Posts Tagged ‘Inside’

Inside the Design of the Nike LeBron 16 “Fresh Bred”

Following the release and subsequent sell out of Harlem Fashion Row’s Nike LeBron 16 collaboration this morning, the women’s focused pair quickly set to tone for what will surely be among the most popular sneakers of this year and next.

James’ 16th signature Nike sneaker is one of great standards. And, by proxy, one that will historically represent change. Now a Los Angeles Laker, James is finally part of a sporting franchise with a history as rich as his own. The Nike LeBron 16 joins the two in matrimony.

Nike LeBron 16 "Fresh Bred"
Nike LeBron 16 “Fresh Bred”

The very-first colorway outside of the HFR creation — masterfully set into motion by Brandice Henderson-Daniel and her design team —  is the Michael Jordan and Chicago Bulls-esque “Fresh Bred” colorway. A visual representation of Black+Red, James latest shoe, designed by his long-term Nike counterpart, Jason Petrie, thrives on the strength of BattleKnit 2.0.

First introduced on the LeBron 15, this knit fabrication is fit for the rigors of battle yet with the elegance of the materials traditionally used. “The knit team at Nike are geniuses,” affirms Petrie. “I don’t use that term lightly. They are mathematical artists and have created a new knit for the 16 that is strong enough to contain LeBron and successfully reduces any layers in the overall build that could slow him down.”

Given James’ closeness to his signature collection, many of the designs highlight specifications unique to his size, build, and on-court performance. The height of the LeBron 16 is noticeably different. It’s formed with a lower collar for James to move more freely. James, looking to add more speed to his game in his 16th season, felt it necessary.

“The first thing we wanted to do was get a little lower in the cut of the shoe,” James confessed. “I wanted to get a little faster, ride a little bit closer to the court and be a little bit more dynamic.”

Nike LeBron 16 "Fresh Bred"
Nike LeBron 16 “Fresh Bred”

Cushioning in the LeBron 15 was a revelation for James. He took to the refined Air Max system. Petrie makes sure to focus on that for its successor. “LeBron liked the cushioning so much last year that we just focused on refining it,” says Petrie. “For this addition, we removed the tendril that connected the forefoot to the under-toe bag, and instead included an outrigger to create some additional support to complement the lower height.”

LeBron’s 16th NBA season will be one of the most watched in his Hall of Fame career. In part, so will the budding Nike LeBron 16. But there’s very little if anything to critique where the shoe is concerned. James and Petrie make sure.

The Nike LeBron 16 “Fresh Bred” will be available on September 20 on

Nike LeBron 16 "Fresh Bred"
Nike LeBron 16 “Fresh Bred”
Nike LeBron 16 "Fresh Bred"
Nike LeBron 16 “Fresh Bred”
Nike LeBron 16 "Fresh Bred"
Nike LeBron 16 “Fresh Bred”


Inside Nike Football’s The Opening Showcase

words, photos & interview by Kevin Kazadi

This past weekend, Nice Kicks had the pleasure of joining Nike for the annual The Opening showcase which features many of the nation’s best recruits. Five star prospects, uncommitted athletes and players on the rise all flocked to Dallas, TX for the championship series of the running event. While there, we were able to catch up with the likes of Rob Gronkowski, Denzel Ward, Roquan Smith and more.

Malik Jefferson, Denzel Ward and Willie McGinest

Malik Jeffferson in the Nike Air VaporMax Inneva

Focused on football, the event also celebrated the 30th anniversary of Nike’s “Just Do It” campaign, which is arguably the greatest tagline in advertising history. Willie McGinest interviewed the two rookies on site and had them share insight on what the slogan means to them.

“When you think about ‘Just Do It,’ it’s a simple statement: just do your job,” answered Malik. “So when I think ‘Just Do It,’ I definitely think to just keep in mind the task at hand and make sure I follow and execute my plan.”

Rob Gronkowsi and Todd Gurley

Between the amateur football action, we had a chance to catch up with Todd Gurley an alumni of the showcase and Gronk and talk about Drake and a few of their favorite sneakers.

Nice Kicks: What’s your favorite song at the moment?

