Miami artist Freegums brings a special blend of his style and his city to the leBron 9 for one of the shoe’s most intriguing colorways yet.
The Nike LeBron 9 has settled in rather quickly into sneaker rotations worldwide, becoming one the most popular shoes of the year, since its debut back in October. It all started with the ‘China’, which touched on cultural imagery from our sneaker-crazed brethren from around the globe, but we have now arrived at a destination a bit closer to home; in fact, for this collaborative release, all Nike had to do was look in LeBron’s backyard. Designed by Miami-based artist Alvaro ‘Freegums’ Ilizarbe, this year-end Nike LeBron 9 release brings a home-grown and local flavor to the budding LeBron James’ legacy in the city of Miami, never before seen in any other Nike LeBron release on this kind of personal level.
The process began in 2010, when Freegums was approached by Nike for this special collaborative project during one of the most prestigious art shows in America - the Art Basel Miami Beach 2010 event. Nike recognized Freegums’ unique brush strokes, and with its desire to capture a fresh perspective from a Miami artist, the Freegums x Nike LeBron project was born, offering a valuable inside-out vantage point from a true Miami native with a distinct eye for bringing the culture to life. Adopting his signature Black/White detailing inspired by his ‘Good Vibrations’ art installation, Freegums transferred his own perspective onto the LeBron 9, featuring the distinguished graphic on the inner lining, as well as on the white Hyperfuse outer shell.
Earlier in December 2011, Nike held a special event – a private unveiling party where Freegums and his LeBron 9 design were introduced to a select crowd of Miami natives. The shoe as well as the artist was introduced to a select crowd of notable figures from the Miami art and sneaker scene. The wide release of the Freegums x Nike LeBron 9, which is also the commemorative release for LeBron’s Birthday (December 27th), arriving at retailers on December 31st to a warm reception. With the shoes hitting the market, Freegums has now planted his name firmly into the growing legacy of LeBron James and his shoes, making the Freegums x Nike LeBron 9 one of the most memorable releases of LeBron’s Miami era so far.