When asked to build an oversized replica of the Travis Scott Nike Airforce One shoe for a large music festival that is in a week, most people’s thoughts would be “A week? Not possible!” I would be lying if I said that thought didn’t cross my mind for a split second. Deep down I knew with our team’s skills it was 100% possible with the right materials, our vendors willing to expedite those materials and the Client able to quickly provide a ready to go 3D file and color samples of the product.
In order to get the detailing we needed on this shoe we decided the only possible way to get this completed before the festival doors opened, and still look amazing, was to use a High Density Urethane (HDU) Foam. When carving with urethane foam you save the time of having to do a ton of sanding to perfectly smooth out the layering of your foam slices. This alone right here saved several days of labor. In case you are wondering why we don’t always use HDU foam let me make it simple for you. Depending on the density of the HDU foam a single 6” sheet of it can cost 2 times more than a whole block of 2lb foam(7-8 sheets in this block depending on which way you slice it). The weight difference of the HDU foam vs 2lb foam is huge as well. It takes 2 guys to carry a single sheet of the HDU where the 2lb sheet of foam is extremely light weight and easy for 1 person to carry. The 2lb is great for projects such as large block letters. It is still usable for 3D sculptures and can be hard coated to make more durable. When a Client has a smaller budget this foam is a great option. For this shoe though Nike wanted it to be extremely durable so that the concert attendees would be able to take pictures with it and not damage it if they were standing on it, sitting on it or doing any other kind of crazy things
that concert goers who are excited to see their favorite musician do. Plus, when the gates are rushed before the concert doors even open you know you have a wild crowd you need to be prepared for.
Once the carved slices of the shoe were pieced and adhered together our team went through and hand-sculpted the several of the tiny details you see through out and then they were quickly able to add the hardener to the outer portion of the shoe and paint it with an automotive grade paint. They added epoxy resin to areas of the shoe where it was felt could get the most standing, climbing and sitting action. After that it was ready for its custom paint job. If you haven’t seen the Travis Scott Nike Airforce One shoe it has a little of colors and details to it. Our team color matched and mixed several of the paint colors Vinyl stencils were made to replicate the different patterns you see throughout the shoe. The shoe was completed late night before the concert and had time for the paint to harden. It was definitely a jaw-dropper when it was delivered the next morning.
At Smash we love taking on the challenge of creating “last minute” projects. When you know your limits, your teams capabilities and can all together come up with a game plan to make it work its so rewarding seeing the final product. And it’s even more rewarding when your creation is the hit of the event (ok, well the muscian’s stole the show in this event but we did get lots of great feedback from the Client and concert goers).