Gronk: I just put on the station that plays the top hits, but “God’s Plan” is pretty good. That one’s easy, everytime it pops on I’m like, “Okay!” [Laughs]

Nice Kicks: Todd, I see you’ve got the Skepta Air Max collaboration on, what are your current go to sneakers?

Todd: The Nike Air Max 270s, the Nike Epic React and as far as designer sneakers go the Balenciaga Triple S and Speed Trainer.

Todd Gurley in the Skepta x Nike Air Max 97/BW

Shortly after chatting with Gronk and Todd, Roquan Smith met up with a few of the media spokesmen to teach a few techniques from the NFL Combine.

Roquan Smith in the Nike Air Trainer SC “Auburn”

In closing, The Opening was a great experience. Hanging out with NFL atheletes, customizing our own cleats and watching the best recruits in the country compete is tough to beat. We’d like to thank Nike and Cowboys administration for the hospitality.


The Vans Deconstructed “Inside Out” Pack is Already Selling Out

Even before “The Ten” collaboration with Nike released last year, there were rumors that Chicago-native and now Louis Vuitton designer, Virgil Abloh, was working with Vans. The partnership was never official or spoken upon in a true public forum. It was just something that reverberated within sneaker culture, sticking where it could but ultimately falling flat.

Vans "Inside Outside" Pack
Vans “Inside Outside” Pack

Although the collaboration never truly came to pass, Abloh’s design genius left a lasting impact on Vans. Their newly released “Inside Out” pack is uniquely tied to the deconstructing nature of “The Ten,” breaking down the gloss of sneakers and exposing its inner most dynamics through a sartorial lens. From misplaced components to exposed details, the pack — which features both the Sk8-Hi and Slip-On — not only takes generously from Virgil’s creations, but in its own brilliance reworks silhouettes that best align with those concepts.

Given how visibly stimulating the Vans “Inside Out” Pack is — and considering the moderate retail cost — the earliest pairs to hit retail are already gone. Haven received and subsequently sold out of their stock. Stay tuned for more details on incoming stock at additional stores.

Vans "Inside Outside" Pack
Vans “Inside Outside” Pack
Vans "Inside Outside" Pack
Vans “Inside Outside” Pack
Vans "Inside Outside" Pack
Vans “Inside Outside” Pack
Vans "Inside Outside" Pack
Vans “Inside Outside” Pack
Vans "Inside Outside" Pack
Vans “Inside Outside” Pack
Vans "Inside Outside" Pack
Vans “Inside Outside” Pack
Vans "Inside Outside" Pack
Vans “Inside Outside” Pack


An Inside Look at Foot Locker’s New LA Flagship Store

Located in the hills of Los Angeles, the new Foot Locker LA Flagship Store on Hollywood & Highland opened its doors this morning to a host of hopefuls already securing wristbands and eyeing restocks.

Decked out with a built in House of Hoops full of gear supporting hardwood heroes like Kobe, Lonzo and Blake, the store hosts all the recent releases from the likes of Jordan, Nike, adidas, Vans, PUMA and more, with special second story build outs for the ladies and kiddos. Kid’s are privy to many of the famous footwear releases the adults see while the gals have access to strong product ranging from Rihanna’s FENTY line to Beyonce’s Ivy Park.

Keep it locked to Nice Kicks for more of the Foot Locker festivities in LA this weekend and if you’re in the City of Angels make sure to swing by and check out the new flagship space.


Inside The adidas NYC Xeno UltraBoost Custom Design Party

photos // Jordan Keyser

Live in the concrete jungle that is New York City, adidas threw a midnight party to celebrate the first time XENO technology has ever graced the UltraBOOST. Nice Kicks was on-hand at the 5th Avenue adidas Flagship store for the private unveil event to prepare for the public release on October 20th.

XENO is a light responsive technology from adidas Originals that has evolved from the wilderness of Southeast Asia. In natural light, the black material appears faint with deep shimmers of iridescent colors. But with the flash of a camera, the material explodes with bright colors, spanning the entire rainbow spectrum. The material doesn’t just reflect one color but changes as the angle of the light shifts. The shoe is completely transformed through the lens of a smart phone camera in both video and photos, appearing at first glance as an optical illusion.

