The 19-year-old shoe artist Cassius Hirst is making waves in the sneaker community. Working exclusively with the Air Force 1 Low, his artistic take on the timeless model is guaranteed to end up on your wishlist. Don’t get ahead of yourself though, these fresh AF1’s will cost you a rack or more! The high price point is for good measure though - his take on the shoe is more of a wearable piece of art, then it is a custom sneaker. If you end up getting a pair, don’t be scared to actually put them on, as the wear-and-tear is all part of the process that Cass loves to see (he says his favourite shoes, like the Margiela Fusion, evolve the more you wear them).
The Helena OG.
The Helena OG, Hunter, Cityscape and Japan.
An early model.
Black on White.
Last May, Cass linked up with Nike and Virgil Abloh to help out with the NikeLab Chicago Re-Creation Center project - a community effort providing free workshops and mentorship programs for the city’s youth. Hirst was first to present at the workshop, setting the stage with his infamous spray paint application. Roughly two months later, the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago gave him a call to drop an exclusive CassF1 (get it, Cassius + AF1). Cass dropped “The False Bubblegum 2020” in July alongside Virgil’s MCA exhibition.
When it comes to inspiration, Cass doesn’t state anything firmly. He’s into a few modern artists, like Daniel Arsham, and enjoys Virgil’s take on iconic silhouettes but mainly focuses on his own previous projects for inspo. The self-proclaimed “editor” isn’t jumping to design his own shoe from scratch, he’s more interested in adding a layer on top and editing what’s there. Why change what’s perfect, y’know? Cass seems like he’s off to a pretty solid start, with the likes of Offset, ASAP Bari, AJ Tracey and his father, Damien Hirst, wearing his premium AF1’s. Other than kicks, he says he wants to apply the techniques he’s honed on AF1’s into other mediums.
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A visual creator you've never heard of, every morning.