Ian Brown – for those of a certain age and disposition – continues to be an indie god, beating pretenders like Liam Gallagher, Bobby Gillespie and that guy from the Verve hands down.
Now Japanese designer and long term friend, Kazuki Kuraishi, has come up with the Ian Brown ObyO KZK for adidas Originals and the ex-The Stone Roses front man has his very own limited edition with a bit of his monkey magic tattooed all over it. When you get people together who lead the pack you’re bound to get something with a dose of the special and the ObyO KZK trainers in black leather with gold artwork from ‘Unfinished Monkey Business’ tick the boxes.
Here is what Kazuki and Mr Brown said about each other, Kazuki’s last collection for adidas and their newest new shoes.
When did you two meet?
Kazuki：I was still working at A BATHING APE at the time, so it must have been more than ten years ago. James Lavelle introduced us.
Ian Brown: I think it was either 1998 or early 1999. My first impression of him? He seemed cool, as a person, and in the way he looked.
K: I was a fan from the time when he was still in The Stone Roses, so I guess I was nervous to meet him in person for the first time. I don’t usually get nervous on such occasions, but with Ian, I was very nervous.
I: Were you? You’ve got a really good poker face. Although, that’ something you’d expect from the Lion of Tokyo (laughs).
K: That’s the nickname you gave me.
I: Well, that’s how I see you. Kazuki always reminds me of a lion who leads the pack.
How do you feel about the products Kazuki Kuraishi designed for adidas Originals?
I: In a nutshell, they’re as cool as the guy who designs them. As for the footwear, I always loved adidas so I could get into them in the same way that everybody else did. With the clothing I think Kazuki raised the standard for adidas Originals. You’d rarely find this level of quality, even if you scour the whole world, as you do in the products he creates.
K: I can admit now that when I designed for ObyO KZK, a part of me was hoping that they would look great on Ian. He is one of the very few people who can wear clothes with a very natural coolness.
What’s your thought behind the footwear named after Ian included in this season’s collection?
K: It’s the last collection of ObyO KZK and I always wanted to make footwear for Ian, so I just decided to do it. Also, what Ian has been doing and all the music that came from Manchester and the UK are the source of my creative inspiration. So yeah, it seemed like a natural thing to do.
I: Well, whatever the reason, it’s just great because from when I was a kid, it was my dream to make my own adidas footwear. And having Kazuki design it for me, it can’t get any better than that!
K: The feeling is mutual. It feels great for me, too. Ian actually made a request that he wanted it to be a black ZX model.
I: And in addition to that, I asked him to use high quality leather for uppers. I was very particular about it being of high quality.