In January of 2020 I finished a 2-day trip to Beijing. Our team was asked to work on iconic product for Xtep, a growing Chinese brand. The recently signed Jeremy Lin needed his first signature shoe.
My jetlag crash was shortened by phone calls of concern. COVID-19 news started the day I landed at JFK and the world began to close. From that day forward 2020 would be a rollercoaster of health, safety, work, school and productivity ambiguity. We planned to head back to China a few times to develop product.
Not so much.
Fast forward 10 months later and our always eventful project launched in China and the US. At some point our team will breakdown every step of the fun, but for now I’ll offer the product we created, content we created and all of the details in between.
The product creation process is messy. During dual-pandemics, it was brutal. But I can’t give enough credit to all of the teams involved in getting this shoe and more to shelves on time. Xtep was amazing. My creative team worked on China time. And Jeremy Lin was a champ the entire journey.
Inspired by Jeremy’s faith, the concept of ‘walking on water’ found it’s way throughout the product creation process. The wave of water that protects Jeremy’s moves on the court inspired all of our decisions.
Our involvement didn’t stop at the production line. From packaging to POP sketch work, our team delivered creative assets throughout the journey — many nights on China’s clock. 3AM meetings were normal. More work was standard.
But the payoff for those late nights is a successful launch from vibe to the proverbial cash register. So far, so good.
As we prepared for the launch in China, we were asked if our larger team could build assets for Hypebeast while working with influencers to build a social media plan.
Creative Director Jon Lopez and Marketing Director Khiana Lowe pitched their launch strategy and headed out. From a documentary on Jeremy Lin shot in Palo Alto to modeling shoot in NYC, we had a very full October.
With our fingers crossed we will enjoy a continued launch as more colors hit shelves. We don’t have a lot of time to celebrate because we are preparing for the JLIN TWO launch. But we appreciate quite possibly the best moment of the project. Model & influencer Kwabena Brenya stopped us after a full day shoot and shared his thoughts on what we’d been building internally but hadn’t shared with others yet.