Industrial design icon Marc Newson recently worked on a special project for Nike. This year Nike’s Air Max Running Shoe is turning 30. To celebrate the anniversary of the classic sneaker Marc Newson and NikeLab teamed up for a collaboration to “distill the essence of industrial craft and technology” – sounds serious. In simple terms, they are combining Newson’s design aesthetics with Nike’s future-forward sneaker technology – FlyKnit and Air VaporMax for an elegant yet original Air VaporMax x Marc Newson.
Here is Newson’s take on the project, “The VaporMax sole – it’s massively sort of technological, but I think in many ways I wanted to sort of play that down, so I took this as an opportunity to sort of do the opposite of what I thought everyone else might do. I wanted to sort of create a kind of counterpoint. My brief to myself was really to create a product that I’d want to use, and not only want to use, but want to use every day.”
Newson’s design inspiration comes from moccasin construction methods. He used a full-grain leather chassis and a telco strap frame on a pre-molded Nike flyknit sockliner to build the upper. A TPU cupsole bonds the upper to the breakthrough Nike Air VaporMax unit, allowing the shoe a lightweight and responsive underfoot feel.
Newson added, “It’s wonderful now to be given the opportunity to work with all of these incredible new technologies and materials. Knitting, for example, as a particular technology, is really an extraordinary thing and something I know that Nike has really pioneered over the last several years, and I believe that they sort of excel in that particular kind of technology.”