Crossovers between brands are all the rage these days – but this week’s revelation by Lexus takes the concept a whole (foot)step further: a luxury-compact crossover shod in Nike-style tyres.
To mark the launch of the 2019 Lexus UX model, the Japanese luxury car brand partnered with designer John Elliott to create the “Sole of the UX” – custom tyres “inspired by his John Elliott x Nike AF1 shoe”.
“The tyres reimagine the classic silhouette of Elliott’s sneaker, embodying the spirit of clean, purposeful, and modern design,” said Lexus VP or marketing Lisa Materazzo. “Tyres that, like the crossover itself, are inspired by and designed for the city.”
Lexus’ newest wheels stepped out at Elliott’s New York Fashion Week after-party last weekend 2019. As the picture shows they are all-white – and they including white-on-white layers, double-stitched leather and a stepped-metal air valve “evocative of the stacked metal lace tip”.
Lexus says the new UX crossover model was crafted for the city and the “modern urban explorer – those seeking a fresh, contemporary and dynamic take on luxury driving”.
That’s all very well, but there is a reason cars are always shod in black tyres: streets are dirty which means this demonstration model will be restricted to indoor driving duties and publicity events… (We understand that if you buy one, it comes with regular black rubber).
“The first-ever Lexus UX was engineered and designed for the city,” said Lisa Materazzo, Lexus vice president of marketing. “We wanted to push that concept even further by creating the ultimate homage to urban style: tires inspired by classic, street-style sneakers.”
Elliott describes it as exciting merging a streetwear narrative and design cues of the Air Force 1 sneaker with a brand like Lexus… to come up with Nike-style tyres.
“We’re thankful they’ve allowed us to use this moment to celebrate the arts and to bring extra energy to our take on a classic,” he said. “It’s fun to partner with brands that typically live outside the fashion community because it allows us to evolve and continue to push our own boundaries.”
At the launch event, Elliott showcased unique iterations of the John Elliott x Nike AF1 by artists Actual Source, Hassan Rahim, Matt McCormick, and Yung Jake – all pioneers in their respective fields. Using the John Elliott x Nike AF1 as their canvases, these one-of-a-kind custom sneakers were auctioned off at the event with all proceeds benefiting Inner-City Arts, an organisation based in downtown Los Angeles with a mission to provide access to arts education for LA’s most underserved youth.
The Lexus UX was displayed alongside four artists’ renditions of the John Elliott x Nike AF1, a nod to the spirit of collaboration.
The “Sole of the UX” will make additional appearances throughout the US later this year – staying strictly indoors, of course…