Let’s be honest. Colorways make and complete a fresh pair of kicks. Got Jays? cool, but are they an exclusive colorway? Ask any kicks-fiend, that’s how you separate yourself from the pack. Remember that feeling when you stared at someone’s shoes and asked “damn, where’d you get those?” Or when your jaw dropped after seeing Space Jam 11s on screen? I sure do. So, let’s forego today’s proliferation of hype-driven demand, blogs prescribing “cool” and bring it back to the colors.
When it comes to sneakers, there is one undisputed king – Nike. Yes, there are a lot of great brands out there but nobody has the aesthetic, appeal, heritage, athlete placement, and marketing better than the almighty swoosh. Never one to stop innovating, the idea of customizing your Nikes came into fruition through the introduction of NikeiD. This was a program which allowed regular consumers to select materials and colors on almost every panel of their shoe of choice. Different models would eventually be introduced into the NikeiD program, providing fans an ample selection to play with. Dream program except one thing, NikeiD never existed in Canada – till now.
It’s something to celebrate for us Canucks. No more laborious legwork of shipping our NikeiD creations to American addresses or friends. We can now get our creations here, north of the border! But it’s more than that for me. The introduction of NikeID is a personal story of redemption! Back in 2005, I was fortunate to score a private appointment, courtesy of Superfuture connects, at the original NikeiD studio in the LES. NikeiD was originally an exclusive, invite-only affair, so it was a big deal to somehow get myself through their doors. I made the appointment and flew in for a little NY vacay. On the big day, I rolled up to the doors of Elizabeth Street and discovered they were locked. The studio was closed! Long story short, they booked me on a pseudo-statutory holiday. Thank you Nike for crushing my iD dreams. It’s all good, I still love you Nike and you’ve definitely redeemed yourself by placing NikeiD on the six side.
So let me walk you through my NikeiD experience! The design studio is actually called the Nike Loft and located on 548 Richmond St W, in downtown Toronto. As expected, the space is exquisite, comfortable, and a great place to showcase their wares. I was greeted by a very friendly, Curtis and Jenn, and checked into my appointment to begin my journey.
The actual design portion exists up in the loft. There, I was assisted on designing my custom pair. The process was pretty identical to the online experience except the studio gave me the ability to see colors in person and get a tactile feel behind materials. Trust me, this was an advantage! Especially if you intend on ensuring your creation represents what you see on screen.
Samples and ample design inspiration in case you needed a reference point.
Ah, the iconic “416” area code art-piece. The placement and design of the interlocking laces was pretty ill.
The Nike Loft also serves as a starting point for NRC (Nike Run Club) and special events. It’s really an inviting space and I hope to visit here for other events in the future.
So what exactly did I design? Something minimal but with a defining contrast. I won’t divulge details but you catch hints on my Instagram feed @davidfittedlifestyle All in all, a great experience at the Nike Loft. If you’re interested in visiting the studio, appointments are now open to the public and available at Nike Toronto.