Conventional wisdom states that an heirloom of great value is to be stored away for future prosperity. However, that philosophy does not apply to Nike and its most iconic design, the Nike Cortez. Before the Air Maxes and Air Force 1’s, the Jordans and the Foamposites, there was the Cortez, Nike’s first-ever shoe. While Nike Air wasn’t feasible at the time, and Bill Bowerman had yet to “invent” the waffle sole, the Cortez already pushed the innovation envelope a bit with its nylon upper. In a bold move of posturing, the then-startup promised the Cortez would last up to 3000 miles, a claim unheard of at the time, and a legend was born. 40 years later, Nike’s original trainer is still making strides, but now in China, the land of the dragon.
To mark this milestone, Nike asked creative types Tian Yuan & Ritchie of Beijing to participate in a celebratory project, where images of their daily lives were compiled by a photographer simply known as 223.