How Concepts Struck Gold with the Nike Kyrie 6
After linking up with Kyrie Irving for the Nike Kyrie 5 ‘Ikhet’ back in 2018, the Boston-based Concepts have travelled back to ancient Egypt to unearth the Kyrie 6 ‘Khepri’ and ‘Golden Mummy’. We linked up with Deon Point, the Creative Director of Concepts, to dig up the inspiration behind the Kyrie 6 collaboration ahead of the global release on January 10.
Can you tell us about how the Concepts x Nike Kyrie 6 project came to light?
Upon the final design review of the Nike Kyrie 5 ‘Ikhet’, all parties were in agreement that we had something special happening. We typically present multiple ideas, some of which are more in-depth than we can explain within one project. We had wanted to do ‘Orion's Belt’ with the Kyrie 5 based on the sheath, so we were able to push that through. The Kyrie 6 ‘Kherpri’ was discussed slightly after Nike was able to share the silhouette with us.
Why did you decide to revisit Egypt?
Egypt is so rooted in history. It is infinite in that regard. I nerded-out to the point where I was in a rabbit hole and had to pull back a bit. We wanted to push the envelope with the Kyrie 6. We could've possibly kept it going for quite some time.
The ‘Valley of the Golden Mummies’ was discovered in 1996 (the same year Concepts was founded). How did you reference this with the Kyrie 6 ‘Golden Mummy’?
We worked closely with Kyrie’s team, leaning on their knowledge of what spoke to that demographic. While we understand the demand for the ‘Golden Mummy’ to be offered in men’s sizing, it was important that we worked as hard on the ‘Golden Mummy’ as we did the ‘Khepri’. Typically, kids versions are take downs of adults, but we had enough inspiration to ensure everyone was happy.
How did Khepri’s mythology inform the design process? What drew you to his story?
Khepri is the god of creation as well as the movement of the sun, life and resurrection. Bare bones? It’s symbolic of each day offering a new opportunity. We didn’t get the chance to communicate that as much as we would have liked, but that was the initial draw. Khepri’s story also worked well with the ‘Golden Mummy’ narrative, so we appreciated the sunrise/sunset aspect. The box artwork, when flipped, was made to resemble night turning to day. Upside down is day, right side up is night in parallel to ‘Khepri’.
Can you elaborate on some of the hidden messages we can find in both the ‘Golden Mummy’ and ‘Khepri’?
There’s hidden details from the lace sheaths to the constellation within the forefoot of the medial side. The Swoosh is based on precious metals found in tombs that have deteriorated over time. The sole is based upon a pectoral scarab found in King Tut’s tomb, where the colour palette of the actual shoe pays homage to the precious stones of ancient Egypt, such as carnelian, jasper, lapis lazuli, malachite, quartz and turquoise. The colour blue serves multiple purposes within the history of Egypt, as well as its association to the Nile. The ‘Golden Mummy’ has a lot more eye-catching details that would require holding in hand to really get an understanding.
How closely do you work with Kyrie Irving when collaborating on the concept? Did he have specific messages he wanted to convey with the sneaker?
Kyrie is an extremely busy man, as one could imagine. In order to maximise his use of time, we submit multiple options going in a few different directions that are dwindled down to preference. From there, we look to do a deep dive as it pertains to details, packaging, build-outs, etc. The trust factor is established, so we have a lot more liberty during ideation. Kyrie likes to wear different options every game, so you can imagine how hard he — along with the team at Nike — work to churn out options. We are extremely lucky to work alongside both parties.
The Concepts x Nike Kyrie 6 lands on January 10.