The Illustrator Who Dreams Up Fanciful Sneaker Collaborations

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“Nike x Jurassic Park.” Photo: Olka Osadzińska

There’s a new theme every day on It’s Vintage. Read more articles on today’s topic: Sneakerheads.

On the heels of Crepe City, London’s massive sneakerhead-fest, Lyst enlisted Polish illustrator Olka Osadzińska — known for her cultish sneaker drawings and the three signature shoe designs she has done with Reebok — to bring to life some hypothetical sneaker collaborations we’d like to see turned into reality. In her mind, Jeff Koons “collaborates” with Balenciaga on mirror-ball-accented sneakers, while New Balance and Lego strike a colorful balance.

“I’ve always loved sneakers. They’re a wearable symbol of pop culture,” Osadzińska told the Cut. “Andy Warhol wore Reeboks, every classic ‘80s and ‘90s film has its sneaker moment, it’s hard to imagine the street-art or the hip-hop scenes without them. And this is where I come from visually, as someone growing up in a golden era of the most inspiring advertising for pop-culture brands.” Here, she explains the thought process behind some of her designs.

“Balenciaga x Jeff Koons.” Photo: Olka Osadzińska

“I think the Balenciaga sneakers are such beautiful objects in their own right, it was the easiest thing to turn them into a Koons sculpture — they are just perfectly proportionate and stunningly cut.

“New Balance x Lego.” Photo: Olka Osadzińska
“Zanotti x Choupette.” Photo: Olka Osadzińska

“I was always more of a Lego kid than a Barbie kid, and drawing this brought back all the happy memories of constructing my dream Lego house at age 8.

“Zanotti x Choupette was a bit about how crazy fashion can be, and a nod to the role of cats in pop-culture generally — it feels like these furry creatures are kind of running the world now. Or at least the internet.

“The Studio 54 roller-boot sneakers are inspired by Bianca Jagger’s and Diana Ross’s styles. I wanted them to be free-spirited but elegant, crazy but classy.”

“Giuseppe Zanotti x Choupette.” Photo: Olka Osadzińska
The Illustrator Who Dreams Up Sneaker Collabs