21 Mercer: Nike Sportswear Bespoke

Category: Design, Events, Sneakers
August 24th, 2008 by Larry

You can only do this one place in the world, and I can’t wait to return to 21 Mercer Street in New York with the EC crew so we can participate. Nike Sportswear Bespoke is a new and innovative appointment-based design experience that gives you the opportunity to work one-on-one with Nike Designers to flex your creative muscle and customize a pair of one-of-a-kind sneakers.

I know that you’re thinking this is the same as Nike iD, but it is actually much different. For example, Georgios and I had the opportunity to customize some Dunks at the Nike iD Studio at 255 Elizabeth in NYC last year and we found a set color palette and predetermined material choices. However, during your appointment at Nike Sportswear Bespoke, you’ll be able to choose everything from the the color of your outsole and laces, make color-blocking distinctions on different areas of your sneakers, and choose from an extremely large database of materials.

Reach out to the guys and gals at 21 Mercer and get yourself an appointment to customize a pair of Air Force 1‘s. Who knows what’ll be next on the list? I’m keeping my fingers crossed for the Air Max 1 but more than likely it’ll be another one of the icons, the Dunk.

Check out examples of the endless possibilities after the jump.
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21 Mercer: Block Party

Category: Events
August 22nd, 2008 by Larry

Larger than life visuals at 21 Mercer Party.

The moment I became aware of branding was at young age when I noticed that I owned and cherished signature Michael Jordan and Andre Agassi sneakers at the same time. You see, this was a rare occurrence for me because my parents only bought me new sneakers when an old pair was beyond repair. I guess I was fanatical about superstar athletes, the aesthetics of the sneakers, and the cultural weight they carried. That was enough to persuade my mom and dad to hook-it-up. It was at this point where I realized that if Nike wanted to do something, they were going to do it bigger and better than anyone else.

Obviously, this mentality exists in Nike culture when it comes to innovation in product design and marketing (ie: Dunk to Hyperdunk / Air Max 1 to Air Max 360) but I had that same childhood realization again last night when I attended a Block Party for the launch of the new Nike Sportswear store at 21 Mercer in New York. Sure it was the first time they’ve launched a lifestyle line such as this. It was also the first time they’ve taken over a city block to party in such a way, but that didn’t mean they had to follow suit. Instead they reinvented the block party.

Hundreds of invited guests including the who’s who of street culture, pro athletes, pop culture icons, and of course…hipsters, saw Mercer Street transformed into a New York stadium complete with corn dogs, mascots, outfield seating, and a marching band.

Check out event photos after the jump.
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21 Mercer: The Space

Category: Design, Events, Sneakers
August 21st, 2008 by Larry

Sandy Bodecker – Nike Vice President of Design

This one’s for all the architecture and design junkies out there… I’m in NYC for the official launch of the Nike Sportswear line, and I just got out of a sneak peek of the flagship store at 21 Mercer Street. Tonight there will be a huge block party starting in about 15 minutes that marks one of the biggest launches ever for Nike’s lifestyle gear. I hear that some big names will be attending.

Since I was one of the first people to spend time in the space, I wanted to share some immediate imagery with all the EC readers out there. There are a lot more topics to touch on, but for now, enjoy this unique store/studio space.

The interior of the store is made up of actual materials taken from basketball gymnasiums from the 5 boroughs in New York. This exemplifies the “mashing up” of sport and culture, according to Sandy Bodecker (Nike Vice President of Design aka The Man Behind Nike SB) who you see here jammin’ on his Blackberry at 21 Mercer.

Check out the other photos after the jump. And scroll to the bottom for a special surprise that I’ll elaborate on later.
I’m going to the party now, but I’ll have more to show really soon.
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