The adidas Adilette is probably the only pair of slides with a cult following, having found its way from living rooms and public pools to the streets. For the release of the Adilette 22, 3D artist Max Salzborn and Manuel Haring reimagine the updated silhouette in new environments and materials. We talked to the two about their creative process, digital art and fashion.
Hey Max and Manuel! How about you give us a little introduction?
Max: Nice to meet you! I’m a 3D artist from Hamburg with a strong interest in aesthetics and virtual worlds. My work moves strongly between fashion, products and sculptural art.
Manuel: Hey! I’m a creative director. My work generally is focused on fashion and subculture while my artistic expression is flexible. Sometimes I lead creative teams, build brands or define creative strategy. Sometimes I work as an artist, photographer or direct films.
What are your thoughts on the Adilette 22?
Max: I mainly work with Cinema 4D, which has a volume builder that fuses each object. With a low-res version, it will come up with a similar abstract shape. That is why I can strongly identify with the new Adilette 22 and its pixelated shape.
Manuel: I’m very much into material science so I love that they are made with natural and renewable materials such as sugarcane.
Tell us a little more about SALTY HEADS.
Max: SALTY HEADS is a one-of-a-kind collection of 123 virtual, individual, hand clicked headwear pieces by me. It combines all of my favorite things in life: 3D, fashion and collecting nerdy stuff. The basic idea was to start my own studio, a digital one, to quickly realize cuts and ideas without any previous knowledge and to produce a selection of them as single pieces. The first virtual release was a huge success and the rush was really amazing, which encouraged me to continue working in the direction of digital fashion.
What came first for you, art or fashion?
Max: Definitely art, which is not surprising as the son of an art teacher. As a teenager I was into anime, graffiti and painting until I got into fashion through friends a few years ago.
Manuel: As someone that was always drawn to counterculture, I think art and fashion are both just ways to express individualism. So both were always equally important to me but ultimately everything started with graffiti…
How do modern technologies influence your work?
Max: Modern technology is my daily bread. It is challenging but at the same time very exciting and demanding to always see, understand and use the latest and most current digital world events. Right now, there are many AI use cases, which will shape my work over the next years. In general, I find it very exciting to see what innovations are being developed in such a short time.
How is AI going to change art and design?
Max: I think it will be a lot about copyright, originals and aesthetics. A lot of processes will be streamlined or completely eliminated, which will make it easier to work and implement ideas. However, I think it will make a big difference whether you are a digital artist or an AI artist, i.e., to what percentage the AI has created the image. For me, the AI work is currently just a gimmick and also worth very little in comparison. You no longer need skills to create a great picture, but a great image on its own doesn’t sell today.