Ancient city vs. progressive fashion capital

This June, the Consortium Tour returns to Europe with Italian streetwear royalty Slam Jam reworking an adidas model. Its twist on the Tubular Nova plays with the relationship between old and new in a refreshing way.

Slam Jam was founded in Ferrara, Northern Italy, in 1989. Since then the company has boldly championed urban clothing and footwear. While fashion retailers are sometimes been lured towards streetwear during peaks in popularity, and other streetwear retailers have drifted away from their roots, Slam Jam have remained consistent and stuck to its guns. It has paid off, 27 years on from its conception, Slam Jam remains one of Europe’s respected names.

Slam Jam’s home city Ferrara dates back to the Italian Renaissance and is still surrounded by 16th century city walls. Ferrara has UNESCO World Heritage status, protecting and preserving it from change. During the 20th century, the city was subjected to industrial development and urban transformation. With its roots in an ancient city and an ultra-modern retail presence in Milan, one of Europe’s leading fashion capitals, Slam Jam was always going to deliver something interesting, aligning the best from both worlds.

While collaborators often pluck a model from the past and propel it into the present via contemporary construction and materials, the team at Slam Jam has opted to subvert the method. Instead, it has selected the Tubular Nova, a shoe first released in 2016, and through materials have distressed it, aged it; toying with the principles of the Originals line.

From a distance, the light colorway sits slickly alongside other clean, contemporary models, but closer inspection reveals the subtle detailing. Rather than a hyper-modern synthetic, they have gone for a traditional muslin and premium leather. Through slight distress around the shoe’s front panelling and deliberate creasing to the leather at the tip of the tongue, Slam Jam are having fun with the concept of the heritage sneaker. Unafraid to be flaunting , the shoe’s heel strap roars their name in block capitals.

A modern model under slight distress

Often streetwear is forward-oriented, concerned with the exuberance of the future rather than the weight of the past. The Slam Jam Tubular Nova explores the relationship between heritage and reinvention through a new and unconventional lens.