One way that an object becomes iconic is when they are such a part of our daily life that they are
ingrained in our memory. These memories of ours, the feelings and sensations that they evoke
will be brought to the surface by contact with such iconic objects. This is not simply memory as
nostalgia, it is about reflecting on a past that is a part of the present and the future.
For forty years, people have worn the Nike Cortez on a daily basis, taking them through a variety
of different stages of their lives. This is what makes them an icon of our daily lives. No matter
if they are well worn or brand new, when you see the Nike Cortez, it inevitably brings back
memories of the past and suggests what may be in the future.
To celebrate this milestone, we have created two videos composed entirely of still images of
some of our favourite ‘Cortez Icons’. We get a snapshot of the lives of Tian Yuan, Ritchie Chan,
223, Liu Xiao and But Sou Lai, as they live in the moment and engage in shaping their own
future. In Beijing and Shanghai, we find two groups of talented individuals represented by the
thousands of images we captured on our shoot.
Nike Cortez, each and every day is a new opportunity to create a fresh memory.
Below is a bit of information on each of the members of the crew.
While she constantly creates new tags for herself, there is one tag that defines all that she does.
This is the icon for young Chinese everywhere. From singing and writing, to acting and directing,
Tian Yuan attracts attention with her characteristic energy and creativity. Her down to earth and
amiable nature makes her a most gracious icon.
The first impression of Ritchie will be his trademark glasses with one round and one square
lens. But beyond this, you will be impressed by this up-and-coming fashionista with great idea
and vision. He has built up Triple-Major, his concept boutique and fashion label, which aims
to reinvent how we think about fashion by constantly searching for new progressive designers
all over the world. He has also taken Triple-Major to cities around the world with his temporary
nomad store. All this and he is only just turned 25 years old.
The main reason that China’s youth culture comes to life so vibrantly in front of his camera is
because he is also an active part of it. Working for more than five years he has maintained the
style and sensibility that made him stand out from the start to become one the countries most
recognised photographers. He keeps on pushing himself to create exciting new work without fear
A make-up artist who usually doesn’t wear any make-up herself, Liu Xiao’s strong, and colourful
personal style always shines through. Always looking for new outlets for her creativity, her
personal photography work shows how naturally she can apply her aesthetic vision to different crafts.
But Sou Lai
After years spent studying architecture, But Sou changed direction to become a fantastic fashion
photographer with a great eye for the contrast of light and shadow. He captures the glamour and
buzz backstage at New York, London and Paris fashion week in highly refined photographs. This
is a touch he brings to the editorial work he has also produced for the likes of Vogue and Numero.
Slime is 21 year old producer Will Archer. Originally from Newcastle, he now resides in Brixton,
where he makes all of his music in his home studio. Playing all the instruments himself, Archer’s
music is elegant and slow-moving, suffused with the orange glow of early mornings after the night
before. English pastoral music for soundtracking 4AM heartbreak. Both tracks used in the video
are taken from the EP ‘Increases’, released on Tough Love.