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Odesa-based designer STANISLAV creates surreal concepts for Nike, New Balance and Crocs sneakers

Stanislav has been creating sneaker concepts since 2020: during this time, he has reimagined recognizable models of global brands and created new concepts. Including shoes that could be part of the Balenciaga and United 24 collaboration. The most popular concept was the New Balance 200k sneakers based on New Balance 990s — foreign sneaker accounts and profile media wrote about them, and even Julia Fox reacted. DTF Magazine briefly introduces the works of STANISLAV, who also collaborates with Arca and JAMALA.

The designer’s first concept was the Nike Zero Orca. ‘It was not based on any existing model and was not planned as Nike, — Stas tells DTF Magazine in a comment. — I was just playing with shapes and saw that something was missing, so I added a swoosh. It reminded me of an orca whale because of the color and shape’.

Next, Stanislav created Crocs clogs with a modified silhouette of rounded shape, futuristic adidas sneakers in three colors, as well as boots with the flag of Ukraine on the side, dedicated to the ‘counter-offensive actions of the AFU’.

About the idea of the latter, he says: ‘I decided to use shoe design as an attention attracting tool, to have world attention brought to the situation in Ukraine. But not from the victim perspective. Instead, it’s the point of view of fighters for freedom, brave and strong willed people!’.

Stanislav also uses the theme of russian aggression against Ukraine in the names of his models. For example, this year he created a concept of New Balance 200k sneakers, the name of which refers to the news that the loss of the russian army in Ukraine is 200 thousand people.

The model is based on the New Balance 990s, but has an elongated shape and sharp edges. And it is these sneakers that became viral on social networks. ‘The hype was crazy, tens of millions of views, a lot of comments, which I read at first, but after 6,000 already stopped. Brands, designers, rappers, athletes — I communicated with everyone, even with Julia Fox. And, of course, there was a lot of hate from russians, but as we know, ‘dogs bark, but the caravan moves on’’.

He also said that now foreign media outlets themselves find his concepts, although he used to write to them ‘but didn’t get feedback 98% of the time’.

Stanislav says that usually it is not he who chooses the models he will work with, but they choose him. However, he specifies that he uses and works with models that are already known and understood. ‘This makes it easier for people to perceive something new’.

‘When my sneakers were published on Hypebeast, I realized one thing: the fashion audience and people in general are not ready for something unusual, something they haven’t seen before. They push it away from them, — Stanislav explains. — But actually it’s not you or your art that people hate. It’s just a defensive reaction. For example, when Yeezy released the Boost or Foam models, they were criticized at first, but a year or two later people all over the world were wearing them’.

Stas’ sneakers don’t exist in the physical world, but the designer notes that he is already working on a concept that he will bring to life.

Thanks to the popularity of the concepts on social networks, he began to receive offers, particularly from Ukrainian and global brands. One day, Oliver Sykes from Bring Me the Horizon, who owns the brand called Dropdead, wrote to him. According to Stanislav, they ‘did not agree on money, but perhaps they will agree in the future’.

However, STANISLAV has signed a contract ‘with one world-famous footwear brand’, the name of which he is not authorized to disclose.

STANISLAV is an Odesa-based artist and designer who creates installations, digital art objects and sculptures. In 2021 he created a concept and weapon design for the ARCA music video for the track Prada/Rakata, and also drew graffiti and exoskeleton (read more about it in our article).

In 2023, JAMALA released QIRIM, a concept album of Crimean Tatar music, the cover artwork of which was created by STANISLAV.

Design partner —
Development — Mixis