| With the launch of the Nike Air Max 95
it seemed as if a new era of footwear had begun. In he following years
one iconic style after the other was launched and frenetically celebrated
by sneaker enthusiasts: Zoom Flight 95, Footscape, Air Rift, Kukini,
Air Max 97, Presto & Presto Roam, Woven. The highlight and perfectly
adequate shoe to be stepping into the new millennium with was the
Nike Air Flightposite. All the signs pointed towards the future and
with every year, design and technology was pushed further. Performance-based
footwear crossed over into lifestyle. People picked up athletic shoes
for their progressive design, the technology as well as for the comfort,
the three key aspects of successful performance footwear.
Then, it all stopped. Someone pushed "Rewind" and kept the finger
on the button... for a very very long time... During the past five
to six years, the discussion about sneakers has been circling around
the terms "retro" and "re-issue". Even though all-around, technology
was progressing, in the world of sneakers everything went backwards.
While people were discussing the design of technologically advanced
cars, motorcycles, or the beloved cell-phones, talking about a shoe
meant talking about a material or just a colorway.
And talk there was – and still is – a lot.
While people who are interested in and collect cars also drive them,
while people who love electronics use their phones and computers,
people who have been getting into the 'game' of
|| sneakers have been taught the opposite of what shoes
were originally meant and made for: to be worn. Through the never-ending
series of sneaker exhibitions, through the millions of threads on
the innumerable sneaker foums, through high-profile ebay auctions
and misguided individuals, paying insane amounts of money, one very
clear signal was set, one message conveyed: "do not wear!".
Technology put to a halt, sneakers hidden in closets, turned into
"art", a lot of talk but no action... so why exactly are we still
interested? Because something had to happen.
Something did happen on May 23rd. On this day, in New York, Nike announced
the launch of a new product, a new technology, the collaboration with
one of the world's most innovative brands, Apple.
Looking at the guest list of this event as well as the speakers at
the presentation alone is proof for the relevance and significance
of this new project: Spike Lee, Shawn Stüssy, and Hiroshi Fujiwara
amongst the visitors as well as Mark Parker, Steve Jobs, Paula Radcliffe,
and Lance Armstrong amongst the speakers.
Beinghunted was invited, too, to learn about Nike+ and to meet up
with Nike CEO Mark Parker to talk about the project.
Here is our report...