Remember earlier this year, Nike teamed up with New York-based textile and fabric design company, Maharam, and designer Hella Jongerius to create a pair of Air Force 1 with an interesting patchwork stitching and oriental embroidery. The end 2009 on the same note, Nike had once again sought out Maharam to create a collection of three sneakers, but this time in an ever-cool monochrome.
The Maharam Collection features two of Nike's iconic models, the Blazer and the Oregon Waffle in a special Maharam horse hair textile. Maharam achieves a sophisticated tonal black look by dressing the kicks from top to bottom and soles in varying materials of black. The methods used to produce the weaved effect is as interesting as its end product. Maharam created the horsehair weave in different patterns by using vintage looms and techniques to produce classic weaves of basket (Blazer), check (Blazer) and striae (Oregon Waffle). The shoes are kept intentionally unadorned to highlight the texture and opulence of material, with the effect heightened by the use of black calfskin and waxed laces. The innovative use of weaved horse hair gives the shoes an expected sheen as it catches light from different angles. For those who are avid animal-rights enthusiasts, these kicks are cruelty-free as horsehair is painless clipped from the tail and it will regrow.
By fusing innovation, tradition and commitment to sustainable design, Nike and Maharam has successfully developed sneakers with lavish sophistication that are as well suited for the day as it is for evening and business attire. The Maharam Collection will be released tomorrow on Dec. 19.Release Date: December 19th (Saturday)