Nike Air Force 1's are like the Lamborghini's of sneakers – everybody wants them, everybody wants to be seen in them. But what if your car had a set of Air Force 1's, too? As part of New York Fashion Week, the 2019 Lexus UX crossover comes fitted with a set of retro Nike-inspired white tires.
The project is a collaboration between fashion guru John Elliott and Lexus – the company calls it the "Sole of the UX." Punny. The white tires share recognizable traits like the iconic Nike swoosh, faux white pebbled leather, and matching embossed detail with the iconic Air Force 1 sneaker, all wrapped around a set of 18-inch Lexus UX wheels.
"The first-ever Lexus UX was engineered and designed for the city," said Lisa Materazzo, Lexus vice president of marketing. "We wanted to push that concept even further by creating the ultimate homage to urban style: tires inspired by classic, street-style sneakers."
As part of the one-off tire debut, artists Hassan Rahim, Matt McCormick, and Yung Jake used a pair of John Elliott and Nike AF1 shoes as their canvases. Each artist created custom works of art and auctioned them off to charity. The proceeds from each set benefit Inner-City Arts, an organization based in downtown Los Angeles, whose mission is to provide access to arts eduction to underprivileged youth.
This isn't the first time we've seen an automaker partner with a clothing brand, though. In 2013, Fiat and Gucci created the custom Gucci Edition 500 hatchback. And just last year, McLaren teamed up with iconic British brand, Belstaff, for a new line of fashion accessories. Lexus hasn't committed to selling its one-off Jordan tires – but there are probably some fashion-forward owners out there looking to take these home.
Gallery: Lexus UX Nike Air Force 1 Tires
To celebrate the launch of the first-ever 2019 UX, a luxury compact crossover engineered for the city, Lexus partnered with designer John Elliott to create the “Sole of the UX” — custom tires inspired by his John Elliott x Nike AF1 shoe. The tires reimagine the classic silhouette of Elliott’s sneaker, embodying the spirit of clean, purposeful, and modern design. Tires that, like the crossover itself, are inspired by and designed for the city.
Revealed at Elliott’s New York Fashion Week after-party on February 9, 2019, the collaboration features an all-white UX with custom tire details inspired by Elliott’s design, including white on white layers, double-stitched leather and a stepped metal air valve evocative of his stacked metal lace tip. The first-ever UX was crafted for the city and the “modern urban explorer” — those seeking a fresh, contemporary and dynamic take on luxury driving.
“The first-ever Lexus UX was engineered and designed for the city,” said Lisa Materazzo, Lexus vice president of marketing. “We wanted to push that concept even further by creating the ultimate homage to urban style: tires inspired by classic, street-style sneakers.”
“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,” said John Elliott. “It’s fun to partner with brands that typically live outside the fashion community because it allows us to evolve and continue to push our own boundaries.”
At the event, Elliott showcased unique iterations of the John Elliott x Nike AF1 by artists Actual Source, Hassan Rahim, Matt McCormick, and Yung Jake — all pioneers in their respective fields. Using the John Elliott x Nike AF1 as their canvases, these one-of-a-kind custom sneakers were auctioned off at the event with all proceeds benefiting Inner-City Arts, an organization based in downtown Los Angeles with a mission to provide access to arts education for LA’s most underserved youth. The Lexus UX was displayed alongside four artists’ renditions of the John Elliott x Nike AF1, a nod to the spirit of collaboration.
“Sole of the UX” will make additional appearances throughout the country later this year.