Excited to see some of the campaign we retouched for Nike's newest Kobe Bryant basketball collection on the Nike homepage.

The NIKE KOBE XI 'ACHILLES HEEL' - his 11th signature shoe for the brand - had its official release on January 9th 2016, and Kobe wore them on court for the first time playing against the Boston Celtics. 

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We retouched these dynamic action shots of Kobe, photographed by Warren du Preez and Nick Thornton Jones.

The shoes are based on the Greek hero Achilles, and the way that Kobe's own career links to this story.

Found at the root of the well-known phrase 'Achilles heel' is the story of the almost-invincible hero Achilles.

The story goes that when he was born, his mother was told that Achilles would die young, so to prevent this she took him to the River Styx, which was said to offer powers of invincibility.

However, she made the mistake of holding him by the ankle when she dipped him in the magical water, so although he went on to be a great warrior and survive many battles, he was eventually killed by a poisoned arrow in the ankle. 

Like Achilles, Kobe appeared to be invincible for most of his career, before tearing his Achilles tendon in 2013.

The stories are linked on the heels of the KOBE XI's, the right depicting a representation of Achilles, the left embroidered with 4 bold stripes, designed to represent the 4feet of thread used in his 2013 surgery.

Kobe is considered one of the best basketball players of his generation, and recently announced that he would be retiring from the sport at the end of the 2015-16 season - his 20th season with the LA Lakers.   


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Photography: Warren du Preez & Nick Thornton Jones

Featuring: Kobe Bryant

Retouching: Studio Invisible