Whitewall tyres – tyres which had their sidewalls white in colour – were trendy in the 1930s up to around the 1970s. They added a ‘classy touch’ to luxury models and an extra-cost option for other models.
Tyremakers also tried coloured tyres and even illuminated tyres but these were largely novelties that never really caught on. The coloured tyres were supposed to be matched to the body colour in some cases. Most of the time, motorists were happy enough with just the traditional black colour, perhaps with raised white lettering for a sporty touch.
Sole of the UX
Now Lexus has teamed up with John Elliott, a streetwear designer, to create the ‘Sole of the UX’ – custom white tyres inspired by his John Elliott x Nike AF1 shoe. Elliott’s association with Nike goes back to 1991 when, as an 8-year old, he submitted a redesign of Nike shoes to the company.
For the ‘Sole of the UX’, the man who creates designer Nike shoes has reimagined the classic silhouette of his sneaker for the tyres which are all white, like the white-on-white AF1 Elliott sneakers which were originally introduced in 1982. They embody the spirit of clean, purposeful, and modern design which, like the crossover itself, are inspired by and designed for the city.
Revealed at Elliott’s New York Fashion Week after-party earlier this month, the collaboration features an all-white UX with other custom tyre details inspired by Elliott’s design, including white on white layers, double-stitched leather and a stepped metal air valve evocative of his stacked metal lace tip.
“The first-ever Lexus UX was engineered and designed for the city,” said Lisa Materazzo, Lexus Vice-President of Marketing. “We wanted to push that concept even further by creating the ultimate homage to urban style: tyres inspired by classic, street-style sneakers.”