ARKK Copenhagen Explores Digital Landscapes For SS2018

 In News, Other Brands

When was the last time you saw an entirely new, not “recycledfrom- military” camouflage pattern in the sneaker game? ARKK Copenhagen, a brand otherwise known for understated Scandinavian stylistics, goes next level with an all-new take on the time-honored design.

In the world of sneakers and streetwear, camouflage is one of those bedrock aesthetics that will never go out of style. Used as color blocking element or full-f ledged upper patterning, camo has made its mark on athletic shoes for decades, implemented into blazing hot releases by the likes of adidas, Puma, DC Shoes, Supra, HUF, SUPREME, Nike, Undefeated, A Bathing Ape, ASICS, and countless others.
“I think that, at this point, it has gone far beyond a mere trend. Camo has become a fixture in fashion,” said inf luential designer Hardy Blechman, who chronicled camouflage history in his book DPM – Disruptive Pattern Material. “You might want to compare it to denim – nobody would ask if the market is saturated or if we’ve seen too much if it.” But while we do keep seeing more camouflage – including the highly anticipated Nike Air Force 1 Low “Country Camo” Pack – the majority of shoe releases simply “borrow” time-honored patterns from over 100 years of military heritage.

ARKK Copenhagen Desert Camo Pack - Pythron S-E15

ARKK Copenhagen Pythron S-E15 “Camo”

ARKK Copenhagen Desert Camo Pack - Raven Mesh S-E15 (On feet)

ARKK Copenhagen Raven Mesh S-E15 “Camo”

Historically, the camouflage bloodline began when French soldiers disguised (“camouf let”) tanks and observation posts during WW1 with earth-colored paint jobs. WW2 saw soldiers adapt the disguise to their clothes in a “Frogskin” pattern that begot today’s “Duck Camo”. In the late 1940s, U.S. Army scientists created the mother of all camos, known as “Woodland”, while Vietnamese soldiers devised “Tigerstripe” in the 1960s to blend into the underbrush. Further milestones included the “Chocolate Chip” desert camo (1981), CADPAT digital camo (1996), and allterrain Multicam (2003). But since then, camo patterns have not necessarily been a hotbed of innovation, perhaps with the exception of A Bathing Ape’s lollipop-colored baboon heads (strictly fashion before function, unsuitable for preying on your enemies in the underbrush).

For a more functional twist, meaning camo that actually blends into the environment, design-driven label ARKK Copenhagen now introduces its custom-engineered Desert Camo in a new shoe drop for Spring/Summer 2018. “It’s a nod to the camo trend, but in our own rendition, inspired as always by our Nordic environment,” said the team at ARKK Copenhagen. In terms of natural inspirations, the colorways on the ARKK Copenhagen Desert Camo represent “lush forestry from Sweden, vast sand dunes in West Denmark and landscapes for days in Norway.”
ARKK Copenhagen Desert Camo Pack - Raven Mesh S-E15 (Side)

ARKK Copenhagen Raven Mesh S-E15 “Camo”

ARKK Copenhagen Desert Camo Pack - Eaglezero S-E15 (On feet)

ARKK Copenhagen Eaglezero S-E15 “Camo”

Down-home inspirations aside, the move into camo may come as a surprise, because ARKK Copenhagen was founded in October 2014 by Kasper Høj Rasmussen and Thomas Refdahl around the tagline “Clean. Simple. Sneakers.” But looking at the Desert Camo with its geometric and pixelated outlines, the initial design ethos still holds true. It’s an evolution of camouflage, created for man-to-man trench combat, into the age of computerized modern warfare.
The almost mathematical precision of ARKK’s pattern results from the choice of tools. While traditional camo variations owe their erratic stripes to analogue paintbrushing techniques – British paratroopers in WW2 literally slathered layers of colors over their khakis – the Danish designers went the digital route: “The design was made pixel by pixel, totaling over 100 hours from our designers.”

ARKK Copenhagen Desert Camo Pack (On feet)

ARKK Copenhagen Desert Camo Pack – On feet

Executed on a micro mesh fabric, the new ARKK Copenhagen Desert Camo Pack premieres in SS2018. It features in three models, contrasted with tancolored soles, straps, laces, and PU cages: First in the Desert Camo Pack, the Pythron Mesh S-E15 model is a futuristic high-top with a streamlined toe and velcro strap enclosure. Second is the runner-inspired Raven Mesh S-E15, a low-top silhouette that pairs camouflage with a tan booty-style entry and f lat laces on delicate nylon eyelets. Finally, rounding out the pack is the Eaglezero Mesh S-E15 low-top featuring an innovative, asymmetrical lacing system and prominent reinforced heel section. All three models will be making their way to select retailers with a January/February delivery window.
Whether or not these new styles will be the start of a new line of ARKK Copenhagen camouflage sneakers and garments – or evolutions on classic patterns like snow camo – remains to be seen. After all, camouflage has been known to provide a certain element of surprise…

The ARKK Copenhagen Desert Camo Pack and further releases from the brand’s SS2018 line-up will be available via

ARKK Copenhagen Desert Camo Pack - Pythron S-E15 (On feet)

ARKK Copenhagen Pythron S-E15 “Camo”

This story appears in SNEAKERS MAG #37 – Released in Janury 2018

Sneakers Mag - January 2018

See more highlights from this issue and get your copy here!

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