“Nike is definitely my favourite…” is what she replies when I tell her about the research on the Nike logo, the Swoosh. ONE/ONE is the Instagram account of Evanda Pitovao, a product designer from Auckland (New Zealand) who loves the Swoosh. On her page she shares her designs with the world; the most amazing items made from old or rejected Nike items. She transforms the classic white Nike socks into a top, sweatbands into a jacket and old basketballs into dog bowls.
The girl behind the art
Evanda grew up in a Nike household “My dad is obsessed with Jordan and Nike, he things Adidas burns him...” He’s a designer himself and a big Nike-head. For as long as she can remember the brand had been present in her household. “My first school bag was with a Nike swoosh logo embroidery” which, not very surprising, her dad gave her. The items she had weren’t the ordinary; customisation always has been a thing something “I had a duffle back for school with my name embroidered on one side and my brother’s on the other”. Tweaking and personalising items is, so to say, her second nature. In uni she studied product design and during her studies she worked in retail. “At uni I saw products in a design sense and at work I saw it at a final product form”. It was the best of both worlds and she got inspired by these worlds. She tells with excitement how fascinating it was to her when Nike came out with their Flyknit shoes “It was a perfect combination of knitting and technology, driven by performance.” As a product designer that’s what she’s most interested in; problem solving.“I love fashion but I struggle with it at times in the sense of function, because when I think when it comes to a product you can’t really argue about it; if it serves a purpose and solves a problem, it works. But with fashion, as long as it has got two armholes and two sleeves... it’s blurry in terms of what people might think it’s cool”.
Photo by Evanda Pitovao
Sustainable, practical and dope
Her items are therefore a combination of both words; they have the practicality of a practical and are fashionable, they look interesting. The first item she designed was the lanyard-chair. “I had an old chair that had a leather cover that needed to be replaced. The frame was still good so I needed to change the seating. I wasn’t sure what to do with it”. For two months she was starting at the frame, after which her idea for the lanyard came. She made samples of weaves before she actually started covering the chair. “When I started it I didn’t realise how many weaves it would take”. The lanyard was dead stock from the company she worked for at the time “it used to produce for Nike and Adidas, so I found the lanyard somewhere in a corner and took it home”. Because Evanda didn’t want to be a one hit wonder she decided not to post the chair the moment she finished it “I made five projects before I started posting on Instagram; a soccer balls, slippers and a bag. I made all of those and took photos of them and posted them. I didn’t think much of it. When Hypebeast reposted it I gained some followers”.
Photo by Evanda Pitovao
The items are not for sale “There is a reason why people don’t make items out of sweat bands or out of socks. It’s not made to be worn like that in a traditional sense” she says laughing. The items she uses for her designs are all unique pieces, some are worn, others are faulty, others are just old “...that’s why it’s so hard to remake, all the items I make are made from different sizes...”. To Evanda it’s at the core of any upcycling movement “Because you use used items, it’s precious and requires a lot of work”. Somehow, ONE/ONE is a sustainable brand “I just think everything that is been made should be sustainable. It should be a normal thing and not put it in a different category”. At the moment she is fine-tuning a product she wants to put on for sale. “It will still be one offs, but with a pattern that I use more often”.
The love for the Swoosh
“It’s just the sleekest logo. It looks fast, it has movement, no tight angles, all curves. The more I look at it the more I get it...” To Evanda it’s the most powerful logo ever made.“My grandparents are from the Pacific Islands.There are a few things they can say in English but I’m almost certain they know what Nike is and they can recognize the Swoosh”.The Swoosh has been around for less than 100 years and the impact is immense. “You can graffiti it on a wall and it might not even be all proper, people will still recognize it’s a Swoosh”.The Swoosh is at the core in most of her ONE/ONE designs, and will be in the future “whether five or five thousand people see it, I will always be making these items”.