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Nike, a powerful and committed brand, a logo recognizable among thousands. At a time when the sportswear and sports equipment market was largely dominated by German companies, William J. Bill Bowerman and Philip H. Knightdecided to team up to create a sports brand capable of competing with the many European competitors. Philip Knight, an accountant and long-distance runner, teamed up with Bill Bowerman, a track and field coach from the Oregon team, to create a less expensive brand that would be accessible to athletes. It was initially called Blue Ribbon Sports. Bowerman served as a technical advisor to the company and used his position as coach to test the products directly with the Oregon team's players. In 1965, they were both joined by Jeff Johnson, a full-time salesman for the brand. It was he who established the company's guiding principle (still in place today): to be as close as possible to the athlete and his or her expectations. He also gave the company its name: Nike,directly inspired by the goddess Nike, symbolising victory and determination.
Nike is designed by sportsmen and for sportsmen, and it is in this that the brand differentiates itself and makes its way to become more and more popular, until it reaches the level of its biggest competitors, Adidasor Puma. Its logo, the classic Swoosh, is considered the most successful and striking logo in the history of marketing and communication. Created by a graphic arts student, Carolyn Davidson, for the modest sum of 35 dollars, it has now made billions for the company! At the origin of the greatest classics of the sneaker with silhouettes like the Air Forcethe React Element or the Air Maxthe brand with the comma never stops reinventing itself for our greatest happiness.
Nike is undoubtedly one of the most popular and influential companies of our time. The Swoosh is today a symbol of creativity and performance in the streetwear world and more globally. It can also count on influential and talented ambassadors. Among them we can mention the world famous rapper Travis Scott. The child of Houston does not stop collaborating with the Swoosh brand by revisiting iconic models such as the Nike Air Force 1 or the Air Jordan 1. But the strength of Nike lies in the plurality of its ambassadors. All forms of art are represented with sportsmen, street-artists like Kaws or singers with Kendric Lamar. Nike is not only a brand offering sporting goods it is really an entity that influences the sport, street-culture and the world of sneakers. Between personalization program with Nike by You, immersive customer experience with the Paris On Air, the American giant places its consumers at the center of its values. Nike has been the first to undertake and continues to innovate to remain the leader of its sector.
In 1985, the brand of Beaverton decides to sign an exclusive contract with a young rookie of the University of North Carolina, Michael Jordan. This will give birth to the largest collaboration between a sportsman and an equipment manufacturer, the range Air Jordan. To concretize the world of collaboration, the teams of Nike call on Peter Moore, an American footwear designer who designs the same year the Nike Dunk for the pack Be True to Your School intended to accompany the feet of players of the best college basketball teams such as those of Iowa, Syracuse or Kentucky. The Air Jordan 1 High and the Air Jordan 1 Low are born. They stand out from the Dunk thanks to their higher and sharper silhouette, its Wings logo but also thanks to their Air capsule hidden under the sole for comfort and cushioning revolutionary for the time. The colors OG of launches such as the Chicago, the Bred or Neutral Grey will be a phenomenal success and are today true relics for collectors around the world. The particularity of the collection is the rhythm of release of the models. Indeed, for each NBA season, a model Air Jordan was unveiled at the beginning of the year. In 1986, Nike called on Bruce Kilgore, creator of the iconic Nike Air Force 1 to design the Air Jordan 2. The second signature model is more luxurious and is adorned with premium leather and a design entirely made in Italy. Unfortunately too expensive for its time, the model will not find its public and will be considered as the most unloved Jordan . This small decline impacts Michael Jordan who wants to leave Nike for another equipment manufacturer but the brand of Beaverton calls the man who will change the image of the firm forever, Tinker Hatfield. The latter is mainly concerned with the requests of the Chicago Bulls player and wants to provide him with a comfortable but qualitative design. From this collaboration will be born the Air Jordan 3in 1987, a real aesthetic and technological revolution with its apparent air bubble as on the Air Max 1, its Elephant Print that runs along the upper and the creation of the Jumpman logo. Coupled with the exceptional technical prowess of M.J. on the court and his new title of All-Star Game MVP, the basketballwill know a dazzling success and will manage to convince His Airness to remain with the swoosh. This marks the beginning of a long collaboration between the duo Jordan and Hatfield. The combination continues the following year with the Air Jordan 4. From the late 80s to the early 2000s, the player's signature silhouettes will continue to amaze fans. Today, thanks to the retro trend, many of the shoes of yesteryear are being brought back to life, such as the popular Air Jordan 1 Mid or designs in collaboration with artists like Virgil Abloh and his brand Off-White.
In the early 1980s, the basketball shoe market was largely dominated by Adidas, thanks to exclusive contracts with legendary players like Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Converse who had almost the monopoly of the market with its All Star Chuck Taylor. It is in 1985 that Nike, initially known for its running models such as the Waffle Trainer and the Cortez, decides to attack the floors. She called Peter Moore, footwear designer who designed the Nike Dunk. Its name comes from the spectacular movement where the player performs a jump high enough to make a tap to bring the ball in the hoop of the basket without leaving the ball of the hand. The goal? To accompany the players of the greatest college basketball teams. An exclusive contract was signed between the equipment manufacturer and the following universities: TheUniversity ofIowa, Syracuse, St. John, Kentucky, Georgetown, Michigan andUNLV. Seven Nike Dunk High are featured in the Be True To Your School pack. Over the years, the skateboard community has reclaimed the model thanks to its flat sole and grippy outsole that makes tricks easier without degrading the rugged upper. Its accessibility makes it a must-have for all skateboarders. Launched a few years later, the Nike Dunk Low will know a strong popularity in the early 2000s through the editions Nike SB in collaboration with Supreme or Jeff Staples. It was not until 2020 to see a renaissance of the Dunk through popular and iconic entities like the ice cream brand Ben & Jerry's or the artist Travis Scott.
In 1986, Tinker Hatfield, a freshly minted architecture graduate from the University of Oregon, joined the Nike stable to design new products. It was during a trip to Paris that the young Tinker was inspired to create the silhouette that would revolutionize the industry. The structure of the George Pompidou Centre, its colour code and its transparent tube front were the main inspirations for the legendary Air Max 1 OG White Red launched in 1987. It was not until 1990 that the range evolved with the emblematic Air Max 90 and its colour Infrared. Today, both models are the subject of popular collaborations with the shop Patta or the range Nike Off White.
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