Two legends in one room is how we would put it. In London last night 52 Insights attended the launch of a joint venture between legendary designer Marc Newson and Nike for the unveiling of the NikeLab Air Vapor Max. What they didn’t tell us was that Newson would be joined by world leading road cyclist Mark Cavendish to discuss the importance of design and innovation in both their respective fields. A meeting of minds ensued. Today so much confluence arises between sport and design that it’s almost impossible to separate the two. Materials, design and the science are all part of it.
Talking about his work with Nike Marc Newson said, “For me what’s really important is to feel that you have some sort of synchronicity with the client, it can’t just be anyone, there’s got to be a mutual understanding.”
The sneakers in focus have the appeal of an contemporary hiking shoe consisting of a ‘forest green Flyknit upper, vegetable-tanned leather on the Velcro straps and mudguard, and an icy bubble cushioned midsole to complete the avant-garde trifecta.’
Marc talked about why Nike specifically brought him in for this, and his approach to design projects; “I feel that I’m a bit of a ‘gun for hire’, that’s just the way that I work, I’m a problem solver. Nike has vast design resources and really good ones at that, so it’s not like they are lacking of good design help. So I think the reason that Nike come to someone like me is to help them see the product through a fresh set of eyes.”
When eyes turned on Marc Cavendish the question arose on what the next revolution was going to be in cycling wear. His response was with a muted awkwardness, “Well I don’t think I can say anything about that. We’re in talks with Nike at the moment.” Watch this space.
Marc Newson x NikeLab Air Vapor Max will be available to buy for $275 USD at selected retailers on Air Max Day, Sunday 26th March.