is a program that offers the opportunity for creative people to tell and share their stories through the co-creation of a pair of Nike sneakers.
Following an online application on a page dedicated to the program, we were about twenty selected Parisian designers from various backgrounds : a graphic designer, a visual artist, a dancer, a cook, a DJ, multidisciplinary artists… Once selected, we had about ten days to work on our design via an online platform and the conception of a « showcase » with content about us, our co-creation and our inspirations. We had the choice between three Air Max models (1, 90 or 97) and the theme of our co-creation was our Paris of the future. After validation from the program staff, we moved on to the promotion stage of our model in order to maximize our sales. In terms of promotion, we were totally independant and could use all types of media : photos, videos, press articles, podcasts, radio, Youtubeurs, influencers…Our co-creation is then put on sale on Nike.com, in (very) limited quantities, for about ten days, and we get a percentage of the selling price on each pair sold !
5/ Which model did you choose and why did you choose this cult model ?
I chose the Air Max 1 because it’s my favourite Air Max Sportswear model. I specify Sportswear because my favorite Air Max is an Air Max Basketball : the Air Max2 CB ’94 « The Road » by Charles Barkley.
The AM1 is a symbol of Paris city, thanks to its inspirations linked to the architecture of the Centre Pompidou, which corresponds to the theme of the project. And I had the chance to meet and interact three times with Tinker Hatfield, who is the designer of the model. I was able to get him to sign my Air Max 1 PRM « Hazelnut » (2012) at the « The Air Max Sneaker Ball » event in 2013, on the Centre Pompidou rooftop, so it’s a model that’s dear to my heart !
6/ Where did you get the inspiration for the design of this pair ?
I named my co-creation Nike Air Max 1 By You « Culture & Diversity ». It’s inspired by three key elements :
– The overall concept of my design is to emphasize the unity between gender (hence the Her and His on the back), the communities, suburbs and the Grand Paris. Paris is a cosmopolitan city, considered as the city of love but I find that there is still progress to be made in terms of unity. We’ve seen this for several months now with the Grand Paris project, which often excludes the suburbs from the conversation. That’s why I decided to convey this message of unity through the overall concept of my co-creation.
– The colours red, yellow and green symbolize the cultural diversity of Paris. They are inspired by the traditional fabric of the French West Indies, named « madras ». The madras is an Indian fabric from the homonymous city (renamed Chennai) which results from the artisanal weaving of banana tree fibers, then cotton and silk, in bright colors, forming checks and stripes. It arrived in the West Indies in the 17th century, with the wave of Indian deportation, under colonial domination and British slavery. Like the suburbs and the Grand Paris, the DOM-TOM are often excluded from conversations related to France, hence this choice to include them in my design.
– The colour yellow is also reminiscent of the unifying logo of the future Olympic and Paralympic Games of Paris 2024, which includes three symbols : the gold medal, the Olympic flame and the face of the Marianne (allegory of the French Republic). With this logo, the Organising Committee’s ambition is to bring the population to the center of the Games, which is linked to the message of unity that I wish to convey through my co-creation.
7/ After this first project with Nike By You, what project would you dream of setting up with Nike or Jordan?
If my design pleases, my promotion stands out and sales are good, the next step would be to work on a collaboration of an iconic sneaker model with Nike or Jordan. On my side, there is no lack of ideas, so it’s up to me to show that I can share my history, federate and sell with this first co-creation project Nike By You, to create possible future opportunities for me. Moreover, I appreciate Nike and Jordan’s approach of working with creative entities and personalities other than top athletes. I am closely following what DJ Clark Kent is doing with Nike as a Consultant and I hope to be able to work with the group in a similar dynamic.
8/ Now that you’ve made our mouths water, can you tell us more about the launch ? (Date, place, size, price…)
My co-creation Nike Air Max 1 By You « Culture & Diversity » will be available on Nike.com from Friday, June 19, 2020 at 5pm to Sunday, June 28, 2020 at 12pm, in (very) limited quantities, in women’s sizes from EU35.5 to EU44.5 and men’s sizes from EU38.5 to EU49.5, for 155€. Delivery in France only.
Indulge yourself and you’re welcome to tag me on Instagram (@herbbysince89) if you take pictures and/or videos with it. It will be my pleasure !
9/ Thank you for answering our questions. If you want to add something we didn’t mention, you now have the last word.
Thank you for your investment in Culture, for your interest in my work, for your shared strength on social networks and for your time for this article. I will conclude with the quote I composed for the project showcase : Culture is the key to unity in diversity. Learn. Share. Inspire.