This exclusive party featured a mi-adidas customization center, pretzels & popcorn stands, material breakdown stations, live musical performances and best of all, an opportunity to design our very own pair of XENO UltraBOOST. Three main color options were available for the Primeknit in black, white & navy, while XENO cages and heel counters added pop to the otherwise neutral upper. Adding to the moment, adidas also brought black BOOST to the party just in case you wanted to switch your design out of the traditional white.

We can show you better than we can tell you… Browse below for an exclusive inside look at the mi-adidas XENO UltraBoost design party. If you’re looking to earn an opportunity to design your own pair, keep it locked to @adidasNYC or stop inside the store today for more information.


Inside the Nike OFF-CAMPUS “FLIGHT” & Air Jordan 1 Panel with Spike Lee, Don C, & Aleali May

words by: Ray P.  
photos by: Jordan Keyser

For the first time ever on one stage, the past, present and future of the Air Jordan legacy gathered at Nike OFF-CAMPUS in NYC to discuss the culture around “Flight.” Designer of the Ten Icons collection, Virgil Abloh, moderated the panel led by Spike Lee, Don C, and Aleali May.

Spike Lee, who as the character Mars Blackmon and Director of Do The Right Thing is arguably responsible for helping Air Jordans explode off-court and into culture, shared a special moment when he officially became part of the Michael Jordan story. Coming off of directing the film “She’s Gotta Have It” where the fictional character Mars Blackmon debuted, Spike was tapped by Nike to star in a commercial with Jordan. At the time, Michael hadn’t seen the movie and definitely didn’t know who Spike Lee was. The vibrant outspoken Director told  the Nike OFF-CAMPUS crowd that Michael spotted him wearing Jordans casually and the GOAT admitted that’s what won him over. What was supposed to be two commercials, blossomed into a wonderful friendship and partnership that continues to flourish today.

Don C, Chicago native Air Jordan 2 collaborator and someone who Virgil prefaced as the street almanac for all things Michael Jordan, got on the mic to explain the cultural impact of the man and his sneakers. The first to hoop in gold chains, the first to switch to low socks and the first to get his sneakers banned for being different, these are all things that we now consider part of culture. As Don C adamantly explained, Michael Jordan invented the culture.

Aleali May, the Fashionista and youngest on the panel, admitted she was born in 1992, but loves 1985 Air Jordan 1’s. Being too young to grasp the golden years of Michael Jordan’s career, her love for the signature line was invigorated by how the sneakers were worn in the street, the collaborations, and how each generation interprets the style of Air Jordan.

This panel showed the evolution of the Jordan brand and perhaps a look at the future where creatives and fashionistas push the iconic linage for 10 more years rather than any athlete.

Grab an exclusive inside look below at the Nike OFF-CAMPUS “FLIGHT” & Air Jordan 1 Panel with Spike Lee, Don C, & Aleali May.


Exclusive // Inside the PSNY x Air Jordan “We Need Leaders” Pop-Up Shop in SoHo

photos & words // Ray P.:

If you head to SoHo in New York City at 330 Hudson street, you’ll run into a the “We Need Leaders” pop-up shop from fashion powerhouse Public School NY and Jordan Brand. Nice Kicks recently stopped by to check out the scene and see what exclusive goods were available.

The PSNY x Air Jordan “We Need Leaders” collection is laid throughout the pop-up shop as well as an unveil of their newest AJ12 retro collaboration. An assortment of hoodies featuring the collection’s slogan and vintage photos of Tinker Hatfield and Michael Jordan are available right now. Grab an exclusive inside look at the pop-up below.

WE NEED LEADERS is the rallying message that fuels our inspiration. It challenges us to push past boundaries and create new opportunities for ourselves and others. It sets the standard for our individual effort and the examples we set. But most importantly it’s a nod to those who came before us, who walk alongside us and who will eventually help define our future. This capsule pays tribute to some of the influential figures in our lifetime who challenged convention, walked a different path and believe that it’s always far greater to lead than follow.


