Pieter Janssen – better known as Piet Parra – is one of the best known names in sneaker culture. Working as an illustrator and graphic designer, the Dutchman started collaborating with Nike in the mid 2000s. A friend of famous Amsterdam sneaker store Patta, he designed the famous “Cherrywood” Air Max 1 as a joint project with the shop. Beyond that, Parra is also responsible for some almost-impossible to find shoes like the “Albert Heijn” Air Max 1. Inspired by the former signature colors of the eponymous supermarket chain, the design was shelved due to Albert Heijn changing their corporate identity.
While even those shoes somehow end up in the hands of dedicated collectors, there still are some Parra sneakers almost impossible to find. There’s the Nike SB “Fret Click”, dedicated to Parra’s own skate crew. And of course the Friends and Family editions of his most recent collabs with Nike and Nike SB. If your name’s not Eric Koston, you’re likely to never own a pair.
DID YOU KNOW?
In 2010, Piet Parra designed the billboard artwork for the 75th edition of Boekenweek. Originating in 1932, the event celebrates Duch literature and also features a different theme each year. The theme of Boekenweek 75 was “Jong zijn: het kind, de jeugd, de jongere”, which translates to “Being young: The child, the youth, the young people”.
But luckily, the regular versions of the latter shoes are more widely available. Furthermore, they cemented the artist’s profile among sneakerheads. The distinctive design of blue and red pastel tones and playful shapes adorns some of the most popular Nike silhouettes. Beyond that, some people even applied the famous pattern to silhouettes from other brands or toddler sneakers. But as a picture is worth a thousand words, we compiled some of our favorites from IG below.
20 of the Best Piet Parra On-Foot Sneaker Pics
Title image via @vieilleecole