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How a Love for Sneakers and Hip-hop Influence Our Design Process

In our designs, we look for durability/sustainability in our materials, we aim to blend two styles/values together to create a beautiful and unique look for each space, and we add in at least one piece of surprise or statement piece in each space.

The design process at Noir & Neutrals is heavily influenced by sneakers and hip-hop. The influence is everywhere. Our love for sneakers and music dates back to our high school days and possibly further back than that! In high school, sneakers, music, and sports were (and still are) a huge part of the BIPOC culture. Sneakers, music, and sports were how we connected with others around us. We saw the best of the best wear the coolest sneakers and perform at the highest level while doing it. The message was clear: if you want to be the best, wear what the best wear. Everyone wants to be the best, including us in the design field. Musical artists wanted to be athletes, athletes wanted to be musical artists, and everyone else wanted to be either one. Nevertheless, we all were able to feel connected through one medium: sneakers.

Air Jordan 1

From 1985-today, you'd be hard-pressed to not find these shoes on someone's feet. The holy grail of sneakers that really started the culture was the Air Jordan 1 designed by Peter Moore of Nike and worn by none other than Michael Jordan himself. The Air Jordan 1 silhouette is classic and stood the test of time. It can be dressed up or dressed down and look amazing, not to mention they elevate anyone's coolness factor by a couple of points. They use premium quality materials and the originals have classic colors while utilizing a simple color-block scheme. When we design, we look for premium quality materials and a style that will stand the test of time which can be easily styled up or kept simple.

Air Jordan XII

Let's keep it in the Jordan brand family and discuss the Air Jordan 11 designed by Tinker Hatfield and worn by Michael Jordan. The shoe was so good, the GOAT himself didn't wear another shoe for almost 2 years and hardly switched the colors; only wearing 4 variations over a 2-year span. The greatest season in NBA history ended with Jordan and the Chicago Bulls dominating the Seattle Supersonics, winning the title in the 1996 NBA Finals wearing none other than the Air Jordan 11 "Bred". Noir & Neutrals is in Seattle so these shoes really resonate with us.

The other variations of this shoe were seen in Space Jam (a childhood favorite film for us), the "Concord" which were deemed as the best colorway by Jordan and the most popular, and the "Columbia" colorway seen in the all-star game that year with an all-white look.

When the shoe was designed, Hatfield and Jordan wanted to do something different than what has always been done. They wanted luxury so they added the shiny leather but wanted a long-lasting material to pair with it so they used a material that's used in outdoor backpacks to achieve durability on and off the court. At the bottom, there's an element of surprise with a black and white checkered space. In our designs, we look for durability/sustainability in our materials, we aim to blend two styles/values together to create a beautiful and unique look for each space, and we add at least one piece of surprise or statement piece in each space.

Nike Air Fear of God 1

The Nike Air Fear of God 1, designed by Jerry Lorenzo and worn by Jerry Lorenzo himself. A nod to basketball Hall of Famer and game-changer, Allen Iverson, this shoe is a blend of luxury with the intent to be worn on the court. The materials are beyond premium. The details are magnificently paid attention to and well-executed. The delivery creates a luxurious feel with a large box, individually wrapped shoes, extras, and even comes with a well-made premium tote bag to carry the shoes in. Most importantly, the shoes were made with the intent to be worn even though they are made with luxury materials.

We took notice of this and applied it to our process. The outside of the shoe reminds us of our favorite floor style in the herringbone/chevron pattern but more importantly (see main image), while we love a well-designed space, a well-designed space means nothing if you can't live in it. We deliver beautiful yet functional and sustainable interior designs and create a luxurious feel for each client who selects our services. We want you to live in your luxury.

Nike X Sacai LD Waffle

The Nike X Sacai LD Waffle, designed by Sacai and worn by a lot. Talk about blending two different styles! This shoe takes two classic Nike shoes and smashes them together for a beautiful union; combining the Nike LDV and Waffle Racer which features double tongues, shoelaces, swooshes, and a co-branded Nike x Sacai logo on the heel tab. Classic but leveled up for a modern look.

This is a theme at Noir & Neutrals but we don't want to focus on the blending of two or more styles. We want to focus on the collaboration between Nike and Sacai. We love collaborating to create unique designs and using that collaboration to create a connection between client and artist similar to Nike creating a connection between their customers and Sacai. Most may not have heard of Sacai before this shoe. Our clients may not have heard of the artists who we bring into their homes but the result will be awareness and a beautiful union.

Sneakers, hip-hop, and sports are a huge part of our process because it's a huge part of our culture and our history. We want to give a nod to our past by honoring it with beautiful designs. We believe this is what separates us. We are and breathe beautiful functional and sustainable interior design. We love to create connections and collaborate. We will and must build the community. We want to be the best and to be the best, we have to celebrate who we are.


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