August 28 2014

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Nike Calls In The (Teenage) Troops


Ah, the lazy days of teenage summer. Summer camp. Sleeping in. Hanging out by the pool. Sneaking into R-rated movies. Designing sneakers and apparel for Nike. Wait—what was that last item?

Playing Nike designer may not be on the average kid’s résumé, but that’s exactly what 100-odd New York City teens have been up to this summer. Make Something!, the L.A.-based art workshop for teens founded by Aaron Rose (Beautiful Losers), teamed up with Nike Sportswear and the Cooper-Hewitt museum to create a summer program of classes for local kids, with visiting instructors including Todd Selby and Cassette Playa’s Carri Mundane. Among the activities on the schedule: redesigning classic Nike footwear styles, including the Air Jordan and the Converse Chuck, ahead of this week’s launch of the inaugural World Basketball Festival. The kicks made their public debut at the Nike Stadium space last night, and a selection of the sneakers and apparel designed at the Make Something! workshops will be showing up on sales floors soon. But that doesn’t mean the teenage participants are getting back to the serious summertime business of chillaxing, just yet—according to Rose, they’re in rehearsals for a halftime gig at the festival. “I think it’s going to be a genius mess,” Rose (pictured) said of the performance. “Which works just fine for me.”

Photo: Caroline Torem-Craig

Dept. of Culture