A Ma Maniére presents Handle With Care, a cinematic short film made in collaboration with Nike.
The black-and-white visual is centered around A Ma Maniére's new Air Force 1 design as well as the importance of taking care of what you consider valuable—whether that be your "favorite black tee or someone you love." Featuring a score by THX Beats of A Banner Vision, the short film explores the evolution of a young man who learned to survive and overcome "an environment where you’re not supposed to make it out."
We see the man as a youth and an adult, going through his morning routine that includes hand washing a black tee and putting on the A Ma Maniére's Air Force 1s, dubbed Hand Wash Cold. The high and low sneakers will be available Dec. 7 at A Ma Maniére locations and SNKRS in North America. The low version will have a wider release that same day at Social Status, APB, Concepts, Bodega, Creme, Shoe Gallery, UNKNWN, Trophy Room, Politics, Xhibition, Corporate, Oneness, Rooted, Sole Classics, Undefeated, Bait, Darkside Initiative, Feature, Likelihood, Livestock, Xclucity and Haven.
You can check out the Handle With Care short film above, as well as our Q&A with A Ma Maniére founder James Whitner below.
What were you trying to achieve with this campaign?
We wanted there to be real substance around what we do. Not just talk about fashion, sneakers, and hype. Our goal was to be intentional about making sure the message of the story connected to real people that have lived similar stories. The idea of A Ma Maniére and Hand Wash Cold is about the care that you handle things with, not just luxury items and product, but things you love. When you have nothing and come from nothing you cherish things differently. There is a struggle that many people go through or are going through that motivates them to work through their current situation and once they arrive, they are fueled by the struggle that they come from and that becomes a motivating factor in keeping them on the right track.
How important is it to make a campaign that tells a bigger story than the product?
Telling stories that connect to people authentically is important. The goal with every project is to excite, but if we don’t educate who are we connecting to? Our brands and boutique aren’t just about hype, it’s about substance. A Ma Maniére, Social Status, APB and Prosper have to connect to real people and most importantly, we have to connect to the people in the communities that we represent.
Talk about the story and how you connect to it?
I grew up very poor in Whitaker projects, where the video was shot, so there are a ton of battles that I needed to fight to get to the place where I am today. As I mentioned earlier, my journey getting here is my motivation for working every day. Now I want to shine a light for kids who are from similar situations and are looking for a way out. I want to be the voice or the example of what is possible. I also wanna give the game that I didn’t get to make it easier for the 15-year-old version of myself. I constantly find myself working to communicate to the 15-year-old version of myself, when I was in the projects with the feeling of desperation and no way or understanding of how to make it out. I want that kid today to know there is a path and I want to help to make the path more visible and easier to realize for more people.
Did Nike give you budget for this?
Yes, Nike did give budget and fully supported the message of Hand Wash Cold.
Talk about the sneaker design? And how it connects to this campaign.
The sneaker had to be black because, for me and our team, it represents the journey. Our team is constantly on the grind and we wear black as a badge of honor almost, so it was important that for our first Nike project the shoe spoke to who we are and what we stand for. A Ma Maniére is luxury curated through the lens of street culture, all luxury items, experiences and communities need to be handled with care and in garment terms, should be Hand Wash Cold. If you have ever washed an all black item it’s always Hand Wash Cold.
We are not just selling hype!