It has recently been announced that sportswear giant Nike has opened an exclusively-textile design studio in Hackney, East London, and we needn't look much further than Britains capital for the brands' latest designs. Wanting to develop new fabrics for its shoes and apparel, Nike announced the news at their Innovation Summit in New York in March.
John Hoke, Nike's VP of global design, told Dezeen.com that the new studio was "...a response to the increasing importance of advanced textiles to its sneakers." As can be seen in our gallery showcase, Nike's most innovative of weaving technology allows the brand to create its now-signature light uppers, with each shoe featuring differing knits for the unique structures of the various differing areas across the shoe, varying in elasticity, thickness and strength. As Hoke describes, "Lately we've been hiring people with engineering and textile degrees, because this is now really a textile problem...Old shoes were just flat sheets that you stamped and moulded. This is not." Nike's flyknit technology is certainly unique across the shoe industry, and this move beyond their traditional roots is certainly one that is exciting much of the product design world.
As unveiled back in 2012, Nike's Flyknit combines yarns of differing properties to allow for single fabric covers to be both stretchy and stiff depending on their footwear function and locality. Such is their now-billion-dollar product range, Nike's Flyknit was actually only invented when Hoke's team began playing around with an old sewing machine, and decided to see what they could make beyond the typical sweater and using beyond the typical material-types. Via the power of experimental design, it is such activities that Nike hope their new London-based creative unit will explore further. Recently hiring many graduates and designers, such explorations will hopefully lead to many samples, and who knows what the sportswear fashion brand will discover next!
With over 700 designers under Hoke's umbrella - most of which are located in Oregon (USA) -, the brand has expanded over the last decade to also employ designers in New York, Tokyo and now London. Questioned as to why London, Hoke replied that it was "...because there's a great expertise there. We found that we had a lot of young kids on the island of Britain who just love this. So we said let's be creative and open up a studio that lets these designers stay in their home country and explore and experiment."
SATORI & SCOUT are big fans of Nike, with their shoes being particularly fashionable and design-led. With our massive bias towards designers and brands that push typical boundaries, Nike certainly set the tone for many fashions, and long may that continue if this move is anything to go by! With Infinite possibilities, Nike provides adaptive performance for every athlete.... For the full collection of FlyKnit shoes visit instores or online at Nike.com.
Photography credit : Nike.com