Creative Soccer Culture

Nike Officially Unveil The Phantom x Skepta

With Mason Greenwood having confirmed the collab before wearing them in Manchester United’s match against Leicester this week, Nike now officially launch the Phantom x Skepta, which sees the Swoosh collaborating with a music artist for the first time on a performance football boot.

The cat was somewhat let out of the bag with this one back when Mason Greenwood was spotted training in them, but even then it wasn’t entirely clear what they were. That was then clarified when the United striker called them out on his Instagram account, followed by Skepta confirming the drop. Yes, if you’re still not clear what we’re talking about, this here is the Nike Phantom x Skepta, and it sees the London-born artist applying his creative vision to the world of football for the first time, developing his existing relationship with Nike and taking it in a direction that centres on another of Skepta's passions.

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Skepta has left an indelible mark on music in London and beyond with his game-changing flow and expansive creative universe — but he’s also had a profound impact on footwear by applying his aesthetic to a handful of iconic Nike Air Max designs over the years. Now his influence spills into the world of football, and the Phantom x Skepta corresponds with the “Bloody Chrome” colourway of the Nike Air Max Tailwind V x Skepta, further extending his on-going relationship with the Swoosh. And the pair have recruited fellow musician, Dave, to rep the gear.

The two silhouettes share a wealth of design details — the red butterfly print applied to the uppers continues Skepta’s exploration of creative metamorphosis, while the chrome Swooshes and soleplate on the Phantom are inspired by the silver jewelry that’s an integral part of Skepta’s style. As on the previous Tailwind V x Skepta, the heels of both the red Phantom and the Air Max feature a subtle iridescent material as an eye-catching nod to the thermographic cover art of Skepta’s 2019 album “Ignorance Is Bliss.”

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Reflecting on his own footballing experiences, Skepta said, “I love the pressure when you call for the ball. When they pass it to you, you become the sole director of the next move for the team. You’ve got a split second to decide, ‘is it good for me to keep this and show what I’m about or is it good to pass it and show that I’m thinking about all the players on the pitch?’

Presenting the Phantom and the Nike Air Tailwind V together creates a full-circle view of Skepta's community-centered mentality.

I love the culture around football as much as the game; I'm really into the culture of football jerseys for what they represent. They represent ‘team,’” he explained. “Going to matches is sick too. When you go to a match, you experience live people, live audio, all the things that the TV might miss really feel it more than see it or hear it when you're there.

It also looks as though Mason Greenwood won't be the only player to lace up in the Phantom x Skepta, with West Ham Women and France international midfielder Kenza Dali also getting in on the act.

The Nike Phantom x Skepta and “Bloody Chrome” Nike Tailwind V x Skepta release on 12 June.

Daniel Jones

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