My Journey Inside the 2016 Russell Bowl with the Miami Hurricanes and adidas AlphaBOUNCE PE

Player Exclusive sneakers represent a culture built around a team, its players, staff and more importantly the fans. These shoes are rarely ever sold to the public, so when brands like adidas create the PEs, fans and sneakerheads alike are often left lusting after the exclusivity and desire to further connect with said team or athlete. Recently, the brand with three stripes showcased the latest wave of Player Exclusives celebrating their College Football teams who earned the right to play in NCAA Bowl Games.

As a huge fan of both College Football and sneakers, I decided I wanted to bring you and everyone else into the experience that allows shoes like the adidas AlphaBounce “Miami Hurricanes” PE to be created. So, I got with adidas and said, “Hey, let’s go to the Bowl Game in Orlando and show why you guys made these PEs and make it a moment.” Their reply was, “Let’s do it!”

Take the journey with me through a series of photos as you get exclusive access behind the scenes and a sideline view of the culture that is Miami Hurricanes Football. From pre-game setup to Coach wearing Yeezys and even the raising of the championship trophy, welcome to the 2016 Russell Bowl in Orlando, Florida. Enjoy the ride!


An Inside Look at Kith Miami

Wake up in the morning feeling like P Diddy, Ronnie Fieg has definitely been on his can’t stop, won’t stop steeze in 2016. From collaborations with A Bathing Ape to Kithland at Fashion Week, Kith Miami marks his latest conquest and retail locale, marking his fifth in counting for the latter. Signified by 500 cast Jordan 5 sneakers on the ceiling, this Snarkitecture designed space is inline with previous Fieg brick and mortars and the first flagship outside of NYC. If you live in Miami or are in town for Art Basel, check it out at 1931 Collins Ave. which will also house a Kith Treats.










Interview // Inside The Adidas & Parley For The Oceans Partnership

words, interview & images // Nick DePaula:

As adidas looks to continue to affirm itself as a brand for creators, naturally, we’ve seen that take form in many different ways over the last couple of years. There’ve been full capsules with the likes of Kanye West and Rick Owens, to smaller scale launches and initiatives rooted in pushing the speed of manufacturing and process of design. The brand’s latest effort goes beyond just another tandem collaboration, as its partnership with Parley For The Oceans looks to create awareness for a bigger purpose ahead.

adidas-parley-for-the-oceans-2The New York-based Parley organization has since 2013 looked to bring together creatives and environmental leaders in conference settings to discuss new and innovative ways to reduce harmful plastics littering oceans around the globe. In teaming up with adidas, the two have set out to not only create footwear utilizing recycled plastic and other damaging materials, but have also created the first-ever soccer kits made 100% from recycled ocean materials.

“At this point, it’s no longer just about raising awareness. It’s about taking action and implementing strategies that can end the cycle of plastic pollution for good,” says Cyrill Gutsch, founder of Parley For The Oceans.

While today’s launch of the adidas Uncaged UltraBoost Parley will be limited to just 7,000 pairs, the plan ahead in the next year will be much more robust, with more impact to be felt across the oceans.

“This represents another step on the journey of adidas and Parley For The Oceans,” declares Eric Liedtke, adidas Director of Global Brands. “We will make one million pairs of shoes using Parley Ocean Plastic in 2017 – and our ultimate ambition is to eliminate virgin plastic from our supply chain.”

This first commercial launch marks a strong pursuit of sustainability, as the Uncaged UltraBoost Parley is made up of 95% recycled ocean plastic and 5% recycled polyester. In addition to the million pairs of sneakers created with similarly recycled ocean plastics on deck for next year, adidas also plans to retrieve and repurpose “at least 11 million plastic bottles into elite performance sportswear.”

To hear all about the brand’s new strategy around high-level collaborations and its approach to creating footwear and apparel out of new knitting processes with Parley, Nice Kicks recently caught up with James Carnes, adidas VP of Brand Strategy Creation. The shoes go on sale at 7 AM PST on

The initial adidas x Parley For The Oceans sneaker, limited to just 50 pairs.

Nick DePaula: The Parley partnership represents a bit of a different approach by the brand. How has your role in the company shifted and how has that influenced some of the projects we’re seeing come to life?

James Carnes

James Carnes: I actually was in the design department for twenty years almost, and about 21 months ago, we reorganized and started a new strategy department. The cool thing about it, was prior to that, strategy meant logistics and planning – something that I would’ve had no interest in. [laughs] The new team is a brand strategy team, so we’re focused on creativity and the future of planning five, ten and fifteen years out. That sounded really interesting.

