The Story Behind Jennifer Lopez’s Custom Neon Nike Air Force 1s
The love for shoes and design prompted the 28-year-old Konner Scroggins to found his own design studio, which made waves in the sneaker community. In particular, it caught the attention of Jennifer Lopez and Bad Bunny.
Called To Be Determined, the multidisciplinary studio that first opened in 2016 with housewares, and in 2018 Scroggins, who has a background in architecture and installation design, decided to create bespoke Nike Air Force 1s using acrylic materials.
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“I just had some acrylic and I was like the hell that would work. [My company's name is] To be specific and it depends on what my life is like. I've just moved from design jobs to labor intensive jobs just like I've figured out various things, ”he told FN. "So I just said I want to make shoes."
From there, Scroggins began laser cutting acrylic in the shape of the Nike Swoosh logo, which is then hand sculpted, engraved into the panels of the Nike AF1, and screwed into the sneaker. He builds each pair by hand, which takes an hour or two. Each pair has passed a 120 hour wear test and is made to order.
The creation started after Bad Bunny organically carried a pair on tour in 2019.
But it was Lopez who helped Scroggin get started. He said that in another organic situation, a friend of J-Lo's bought her a pair as a gift, which he customized with her J-Lo logo on the heel, without knowing if she would ever wear the pair. She posted the sneakers in a TikTok video in August and has continued to wear the multi-colored Air Force 1s ever since.
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According to Scroggins, 85 pairs of trainers from the limited edition were sold out within 12 hours.
"I just understood the power there," he said of Lopez's influence. “I lowered my head. I worked hard for two years. I tried new things and J-Lo, she just did a lot of shit. I've lost my mind "
As a one-man business working out of his Charlotte, NC garage, Scroggins typically doesn't custom-make, but rather creates a design and releases gobs in limited quantities. The multi-colored thermoformed acrylic AF1 to be determined will not be released again, he said.
However, in 2021, Scroggins plans to discontinue a different AF1 sneaker customization per month.
“Air Force 1 was a canvas to customize. And a lot of people have painted on them or they color them and they like different manipulations, ”he said. "The language I wanted to add to this story was acrylic and went one step further."
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