Nike today announced the opening of its first Nike Sportswear retail store at 21 Mercer Street in SoHo, New York City, offering exclusive access to premium products, an elevated retail experience, and a new customization experience called Nike Sportswear Bespoke, where consumers can work with Nike designers to customize premium Nike Sportswear footwear.
“The NSW collection is steeped in Nike’s sports heritage and remixed with cutting edge engineering, craftsmanship, and modern design,” said Dermott Cleary, Vice President, Nike Sportswear. “We’re putting the best of our entire collection under one roof, in New York City, so consumers from all over the world can access it.”
Opening August 22nd, this stand-alone store will be the only location globally to carry the complete Nike Sportswear NSW collection, which includes seasonal exclusive 21 Mercer products.
More After the Jump
Global Product Exclusives
The store will feature product exclusives including: The Flywire Windrunner, Air Max 90 Flywire and the 21 Mercer Nike LunaRacer. It will also offer limited quantities of other iconic Nike Sportswear product exclusives in footwear and apparel, including the made-to-order Air Force 1 Low Lux, a NSW collection Patchwork M65 jacket, as well as a Nike Sportswear 21 Mercer Tee collection.
Nike Sportswear Bespoke
A new and innovative by appointment design experience, Nike Sportswear Bespoke offers consumers the opportunity to work one-on-one with Nike Designers to customize select Nike footwear styles. Taking individual design to new heights, Nike Sportswear Bespoke is globally exclusive to 21 Mercer and launches in Fall 2008 with the iconic Air Force 1 sneaker.
Nike Sportswear at 21 Mercer Block Party
Nike Sportswear will celebrate the store opening with a New York block party on the evening of August 21st. Hundreds of invited guests will see Mercer Street transformed into a New York stadium and be the first to experience the store before it opens the next day.
In the store and as part of the block party, there will be a presentation of work by Robert Wilson and producer Noah Khoshbin, who translated Nike’s design innovation in sport and the energy of athletes like dancer Sofia Boutella, skateboarder Shingo Iwasaki and BMX rider Nigel Sylvester into a unique visual and sensory experience. Their presentation premiered at the launch of the Nike Sportswear product line in Beijing in May 2008. Complimenting this will be work inspired by New York sport and style by a series of New York-based creatives including Timothy McGurr, Heron Preston and Boogie.
Nike Sportswear Globally
In celebration of Beijing and the launch of Nike Sportswear, Nike is providing new avenues for consumers to get Nike Sportswear product. Nike Sportswear recently launched a series of unique short term retail installations across the world. These creative experiences push the boundaries of innovation and sports and offer consumers a deeper experience with the brand.
On 08.08.08, Nike also launched a new website nikesportswear.com where for the first time, consumers can go online and find their favorite Nike Sportswear product. Consumers will be able to fully experience Nike Sportswear, with new product offerings, updated news and as well as local event notifications.
Nike Sportswear Products
Flywire Windrunner by Nike Sportswear
Considered the signature piece, the Flywire Windrunner jacket is a true remix of past, present and future innovations. It features gossamer-thin Japanese nylon, single layer ribbing on the wrists and waist, a digitally printed chevron (versus adding a seam), and of course a network of Flywire cables across the shoulders that adds strength and a distinctive graphic element to the piece. The Flywire is arranged in a pattern of four Flywire threads on the right and left chest, four lines on each shoulder, and two sets of four lines on the back, representing 080808, the opening day in Beijing this summer.
“Our goal was to make the lightest Windrunner ever and Flywire is ground zero innovation for weight reduction,” said Nike Sportswear Design Director Jarret Reynolds. The Flywire Windrunner jacket’s weight has been shaved down to a mere 116 grams—less than half the weight of then next lightest Windrunner. This is a jacket that is not only physically light, but also visibly light—an almost transparent garment
Air Max 90 Flywire by Nike Sportswear
Taking the concept of lightweight innovation to the highest level possible, the Air Max 90 Flywire is a cutting-edge version of the iconic Air Max that puts a premium on reduced weight in the upper. Built on the same retooled platform as the Air Max Current, the Air Max 90 Flywire fuses technology developed for Nike’s highest performance track shoe, the Zoom Victory Spike, into the design.
