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Nike Air Max LeBron VII Artist Series Los Angeles by C.R. Stecyk III

Juxtapoz // Thursday, 01 Oct 2009



At a recent presentation that took place during Nike’s grassroots activities in Los Angeles, C.R. Stecyk III gave James a uniquely designed pair of Air Max LeBron VII shoes.

“Lebron and I share contacts in Akron Ohio where he is from,” Stecyk told us this morning. “I was invited through them. Also I was in Ohio a lot between Beautiful Losers install stuff and the Fender project at the Rock and Roll hall of Fame. My only recreation in that period was attending Cavalier Games. My original connect to Nike Basketball was through Jeff Johnson and Sidney Wicks who did the original Blazer.”

Stecyk took his inspiration for the one-of-a-kind shoes from the city of Los Angeles, paying homage to the new monuments of urban shift in the city. The multiplicities of LA are reflected on the surfaces of the shoe and it’s clad in colors derived from the region’s natural hues such as the incandescent blues of the sky and the rich rusty bronze of the clay soil of the Pueblo. Sole theatrics can be glimpsed on the inside where a hand engraved metallic plate view of Los Angeles City Hall is located as a symbolic tribute to the city’s center.

Unique elements of the extended city such as the palm trees and telephone poles which sometimes function as basketball standards can be viewed on the exterior. “There are countless thousands of places to shoot hoops that range from makeshift defacto rims to full blown arenas,” said Stecyk, adding, “Basketball is an integral fact of the populace’s life — in LA it is literally the sport of the people.”

Basketball related elements and themes have remained constants throughout many of Stecyk’s pieces. This attendant basketball fascination dates back to his tenure playing in city park leagues. Other characteristic aesthetic labors of his include extensively modified and adorned cycles, automobiles and skateboards and evocative documentation of other Angelino pursuits.

Stecyk has been loosely affiliated with Nike since the Blue Ribbon Sports days when they had their original store on Pico in Santa Monica. He was one of the first to cross modern basketball shoes over into skating as an early adapter of prototype Blazers. He also was a writer and production designer on the documentary film Dogtown and Z Boys which won awards at the Sundance Film Festival.

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