The Nike by You customization platform took to new levels this week, introducing 37 new collaborative shoes through a joint program with We Are Cultivator. I spoke with a participant of the project, Jenni Riccetti, about her “On the Clouds” Air Max 95.
Nike by You’s latest collaborative release brings a wide mix of creatives to the table. Teaming up with Cultivator, the two released a total of 37 different sneakers from different designers, each telling their own story. To learn more, I had a chat with my local representative in the project, San Francisco-based fashion designer Jenni Riccetti. She told us about some of her favorite Nikes, the inspiration behind her Air Max 95 “On the Clouds”, and the role sneakers have had in her life. Check it out.
JustFreshKicks: First of all, congratulations on the collaboration with Nike. How does it feel to launch the project?
Jenni Riccetti: Thank you so much! This co-creation has been quite the experience. If feels amazing to share this project because it has opened up a door for me to share my story and something that is very personal to me.
What inspired your Nike by You palette?
My palette was literally inspired by my bed. I wanted to create something very relaxing and soothing. My favorite time of day is getting to lay in bed after a long day’s work and I wanted these shoes to capture that.
“On the Clouds” represents where your head space is at, and being able to be at ease from a stressful day. The summit white color on most of the shoe represents a calm, tranquil space. The blue accents represent communication with your support system. Checking in and having a community is key. Work hard and rest hard; sleep is important for a fresh mind.-Jenni Riccetti
What was the process like designing your own Nike sneaker?
I found working with footwear very challenging when it came to what I thought I could do versus what is in the guidelines of creating. When designing this shoe, I honestly didn’t need to apply any of my cut and sew knowledge. I got to pick from 5 silhouettes, I chose the Air Max 95. This has been a dope opportunity and I hope that there is more to come!
Can you tell me a little bit about your personal history with sneakers?
Sneakers were always around when I was growing up, my older brother has always been a collector and put me on at such a young age. We have always bonded over sneakers and it’s a nice connection we have. I feel like I choose sneakers over heels any day.
How would you describe your personal style?
My personal style is feminist at its finest. I wear whatever I want when I want, and I find a way to feel comfortable at any moment. I’m that bitch pulling up to the function in comfort. Sneakers mesh well into my wardrobe because I shop/make my clothes with my sneakers in mind. I would say I fall under the large umbrella of Streetwear which is where I feel the middle ground between NIKE and me meet.
Can you break down your design process for me?
My design process is all over the place. I just let the fabric speaks for itself. I love just sewing until something is created and then work off of what I’ve been sewing to create more pieces. I definitely take more of an organic approach when it comes to designing. The one thing I put a lot of study into is color theory and what color I will be making my collections and for what release dates.
What do you look for when buying sneakers? Do you consider your personal taste when designing new pieces?
When buying sneakers, I look for whatever makes me feel good. I occasionally shop with trends in mind and follow what kind of silhouette might be in style. For instance, I enjoy chunky shoes, hightops, and super bright colors, all of which are doing well right now. As for my clothing, I definitely subconsciously design with sneakers in mind. I love wearing sneakers so why wouldn’t I want to express that through my brand.
Who or what influences your day to day work on Riccetti?
Coffee. I am also motivated by my many customers and accounts! I would have the work I do without the support of the public and I am forever grateful for that!
If you could redesign any product in the world, what would you like to give your own spin on?
I think it would be very satisfying to redesign a kitchen set. Knives, forks, glasses, etc. I think I would have a dope modern take on some regular-ass objects!
And finally, what’s on your Mount Rushmore of all-time Nike sneakers?
Easy. My top four Nike silhouettes are the Air Jordan 1, Jordan 11 (Concord specifically), the Air Max 97, and Dunks.
Jenni Riccetti’s “On the Clouds” colorway of the Air Max 95 is available now on the Nike by You platform and will be ready to purchase until November 10th. Head over to the Nike website to grab your pair and check out some more product shots, and don’t forget to keep up with Jenni on social media @jenni.riccetti and @riccetticlothing. Thank you again to Jenni for taking the time to talk with us about her new Air Max 95.
Words by Ben Serleth