Last night, Stephen Curry made his 2,974th regular season 3-pointer, surpassing NBA legend Ray Allen to become the all-time leader in total 3-pointers made during the regular season. To celebrate the milestone, leading ecommerce company Rakuten has teamed up with sneaker artist and designer Mache to create a run of 30 pairs of commemorative Curry Flow sneakers. Fans can enter a sweepstakes via Rakuten’s Twitter and Instagram for a chance to win a pair of these limited-edition custom kicks.
The commemorative Curry Flow sneakers pay homage to Steph’s journey with the Golden State Warriors with a mismatched colorway. One shoe comes in navy and orange, the colors of the team’s jersey in Steph’s rookie season in 2009, while the other features the team’s current blue and yellow colors. Each insole features milestone dates from Steph’s career, including the day he was drafted, when he made his first three pointer in the league, the date of his first MVP award, and his first NBA Championship. Each pair is housed in unique bucket packaging.
The sweepstakes to win a pair of the Rakuten x Mache Curry Flow sneakers runs from December 15th to December 18th. Check out photos below as well as our interview with Mache to learn more about the project (edited for length and clarity).
MN: Can you walk us through the design and process for this project?
Mache: With this milestone in Steph’s career, we wanted to have a shoe that commemorates the beginning of his career as well as this big moment with some storytelling but not being so overdone that you have to put a lot of thought into it. So we did a mismatched colorway on the Curry Flows. One colorway goes back to his rookie season, so like the old school jerseys of like Baron Davis colors — the navy, the orange, and the yellow — those old school uniforms I remember from back in the day. Then obviously the current colorway with the royal and yellow to commemorate where Steph is at this milestone.
On the current colorway on the right shoe we have “2974” on the ankle collar, the number he’s been chasing, to give a nod to that milestone. On the other side, we have the “1/30.” We did a lot of storytelling on sockliners. On the left side, the rookie pair, we have the year that he got his first ring, and then also on the other side we documented him getting his championships and MVPs and things like that. So it was a very sleek and simple design to get across a lot of points, but then again Steph has so many milestones already that you need a size 17 shoe to really cover them all. So we wanted to really scale it down and focus on this moment for sure.
MN: Can you also talk about the packaging for the shoes?
Mache: Yeah, so you know, Steph is considered a walking bucket (laughs), so we wanted to have the shoes be packaged in an actual bucket. With the branding, it also coincides with the sockliner so it carries over between the design of the packaging as well as the shoe.
MN: So I’m sure you get a ton of these type of collaboration requests. What was it about this project that made you say yes?
Mache: I’ve been fortunate to work with Steph over the years, so we have an existing relationship, whether it was working with Curry Brand or just doing other things. So me and Steph have that rapport already, so when Rakuten gave me with the opportunity to work with Steph for this milestone, I was definitely in. Whether it was to be a friend or to be a fan, either way I was totally down.
MN: Yeah, I saw you’ve worked with Steph on a few other projects in the past. Can you tell me more about that relationship?
Mache: Yeah, it actually started organically with his best friend Bryant Barr who played with him in Davidson. He was working at Nike at the time and now he’s the head of SC30 and Steph’s business partner. Bryant was a customer to begin with and then became a friend. With him introducing Steph to me, it just became more of an organic thing to me.
I know the first project we did, it was when the City uniforms were introduced, we did a pair of Currys to match. And then we did some other stuff, actually for his Youtube series we did a little spot where we designed a shoe based off of the Infiniti truck, he has a relationship with them. Then also we did some stuff for when he was golfing. We did a Black golfers Mt. Rushmore with portraits of prolific Black golfers.
So it was just kinda cool to work with him in these different passions, because obviously everyone knows about basketball, but to have a little more of his personal life and his love for golf and things like that… it’s been cool to meet him. I’ve been to his house and done stuff there. So, it’s definitely not a forced relationship, which is good, because sometimes you get paired up with a celebrity client and you do it and it’s a very surface thing and then you go your separate ways, but with this one we’ve maintained a good relationship.
MN: Awesome. So I’m also interested in the timetable for these type of projects. How long ago did Rakuten first approach you for this?
Mache: We were in talks, probably two months ago is when we initially started talking. I think we all realistically thought Steph would hit the record a little later as opposed to the tear that he’s been on this season. So we were definitely against the wall for the timeline, but the story was always there, we just had to figure out the best way to illustrate it within the confines of a shorter turnaround time then we expected. But we’re definitely happy with the result.
MN: So Steph has surpasses Ray Allen for the record. I know you’ve done shoes for him too. So I gotta ask, who are you a bigger fan of? Steph or Ray Allen?
Mache: It’s hard to say! For footwear, I think Ray had a better lineup, being a Jordan guy, no offense to Steph. I think I just have a better relationship with Steph in terms of personal-wise. I think Ray had this spot in history and I think Steph is still writing his history book. He’s definitely got a lot of gas in the tank too which is scary.