Tom Sachs is a true artist in every sense of the word. He’s simultaneously patient and impatient. He always seems up against it, yet free-flowing as if the concept of completion is foreign to him. Since 2012, when Sachs produced his very-first Nike product through the duo’s NikeCraft collaborative imprint, the prolific artist has been in high-demand in sneaker culture — often times primarily as a creative mind as opposed to someone who could and subsequently would release a product.
Then there was the official release of his Nike Mars Yard Shoe 2.0 last year. With few other sneakers more desirable over the past decade, Sachs, unlike just about anyone else, resides in sneaker lore with only one true release. That number doubles with the impending release of his Nike Mars Yard Overshoe.
Conceptually, Sachs’ sequel serves one central thesis. The shoe is meant to combat inclement weather, chiefly the chilly months of winter. “The Mars Yard Overshoe, its nickname is the March Yard — for March, the worst month of the year. It is wet, your feet are wet the whole month of March,” says Sachs. But that foundational principle is only the top layer for what Sachs has created. And, in part, a surface philosophy for a much richer story achieved through collaboration.
“NIKECraft is an adjective,” says Sachs. “It means a combination of things only Nike can produce and things only Sachs can produce. It is fifty-fifty. It is an aesthetic of transparency.”
Like many great artists before him, Sachs learns by doing; trial and error has become his deserved path to success. With the Mars Yard Overshoe, Sachs tested varying materials and the limits of their functionality. Further, his depth of understanding, or better, curiosity, extends not only to functionality but how long these things will function. Sachs attributes Nike’s endless rope to his ability to think and subsequently create without boundaries.
“As an artist, the greatest thing Nike has given me is the ability to expand my creative process and think ‘these are not constraints, these are other ways of thinking.’ It’s very valuable.”
Sachs’ love for space exploration and the majesty that surrounds such unknowns informs his design language. First seen through the Mars Yard Shoe, this far-reaching yet thoughtful ideology looms much larger with the Overshoe. The materials are more complex, as is their ability to function alongside one another. Meant to keep your feet dry during a season when that seems like a daunting impossibility, duality finds that function juxtaposed next to a style component that navigates progressiveness through the lens of one of our foremost creative minds.
Similar to Sachs’ Boombox Retroperspective 1999-2016, a raw exhibition filled with primal aggression, his Nike Mars Yard Overshoe is at its very best an honest manufacturing process that helps dispel notions of (sneaker) glamour and grandiosity. It’s also a representation of how things come together when time is secondary to the overall mastery of an idea; reworked over and over again until the artists’ mind reaches satisfaction.
In conjunction with Sachs’ London premiere of his latest film, Paradox Bullets, a limited release of the Nike Mars Yard Overshoe will be available October 11 at Dover Street Market London. A global release date will be detailed in the coming months.
Update 12/7: According to a new report from @py_rates, the Tom Sachs x Nike Mars Yard Overshoe release has been delayed. A tentative release date is now January 31, 2019. The shoe is said to release for $550 USD at that time. Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.
Update 4/22: Nike today reveals additional pieces surrounding the Tom Sachs x Nike Mars Yard Overshoe. Primarily there’s the NIKECRAFT Poncho, which began its conceptual lifespan in 2015. And, over the course of four years, multiple prototypes and iterations later, serves a multi-functional shape-shifting piece for quick deploy usage.
“Through a lot of exploration and testing, the studio was able to find opportunity to push on an idea that had been stuck. We simplified the deployment mechanism and the repacking mechanism. We integrated things like a drag-racing inspired parachute release mechanism, an extension flap to the poncho and the fanny pack,” said Sachs in a statement.
The collection, which centers around the highly touted Mars Yard Overshoe and Poncho, also highlights puffy down shorts, a waist pack and more. The apparel elements of the NIKECRAFT Transitions Collection drop on April 27 in Japan to coincide with Sachs’ “Tea Ceremony” exhibition at Tokyo Opera Gallery. A global release will follow at a later time that has not been specified.
Update 4/29: After much anticipation, the Tom Sachs x Nike Mars Yard Overshoe is set to release on May 10. Release destinations have not yet been announced.