One of the first things that I worked on was our SBP, which is our Strategic Brand Plan. A couple of the key choices that we would make that would really change the brand for the future. We ended up with three things, and one of them was how we would localize ourselves in cities. We found that the growth of cities would really be how we could become more territorial.

The second one was how we would get closer to consumers with production and the idea of speed. How do you talk to people, collaborate with them and get their ideas and turn product around quickly with our SpeedFactory? The third one was how do we do all of that through this idea of Open Source? How do we actually collaborate with people, designers, creatives, athletes and partners.

What was cool, was a lot of the work that we had been doing for years was dabbling in that territory, but didn’t have a home. What came out of that was we had a different strategy for how we could launch that stuff. Paul Gaudio, who is our Creative Director for the brand, worked with the team and created this vision around what it means to be creating the future. How do we take all of these collaborations and co-creation opportunities that we have and how do we define them.

The biggest thing is that we want to be open. Sometimes you see a collaboration and it’s Brand #1 x Brand #2. A lot of it can be really static. Who are we, who are you, and then we put that together. What was cool about this was we approached it by going to people and saying, “This is what we have and what we do, what would you do with it?”

It was a totally different thing, where we would bring the ingredients and a list of things, and then put that in front of people. It’s more about co-creating instead of what collaborations have been.

An early woven filament prototype

NDP: How did the opportunity with Parley For The Oceans come about then?

JC: We get stuff sent to us all of the time. Sometimes that’s a 7 year-old kid who says he wants to design shoes, and how do you tell them no? Or sometimes it’s a supplier that says, “I have a special shoe lace!” We made a shoe last year at the United Nations, because ocean sustainability was one of the items being discussed at the summit. Cyrill Gutsch is the founder of Parley, and he’s a passionate dude that changed his entire life to be preserving the oceans.

While working on that project together, we ended up with 72 kilometers of abandoned poacher’s net that was retrieved by Sea Shepherd, which is a group of about 80 people that spends ten months going around and protecting the ocean. For about 24 days straight, the entire crew went through shifts to pull these 72 kilometers of nets onboard.

05_all_640x640_tcm66-106815These fishing nets are super high grade nylon, to the point that when you’re recycling it, you’re getting something that’s a higher grade than what you get from many injected parts. We made that United Nations sample in less than six days as an experiment, and it’s not built for performance, but we wanted to see if we could be the first to make a shoe out of recycled nylon and other recycled content. The upper is 100% recycled ocean plastic, and then we brought in materials people and other designers to all work on different parts of the shoe at once.

The first time I met with Cyrill, we had these 72 kilometers of nets, and we were also looking at using different knitting machines. We had new machines that could go from knitting fine yarns, to even thicker cables through the upper. We had done all kinds of samples with exaggerated cables too, like electric cables, fiber glass and even carbon fiber, just to see if it could be done. I took all of that and I said to Cyrill, “You know, I think we have a process that can take all of this stuff.” So we actually broke down the nets, broke it down into a spool of filaments and then made a yarn from that.

NDP: The Parley project started out small with only 50 pairs available through a giveaway, but then grew to be more mass. How has that partnership evolved together?

JC: It’s really about the power of what happens when you put all of these people together that have an expertise. I was a designer for years, and you want to feel like you’re somehow the genius that has an inspirational idea, but it’s so much more satisfying when all you are is the head collaborator that can pull all of this stuff together and make something new.

There were a lot of questions around, “Well, why can’t you make more?” And where we started, there was a machine literally downstairs and it was the only machine that could do this. We had it set up to do exactly what we wanted to do, and there wasn’t one in Asia anywhere. We made those uppers here in Germany and then it gets sent to another factory for the final shoe to be assembled.

The plan was to scale it up. There’s two paths for that. We could take the yarn and put it in a more commercial version, [which we’re doing now]. The other path is to develop the technology, and do more with the tailored fibre, filaments and yarns that we could put into the product in a totally different way. We’ve really started to co-create materials and yarns with Parley that can help us to create the product in a unique way going forward that’s different from what we normally do in our factories.



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