Yeti Out is an ever-growing creative collective that was born in Hong Kong before quickly expanding to Shanghai and London. With roots in music, they’ve also made a significant impact on fashion subcultures in Asia and beyond and have just reached another milestone: Yeti Out have collaborated with Nike on a sneaker called Lost Signal as part of Nike's By You customisation project.
Today we get a first look at the shoe which is made up of two colourways: Metallic White and Voltage Purple. There is velcro and when torn, creates a static-like white noise representing the intense signal processing sound which makes-up our “modern heart beat”. The shoe, which is a bold take on Nike's React Vision, also boasts a thinly drawn double-stacked Swoosh on the quarter, which represents the parallels between night and day in staying connected 24/7. The heel pieces are also customisable, and can be altered to read “LOST SIGNAL” or “YETI OUT” instead of the standard Nike text.
Evidently, a lot of thought went into the design and that goes beyond aesthetics. Starting with the name, Lost Signal is closely related to how Yeti Out is an ever-evolving transient between different places. Their creativity is also highly reliant on telecommunication and technology.
“Shaky WeChat calls and WhatsApp groups are our satellite offices,” said Arthur Bray in an interview with Mixmag Asia. “Without signal, there wouldn't be Yeti Out, But, there's also a dark side to signal and its ubiquitous presence.”
The sneaker collab was a culmination of an eight-week project that Yeti Out have been working on with Nike. “The collaboration was part of a bigger conversation on music culture also titled LOST SIGNAL. Throughout the project, we did radio sessions with Shanghai producers and DJs like grime artist ZEAN, drum ’n’ bass queen DJ Siesta, young guns; PREME DJs and singer/rapper Charity SSB.”
He goes on to explain that throughout the project, they celebrated underground dance culture and looked at technology's role in keeping people connected. "But in other instances, we explore how it's keeping us apart. Has social media really made us more social? We explored these topics in the radio sessions and interview different personalities in nightlife (door girl, sound technician, promoter, etc) in the "LOST SIGNAL" zine.”
It’s true somehow in this fast-changing digital world, we are connected in many ways but also disconnected in other ways.
The project also saw an exhibition at Shanghai's On Air Studio which showcased their flyer and t-shirt archive alongside a pop-up radio featuring shows from local artists and DJs as well as a series of DIY zine-making and screen-printing workshops.
The Yeti Out vision has always stressed the importance of community by bridging the gap between club culture, music and fashion — creating one subculture from it all. They further strive to blur the line between street fashion and luxury fashion, and did so last year with a collaboration with American luxury brand Coach which launched at Shanghai fashion week.
Back on the Nike tip, we can expect more from the two brands in the future. Recently, they’ve been working with Nike quite often; whether that's doing the sound 13th Witness' Exhibition at NikeLab X158 or last year's YETI x NIKE AV021 workshop series which explored audio and visual design in club culture.
The collective grew up with Nike kicks on their feet and it’s clear they will continue to do so as the brand evolves alongside them.
The Yeti Out x Nike React Vision By You is available here at ¥999 CNY (approximately $143 USD), and a US drop coming soon.