Collab ~ Nike Sportswear x Mister Cartoon USA Team Kit
Calling himself “Mister Cartoon,” this Los Angeles street art legend has had a strong relationship with Nike for many years. His detailed black and white drawings, inspired by prison tattoos, are highly sought after in the music world and beyond. When presented with this project, Cartoon jumped at the opportunity to work on a uniform that would represent the country he loves. His eagle mascot is tough as nails, with a halo of stars and a look in his eye that says, “Don’t mess with the U.S.” On the crest, “USA” is written in Cartoon’s modified version of old English and scrolls remind wearers of the visual language of tattoos art.
Six Collaborations spawned from Nike Sportswear’s desire to celebrate the beautiful game of football in a way that connects to the national team fans who dwell at the intersection of sports and culture. In 2006, Nike collaborated with a group of artists to curate and design environments and spaces that represented their countries, but there was no product connection to this partnerships. This year, Nike worked with established and emerging artists from six countries to create alternative National Team Kits that flip the script on the classic football kit. “We wanted to include the kinds of apparel and accessories that would be in a footballers bag,” “They would be the same colors of on-field uniforms, but with the artists’ twists.” says Jarrett Reynolds, Nike Sportswear Apparel Design Director. In order to accomplish this, the Nike team asked artists contribute a badge, mascot, print and an alphabet in their handwriting style. Each collaboration includes N98 Track Jacket, AW 77 hoodie, kit tee, polo shirt and short for both men and women; then tee for men and tank for women.