Julian Victor LaMarr Gaines, otherwise known as Juwop, has collaborated with Nike Chicago to create “Working on Projects,” a conceptual initiative that tells his story through two ’80s Nike silhouettes and community events for Chicago youths.
Julian Gaines’ name should ring a bell because WearTesters had the opportunity to collaborate with Juwop for a custom pair of Jordan Why.Not Zer0 1s. This time around, Julian — a rising star among Chicago’s creative talents — has worked with Nike Chicago to empower the city’s next generation of creatives.
“The Game Worn collection is all about sharing my personal story and using that inspiration to help empower Chicago’s next generation of creatives to dream, explore and to come together,” explained Gaines in a statement. “I want to open our eyes to the power of sport, art and creativity and really give back to the kids in my community in a powerful way. I’m not only excited for Chicago to embrace this incredibly personal project, but also use this moment to push our city forward.”
The Nike X Ju Working on Projects initiative will offer more than 40 teenaged participants in Chicago’s South Side community a four-day summer camp full of programming in art, writing, and more. According to Nike, the initiative will culminate with a pop-up experience at Chicago boutique Notre that will award 500 “Th-oughts Scholarships” to kids across the city in an effort to] connect 1:1 with teachers and mentors who can elevate their creative curiosity (Th-oughts is a person-to-person education service connecting anyone to experts of their choice).
For the product side of the Working on Projects initiative, Julian has taken his creativity to two ’80s Nike silhouettes: the 1982 Nike Sky Force and the 1985 Nike Air Vortex. Through the lens of “game worn,” Gaines re-imagined both shoes as kicks that had already been played in and broken in. According to Nike, it was all about embracing the grind required to reach a dream and connecting the correlation between ambition, sacrifice, and effort.
The Juwop Game Worn collection releases July 21 exclusively at Notre in Chicago. No pricing information has been announced but expect both sneakers to be quite limited.