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NikeLab Air Vapormax + Marc Newson

A FlyKnit and leather moccasin in a never-before-seen silhouette

by David Graver
on 15 March 2017

We've reached the 30th anniversary of Nike's Air Max technology. For some that will trigger nostalgia over iconic silhouettes—and the technical capabilities they delivered. For the team at NikeLab, it was a milestone invitation to continue advancing. And with that, they launched three new partnerships as part of the ongoing Nike Vision-AIRS series, one of which being the return of industrial designer Marc Newson. For the NikeLab Air Vapormax, Newson has imagined a never-before-seen silhouette employing the best of Nike technology. The FlyKnit upper extends down into a sock-liner of the same knit material, full-grain leather builds a moccasin-like base and, of course, it all rests on the recently introduced vapormax sole. The result is lightweight and flexible, but supportive. Newson's goal was transparency: make the shoe look exactly like how it would feel, forgoing a more tech aesthetic for something tactile.

Newson is quite familiar with the developments at Nike, and has been for some time. "My relationship with Nike started back in probably 2000," Newson explains. "I think it's safe to say at that point we really got sort of thrown in at the deep end and we started with possibly the most ambitious sort of collaboration that we could ever have imagined." A now iconic silhouette, Newson's Zvezdochka debuted back in 2004 and relaunched in 2014. "It's wonderful now," he continues, "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." He concludes that he's been happy to have such exposure to new materials and have the opportunity to exploit it in his own way. When looking at the sneaker, it's apparent no one else could have imagined such a thing.

The NikeLab Air Vapormax + Marc Newson will be available on 26 March, along with two other collaborations, one from fashion designer (and frequent Nike collaborator) Riccardo Tisci and architect Arthur Huang. All three will retail for $250.

Images courtesy of Nike

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