Nike Air Max LeBron VII Artist Series: Paris Wu Yue & Stephane Ashpool BEHIND THE SCENES

When I posted up the finished product of the Paris Lebron VII Nike Air Max basketball shoes  by Wu Yue and Stephane Ashpool a few days ago they left a few unanswered questions about their creation process. Pictorial evidence and a bit of research shows they likely were made with a sort of “velvet flocking” or “velvet flock”, which is about the same concept as putting glitter on shoes, that was sprayed or somehow put on the shoe after they were covered with some sort of adhesive. Or maybe not, either way they are extremely dope. Thanks to Maestro Knows for the behind the scenes photos.

Nike Air Max LeBron VII Artist Series: Paris Wu Yue & Stephane Ashpool

Lebron James’ tour with Nike has went European. One look at the custom Nike Air Max Lebron VII from Parisian artists: Wu Yue and Stephane Ashpool already blow away anything an American or Chinese artist create earlier. Instead of just painted or markered on shoes the two artists created 3 pairs in three different colors with half of the shoes hand painted and the either half covered in velvet. However that “velvet” finish was given to the shoes is insane, you would think its fabric but then again it is seamlessly spread upon every curve of the shoes ankle area and midsole making it seem the velvet was sprayed on somehow. Mind you I’m pretty sure these started out white on white. Hmmm, time to research. More via

After criss-crossing  the Middle Kingdom last week,  LeBron James started the European leg of his More Than A Game World TourAir Max LeBron VII (7). Created between 2 Parisian artists: Wu “Nyno” Yue, an acclaimed artist/animator known for his speed and unique application of Chinese ink in his works. The other being Stephane Ashpool, an unbounded art lover.  Nicknamed “The Mayor”, he tirelessly worked for the betterment of Parisian art scene through one of his various ventures – ViDA9, a production house in charge of several high fashion events, Pigalle, a storefront that doubles as exhibit space, Pain O Chokolat, an artist’s collective. with first stop last evening at the City of Lights, Paris.  As part of Nike Basketball’s initiative to highlight raising artists in each of the city LeBron visited, the Artist Series for Paris presented the NBA MVP with not 1 but 3 customized

In expressing the diversity and distinctiveness of Parisian neighborhoods, both artists decided early to work on 3 pairs, rather than 1. Taking symbolism from both the City of Paris and LeBron James, the artists deduced them into 3 colors – Red, for James’ flare and speed on the court as well as the neon lights in Pigalle, the “red light” district of Paris.  Black, the color of elegance and honor, James’ off the court persona. Also liken to dark alleys dotted across the Pigalle neighborhood. Finally, Green, the team color of James’ alma mater, Saint Vincent Saint Mary High School,  and the ever present youth movement within Paris daily life.  Each pair underwent a mix medium treatment.  Velvet application covered the last half of the footwear while illustrations, inspired by LeBron’s 6 personal credos, were imprinted with matte or glossy paint, and pencil.

Nike Air Max LeBron VII Artist Series: Shenyang Ray Lei

Here is the second pair from the China trip and 5th pair overall of the Nike Lebron World Tour 2009 . I’d imagine after his career is over Bron Bron will have a collection that only rivals that of Mr. Air Jordan. Just imagine the 1 of 1s. Via

As LeBron’s  More Than A Game World Tour continues, venturing off Akron, Ohio and heads onto the other side of the globe, landing in one of the world’s oldest capitals, Beijing, and now Shengyang, the fifth pair of the  Nike Air Max LeBron VII (7) Artist Series is unveiled. The unique, one-off sneaker from this leg of the global tour is created by local artist, Ray Lei, as we had previously introduced in a preview.

With each pair of Artist Series kicks representing the city artistically, Ray Lei tapped into the Chinese cultural stronghold of loyalty and bravery with images of Chinese warriors. To tie in the theme of loyalty with the MVP himself, Ray Lei incorporated elements close to LeBron such as green color to represent his high school team at St. Vincent St. Mary, “23″ for his loyalty to Cavaliers, and “330″ (the area code for Akron, Ohio) for his hometown.

Adding more local elements into the shoes illustrated in a playful style, Ray Lei dressed the shoe upper in water and clouds, which were frequent motifs on uniforms of the Qing Dynasty. The city flower, roses were added to pay tribute to the city, as well as fog patterns that are crucial to Chinese tales of mythical battle where battalions emerged from fog for victory.

Take a closer look at the kicks designed by the young 22 year-old graduate of Tsinghua University’s Academy of Art and Design. Sadly, since these kicks are one-off, if you want them, you might actually have to take that matter up with LeBron.

Nike Air Max LeBron VII Artist Series: Beijing Le Quiqui

Lucky Freshnessmag has been able to keep up with the entire Lebron World Tour by Nike and now they are making the way through China. Once again via

Stopping on its first leg in the Middle Kingdom for his More Than A Game World Tour,, NBA’s Most Valuable Player for 2009, LeBron James, was not only greeted by raucous Chinese basketball fans, but a special one-of-one Nike Air Max LeBron VII (7) bearing his name by artist Le Quiqui.

Though only 28 years old, Le Quiqui is already considered a veteran in rapidly growing art community of Beijing. Having worked on a multitude of projects, he’s well versed in mediums and themes, from animation, graffiti, to skateboard graphics, and traditional designs.

Homage of tradition, Le Quiqui sketched in the Si He Courtyard, an architectural style that dominated this ancient city for centuries past. In selecting a reddish hue and gold accents, both as representations of good fortune and the Sun, a symbol of vast power. Of course, as much as it is about tradition, the design is also about LeBron James. 2 stone lions, long a signature of James, are incorporated into the graphics. And finally, a gesture of invincibility as Le Quiqui added on “2 eyes” on the heel, so the MVP could have full view of his surrounding both on and off the court.

Nike Air Max LeBron VII Artist Series: Arkon James Hayden

Lebron James’ hometown Akron, Ohio had local artist James Hayden selected to customize the Air Max Lebron VII. More info via

With the presentation of a limited series Nike Air Max LeBron VII (7) during each leg on his More Than A Game World TourNike

In many ways, James Hayden and LeBron James shared several similarities.  Both are from the heartland of America, where hard work and dedications are valued.  Like LeBron, it was Hayden’s mother, Maureen Hayden, who guided him in his passion, in this case, for visual arts.  From his time as an elementary school student till high school, James Hayden excelled in his craft, attending as many programs as he can to further his skills.  In 2000, Hayden begin to explore the possibility of tattooing.  His success in the field made him now the go to artist in Cleveland, with a impressive client list, including LeBron James himself. will also present LeBron James with an one-of-the-kind Air Max LeBron VII, each customized by a local artist ).  The third in the series was designed by Ohio-base tattoo artist James Hayden.

With his customized edition, Hayden wanted to portray the LeBron James that the public seldom sees. An individual who is intensively focus and driven, both on and off the court.  One who love his family and dedication to his team and city, a theme that reoccurred time and time again in his tattoos and now, on this one-of-one edition of Air Max LeBron VII (7)