A material that is paper-thin, yet extremely supportive through high-strength thread overlays, Flywire is a revolutionary development that is on its way to becoming one of Nike’s most groundbreaking innovations. By stripping down upper materials to a bare minimum, only adding cables where needed for support, footwear like the Nike Hyperdunk basketball sneaker is becoming lighter than ever previously imagined without compromising durability, integrity or support.
For the Air Max 90 Flywire, this means that the upper has achieved one-piece construction with sock-like comfort at a weight that could not have been conceived of two decades ago. “At Nike we have a fascination with one-piece uppers,” says Nike Sportswear Design Director Jesse Leyva. “We’ve done one-piece Air Force 1 and Nike Dunk shoes, but we always wanted to add more stability. Flywire finally allows us to design a high-performance shoe with one piece of material against the foot. This innovation not only adds comfort by removing anything that could cause a hotspot in the shoe, but also drastically reduces weight.”
With a backing material made from sheer black mesh and Flywire cables spanning the upper in bright blue, this minimalist version of the Air Max 90 Flywire could easily have been reduced to a mere shadow of the shoe built by Tinker Hatfield in 1990, but somehow it still maintains its timeless silhouette. “We stayed focused,” says Jesse, “and held the highest respect for the iconic design lines of the original Air Max 90 we know and love.”
21 Mercer Nike LunaRacer
Nike Sportswear is dedicated to performance footwear and apparel icons such as the Air Force 1 and the Windrunner jacket. But with innovation as Nike Sportswear’s one true constant the Sportswear line also allows for future designs to be brought into the mix. Joining the ever-evolving Nike Sportswear line is the Nike LunaRacer – Nike’s latest performance innovation in distance running—which makes its debut at 21 Mercer in five limited edition color ways.
The Nike LunaRacer represents the future in Nike’s design DNA. Brought to life in Nike’s Innovation Kitchen, the Nike LunaRacer is as much a revolution in running as it is a race day performance running shoe. The Nike LunaRacer brings together two technologies – Flywire and Lunarlite foam – designed for the best athletes in Beijing and beyond, creating a distance running shoe that is lighter, stronger, and faster than anything Nike has previously created in the distance running category.
Flywire technology, located throughout the Nike LunaRacer shoe’s upper, works like cables on a suspension bridge, providing precisely engineered support for the foot. The Flywire filaments are placed only where support is required, allowing for the reduction of materials, which equals reduction of weight. Flywire technology gained instant notoriety on the track via the Zoom Victory Spike worn by previous team USA middle distance runners, both medaled at the 2007 World Track & Field Championships in Osaka. Thanks to this innovation, track spikes with Flywire are now under 100g – a weight never before achieved by Nike – without compromising durability, integrity or support.
To add to the Nike LunaRacer shoe’s lightweight Flywire upper the Nike Innovation Kitchen developed Lunarlite foam, both lightweight and highly responsive, two qualities, which are usually mutually exclusive in cushioning. Lunarlite foam distributes the pressure patterns more evenly across the foot to help protect it from pain and injury – all-important for distance events. Lunarlite foam’s pillow-like softness is designed to reduce energy in the midsole. The Nike LunaRacer weighs a mere 5.5 ounces, and elite athletes who’ve experienced Lunarlite foam cushioning are reporting that after their long runs, they feel less beat up – a good sign for the blazing temperatures and speeds of the marathon in Beijing.
21 Mercer NSW Collection M-65 by Nike Sportswear
Nike Sportswear takes the greatest of Nike’s 36-year-old sports heritage and adds the latest design and technical innovations, resulting in a range of products that are instantly recognizable as Nike icons, but updated to the highest levels of performance and style. Within the Nike Sportswear line the pinnacle NSW collection, the apex of what Nike Sportswear represents: product steeped in sports but pushed to the cutting edge of engineering, craftsmanship, and modern design.
What happens when you give designers access to the greatest sports innovations, past and present, and allow them free rein to remix iconic designs with the groundbreaking new technology? Imaginations run wild. Products born under the NSW label blend high-tech and high-style in ways that venture into the realm of the sublime.
The M-65 jacket is a true classic of military design. Updated and re-imagined as part of the NSW collection, it is produced from a highly functional three layer laminate waterproof breathable nylon. Built entirely from patchwork squares, constructed using ultrasonic welding/taped back construction where no stitch is used to form the patchwork (very minimal stitching is used in other parts of the garment), every Patchwork M65 jacket is unique— each having randomly placed patchwork layouts.
