Mr. Bailey is a sneaker designer by name, but many of his works should be looked at more as wearable art. Doing so also makes it easier to stomach the fact that you'll never obtain many of them, as they haven't been released to the public.
Last year, Mr. Bailey made an absolutely bonkers pair of kicks for Takashi Murakami. The midsole's massive spikes, as well as the rainbow-striped upper, were inspired by Murakami's The Simple Things, a 2009 piece made in collaboration with Pharrell. Despite bearing no resemblance to any Timberland you've seen, the bootie-like construction to shroud the entire piece was made as part of the brand's Construct:10061 innovation program. Only three pairs were made, with none of them going up for sale.
The latest release from Mr. Bailey follows suit as a one-of-one piece of artwork created to celebrate the Adidas Superstar's 50th anniversary. Exploring the idea of prehistoric shelled creatures as a nod to the signature shell toe, the Ammonite Superstar is a fascinatingly unwieldy sneaker sitting on a massive, hollowed outsole.
A Superstar like you've never seen — If you're looking for similarities to the Superstar as we know it, you may grow frustrated. The relationship is largely conceptual, as a much beefier shell toe is combined with the absolute unit of a sole. Ammonites are closely related to today's octopi, and the chambers throughout the soles are intended to mimic the buoyancy and stability of the modern animals. The coolest detail, in my opinion, is how the laces anchor directly into the rubber toe.
Engineered adaptive nylon with a fuzzy finish makes up the upper, which allows a pair of reworked Trefoil patches to be applied through velcro. One of these patches gives the Adidas logo a robust shell-like appearance, while the adds another layer of leaves — all in a rainbow of colors.
And a Superstar you'll never own — This one-of-one sneaker won't be released, coming as a part of Adidas Originals’ Catalyst for Change program. All we can do is marvel at the photos and hope it'll eventually go up for public display when it's safe enough to gather around.