Asian American basketball photographer Koolmac finally achieved his dream of designing his own Jordan sneakers.
Cameron Look, who goes by “Koolmac” on Instagram, posted pictures on Monday to showcase the boba tea-inspired Air Jordan 36 Low sneakers he designed in collaboration with the Jordan brand.
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Speaking to NextShark, Koolmac said that talks about the project began in late 2021: “It definitely took some time, but it was well worth the wait. The creative process is always fun.”
“I worked Nike retail for three years and dreamed of a day like this,” Koolmac wrote in an Instagram post debuting the shoes.
The new shoes feature a matcha color scheme and circles representing tapioca balls on the insoles and mudguards. The sneakers also have the text “Matcha Matcha Man” on their volt strips.
For the finishing touches, the kicks bear the iconic Jumpman logo on the tongue of the left shoe and a cartoon boba tea character on the right.
“Through experiences + relationships I’m learning how to bring my ideas to life. Those close to me know the hours I put in, the miles I travel, and the time I sacrifice away from loved ones,” the photographer continued in his post.
“At times I feel guilty and conflicted but I believe we’re changing the world. To everyone supporting me, my photography, my products, and my story, this is for you. Yes, we did it, but there’s still so much more to do.”
On Sunday, Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum was spotted rocking the Koolmac-designed shoes during his team’s game 1 matchup against the Milwaukee Bucks in the Eastern Conference semifinals of the NBA Playoffs.
“I’ve built a strong relationship with Jayson over the past four years when he trains in L.A. during the off-season with Drew Hanlen. It’s beautiful to see the trajectories of our careers since we met in 2018. We both respect each other as masters of our crafts,” Koolmac told NextShark.
“Given this context, of course Jayson was the perfect person to debut the shoe. The colorway was perfect since he plays for the Boston Celtics and the timing couldn’t have been better given the fact that it’s both NBA playoffs and AAPI Heritage Month.”
Koolmac also shared that he is on a mission to break stereotypes of “what it means to be a photographer.”
“Four years ago a market for creative sports photography didn’t even exist,” he told NextShark. “I’ve been blessed to inspire other creatives and Asian Americans around the world through my craft. I may carry a camera around with me, but I’m also an artist, designer, storyteller and so much more. I’ve never wanted to be anyone’s ‘photographer,’ I’ve always wanted to be family.”
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