5 posts tagged "Susie Bubble"
Clad in his signature blazer, light blue shirt, dark jeans, and black sneakers embellished with gleaming white swooshes, Nike CEO Mark Parker took the stage in Barcelona last week like the Steve Jobs of sports gear. A crowd including just about every soccer journalist in the world, along with a smattering of international fashion and lifestyle media, had gathered in the Spanish city, where football is worshiped with religious fanaticism, to see Parker introduce Nike’s latest project: the Magista football boot. (That’s a soccer cleat to you, Yankees.) The new shoes will be worn by more than seventy players during the World Cup in Brazil this June.
The Magista’s radical design features a knit upper with a collar that covers the ankle. Not the most exciting footwear development for those who aren’t concerned with ball control, but as with any Nike announcement, it offered an occasion to consider how the sportswear giant will continue to keep a foothold in style.
Many Nike innovations—Free, Flyknit, Lunar—find a second life in the fashion world. For Parker, who got his start at Nike in 1979 working as a footwear designer, that’s an unintended side effect of the process. Even so, it was impossible to escape the swoosh during the Fall ’14 shows, as everyone from Susie Bubble to My Theresa’s Veronika Heilbrunner mixed Nikes with their high-styled fashion week looks. And then, of course, there’s Riccardo Tisci, whose admiration for the brand has manifested in a much-buzzed-about range of collaborative kicks. Here, Parker talks to Style.com about authenticity, the sport-fashion crossover, and what it means to be an innovator.
“Innovation” is a word that gets thrown around a lot when you talk to people at Nike. From a design perspective, what does the word mean to you?
Well, it is a word that I think, just in the general vernacular, gets thrown around too much and abused. I’m not speaking about Nike necessarily—just in general.
For us it actually means creating a product that is truly new and better, so it’s about improving. We’re a performance-based company; we strive to help athletes get better and realize their potential. But “better” is a key word.
We take input from everyone, so the innovation process at Nike is driven by being incredibly observant; by the relationship we have with athletes; and by the deep, personal connections we have. We don’t just think about what athletes need to perform but what they need as individuals, as people with opinions. It’s not just about performance but aesthetics, too. So all of that gets factored in along with the latest in technologies, materials, components, and processes to improve.
You mentioned aesthetics. Often the big Nike innovations trickle down into the Nike Sportswear line, or they wind up being used by people who aren’t just concerned about performance but about fashion and style. At what point does that enter the equation?
Along the way. In many cases, after the fact. We don’t set out to try to be fashionable. That’s a by-product or a result. That’s fine. But we’re driven by trying to solve problems, and those problems are primarily functional problems.
We do, as I said, take into account the aesthetic, because that’s really important as an athlete—how do you look? When you look at yourself in the mirror, you want to look like you’re fast, you want to look like you’re strong, you want to look like you’re expressive, you have your own personal style. That’s part of the process, but it’s not like we’re sitting there saying, “We need to create something that is driven by trying to be fashionable.”
I think the authenticity and the uniqueness that comes from solving problems—the form that follows the function—is what makes us interesting from a fashion standpoint. Continue Reading “Can’t Kick the Swoosh: A One-on-One With Nike CEO Mark Parker” »
Thanks to Suzy Menkes’ recent T magazine article “The Circus of Fashion,” and the mobs of shutterbugs outside the Fall ’13 runway shows, the hysteria that is street-style culture was a hot topic this fashion month. What’s the obsession? How did we get here? And how is it affecting, and indicative of, the state of the fashion industry? In a new film titled Take My Picture, Dasha Zhukova’s Garage magazine examines all this and more. Through footage of the ever-growing sea of bloggers at fashion week, and commentary from the likes of Proenza Schouler’s Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez, Susie Bubble, Phil Oh (who describes street-style snapping as “trench warfare”), and Style.com’s own Tim Blanks, Garage dissects what makes bloggers, and their increasingly wildly dressed subjects, tick. The mini-doc debuts exclusively above, and will be up on GarageMag.com this weekend.
The one fault New York gallery types might have with this week’s art offerings is the sheer abundance of them. Should one put off the Biennial to better take in the Armory Show? Dodge the crowds and check out Volta or Pulse? Heed your accountant’s warnings and skip the weekend entirely? Last night at Quality Meats, A Shaded View on Fashion‘s Diane Pernet made a case for none of the above. The veiled blogger was tapped to curate SCOPE Markt, a fashion-focused satellite of Scope’s larger art fair, opening tomorrow at Lincoln Center.
Pernet found wearing the curator hat—in addition, of course, to her customary black habit—quite natural. “The whole idea of blurring boundaries between fashion, art, and film is perfectly my world,” Pernet said before dinner. Hand-selected from Pernet’s wide network of artist and designer friends, Markt’s exhibitors are an international lot. Bosnian-by-way-of-Sweden designer Lamija Suljevic’s ornately embellished old-world handicrafts will be on display next to a film starring the Graces, Undercover designer Jun Takahashi’s handmade dolls. “They’re these strange-looking sci-fi figures,” Pernet explained, adding that the humble Takahashi reintroduces himself to her every year at the Comme des Garçons show. Pernet was equally humble when pressed about fashion blogging, a medium she might as well have invented. “I think I was one of the first fashion blogs,” she demurred, admitting that she loves hearing from fellow bloggers—like Susie Bubble’s Susie Lau—that she was the reason they started their blog. “I know how it works,” she said of the Web. “I, personally, like the fresh approach.”
Scope Markt opens to the public tomorrow through Monday at Lincoln Center Damrosch Park. For more information, visit www.scope-art.com.