A$AP Rocky has never been just a rapper. Since he burst onto the scene he’s made his mark across art, fashion, and music. With his obsession with style, it was a surprise that Rocky hadn’t yet joined the legions of rappers releasing sneaker collaborations. Instead, he was biding his time, waiting for the perfect confluence of culture and partner. Enter Under Armour.
Under Armour offered Rocky and his AWGE creative collective free rein to design a shoe that was entirely their own.
They looked to their past for inspiration, taking cues from the skate and rave cultures that defined Harlem in the ‘90s and deciding to resurrect the iconic Osiris D3 with its original designer. Taking its name from its inspirations, the Skate Rave Lo, or SRLo, was born.
With the shoe ready for release, Under Armour turned to MATTE to concept and execute a launch that would live up to the hype.
So, we went up to Harlem. In the skeleton of the long-shuttered, iconic RKO Theatre, we built out a three-floor experience that melded the shoe’s dueling inspirations. The ground floor was transformed into a pro-level skatepark, an AWGE-ed out retail experience sat above, and the top floor was crowned with a blacklight-bathed rave space.
Inspired by AWGE’s unique aesthetic and the design icons of ‘90s skate and rave culture, every available surface was emblazoned with graffiti by @himumimdead. Caution tape’s yellow and black served as a contrasting highlight, while blacklight and LED bathed the rave floors.
With the cavernous RKO Theatre at our disposal, we knew we had to immortalize the SRLo launch with an AWGE-inspired skate video.
We tapped director, Amber Grace Johnson, and a local skate crew to use the abandoned theatre space as their playground. The resulting piece captured the raw attitude behind the shoe and the subcultures it drew from.
Max Pollack, Managing Partner
Michael Yu, Executive Creative Director
Patrick Dunn, Account Manager
Amber Grace Johnson, Director (Film)
Pat Dierker, Art Director
Chuck Owens, DP
Gabby Kreuter, Producer