21 Mercer Air Force 1 Lux by Nike Sportswear
A piece of Nike heritage that has transcended sport to become an icon of style, the Air Force 1 has earned its dues over the last 26 years. Seen on the feet of ballers and shot callers both on and off the court, this is one of the most celebrated shoes in sports history. Now AF1 has evolved again by becoming an essential part of Nike Sportswear’s permanent collection of eight icons that will be reinterpreted and remixed with new innovations for seasons to come.
The fine-tuning began with the 25th Anniversary AF1 celebration with premium leathers with rolled edges on the upper, flush seaming, a re-engineered leather interior, a specially shaped cuff and tongue for greater comfort, and a polished deubré, and has continued everyday since. The centerpiece of the 25th anniversary celebration was 1 Night Only, a defining moment in the history of the Air Force 1 and an unprecedented celebration where those who made the AF1 are honored by those who continue to define it. Produced exclusively for 1NO performers at this legendary New York night, a very special hand made AF1 sneaker was created to commemorate the celebration. Featuring a leather interior, premium construction, leather midsole, a custom dubrae, 1Night Only sockliner and tongue label, the shoes represented the pinnacle of craftsmanship.
These highly sought after AF1 shoes will be available to consumers for the first time in 12 different colorways, exclusively at 21 Mercer. The shoes will be made-to-order and will take four weeks to deliver.
Air Rejuven8 by Nike Sportswear
There are three phases to an athlete’s competitive cycle: training, competition, and recovery. A strong recovery enables athletes to train between contests, and in turn can directly affect the outcome of the competition. Originally launched in spring of ‘08, the Air Rejuven8 is the recovery shoe of choice for Nike athletes the world over. The Air Rejuven8 was designed to promote recovery through unparalleled comfort, breathability, and fit, creating an environment that allows the foot to rest and refresh between rounds of competition or training.
With a cage design initially inspired by a fruit net protecting and cushioning some Asian Pears at a Thanksgiving dinner, the Air Rejuven8 TZ takes subtle cues from the stadium in Beijing – a design aesthetic that allows focus to be placed on both the intricate steel cage exterior and the action taking place inside.
“The great thing about innovating at NIKE is that we have iconic heritage products to draw from,” says Pam Greene, who created the Air Rejuven8 after spending several years working on comfort concepts for NIKE.
With help from the Nike Innovation Kitchen team, and drawing from the experience of designers like Bob Mervar, who designed the Presto; Tinker Hatfield, creator of the Air Huarache; Sean McDowell, who brought the Air Kukini to the triathlon world; and Bruce Kilgore who invented the Sock Racer; Pam built upon revolutionary foundation concepts and pushed them to the next level of rejuvenating comfort and aesthetic functionality. The Zvezdockha, Nike’s innovation project with designer Marc Newson, introduced the idea of modularity to the NIKE family, and the Air Rejuven8 makes it accessible from a consumer and athletic standpoint. The Air Rejuven8 is the latest evolution and fusion of the aforementioned shoes in NIKE’s genealogy, combining great fit, breathability, and support in a design that screams serious fun.
The Air Rejuven8 will be available at 21 Mercer in five special Nike Sportswear color ways.
Nike Dunk Hi
For Fall 08 Nike looks to Beijing for design inspiration, building a collection anchored around colors – while referencing the octagon that is central to the theme of the Fall 08 Nike Sportswear collection.
Continuing the mission of pushing color innovations of the Nike Dunk for Fall 08, designers literally used the classic hi-top as a canvas upon which to experiment with digitally printed graphics. Canvas was the original material used in the uppers of basketball shoes at the inception of the sport, but the Canvas Nike Dunk is a different beast all together. Made from one piece of material, it provides a seamless backdrop for experimentation.
The concept for the graphics on this Nike Dunk is inspired by sports optics research done by an engineer named Chiro Fusco in the Innovation Kitchen. His studies found that the arrangement of shapes and colors on a garment like the Nike Swift speed skating suit can create the illusion of speed, a characteristic that adds psychological benefits during competition.
For this Nike Dunk, a tightly knit pattern of tiny colored octagons—the graphic motif Nike has chosen for Beijing—is digitally printed on the canvas in a trompe l’oeil fashion, fooling the eye into seeing the iconic blocking of the original Nike Dunk shoes. The optical effect of these “octadots” makes the shoe appear blurred or farther away by creating the illusion of it being out of focus.