SLAM DUNK: Pigalle Paris’ Stéphane Ashpool is taking his collaboration with NikeLab to new heights. The designer at his men’s spring show on Thursday at the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, will present what he described as his first full collection with the sporting goods giant — introducing women’s wear for the first time but also launching multiple trainer silhouettes based around the basketball.
The launch is part of a weeklong lineup of capsule launches with brands by the sporting goods giant themed around the lifestyle and culture of basketball. Ashpool has already been collaborating with Nike for about seven years on projects ranging from setting up a basketball court in his local neighborhood to small capsules.
The new collection will also mark his first collaboration with NikeLab based on his own patterns, Ashpool said in an interview in the run-up to the show. The line will feature everything from socks, slides and a pink basketball to a tracksuit in the colors of the French Tricolor flag. Paintings and sculptures by Ashpool and longtime collaborators Ill-Studio will also feature at the event, with a casting based on “my people.”
The designer described his spring collection as a tribute to Paris’ bid to host the 2024 Olympic Games, based on a “futuristic kind of character.” “It’s this idea of the opening ceremony, when all of the athletes circle the stadium, and how the Pigalle Paris French team would look,” said Ashpool who is a keen basketball player.
Two days after his show, the community-driven designer who in 2009 worked with Nike to transform a basketball court in the city’s 9th arrondissement, will be opening a second court.
The designer owns two stores in the district: his Pigalle Paris boutique which carries his main line, and Pigalle Basketball which opened in 2014. Along with his Tokyo flagship that opened two years, they’re the only places that carry his collections, with the designer having wound down his wholesale business. “I don’t like the idea of being controlled by wholesale and having to cut quality to maintain price points,” said Ashpool who occasionally does pop-up sales events, including online. The new NikeLab x Pigalle collection will drop on June 24 in NikeLab doors in Europe and the Pigalle stores.
The designer in September, meanwhile, will finish installing the machines in his recently opened atelier in Pigalle, replete with its own dyeing station. The designer, who earlier this year collaborated with Missoni on a basketball-inspired men’s wear capsule, likened his unique setup to “having my own bakery.”