“Color placement directly affects your experience with and understanding of footwear,” says Johanna Schneider, a renowned apparel designer and the Senior Design Director for Nike Sportswear Women’s Apparel.
Color has played a central role in the development of new Nike Air VaporMax Flyknit models since the silhouette launched earlier this year. Certain schemes nod to iconic Nike colorways, while others reference nature, superheroes or spacesuits. Now, Schneider offers her own exploration of color for a personalized take on the shoe for NIKEiD.
“What I love about the Air VaporMax is that from a visual standpoint, it contains the purest form of two key Nike innovations: Nike Flyknit and Nike Air,” says Schneider. “Both technologies are revealed in this shoe in an intuitive, simple and beautiful way.”
Schneider’s love for the VaporMax was almost immediate; she bought them on Air Max Day at Nike Soho, and has been running in them ever since. Her color palette for the shoe follows on a penchant for pairing traditional colors with sophisticated applications, a method Schneider employed when designing for brands like Acronym® and Stone Island, as well as for Nike through her JFS label.
For the NIKE Air VaporMax by JFS, the designer selected a heathered black and grey knit to highlight Flyknit’s grainy texture. To contrast the neutrality of the upper, Schneider colored the VaporMax Air unit with what she calls a glass bottle green (it’s a hyper turquoise-green inspired by classic bottles), and another she considers the color of life (a warm, reddish hyper orange).
“I wanted to pair grounded, neutral colors with these two contrasting yet still organic colors,” explains Schneider, who also created options for mint foam and hyper orange sockliners, meant to energize the shoe from the inside and delight the wearer.
The diagonal color of Schneider’s Air bag design is applied individually at an angle at Nike’s Air Manufacturing Innovation facility. This color application initiated an entirely new dyeing process, created from techniques that started with the multicolor Air unit of the Air VaporMax Flyknit BETRUE.
Schneider explains the complexities in her choices: “You can look down and see a little bit of color while on a run, beneath the shoe as it moves, or discover the design through embedded, really personal details inside the shoe.”
Though these details have been thoughtfully selected and combined by Schneider, her color palette also guides additional personalization opportunities via the NIKEiD service. First, there’s the option to choose hyper turquoise, hyper orange or clear for the toe of the VaporMax Air unit (paired with black for the remainder of the bag). Second, there are mint foam, hyper orange and anthracite options for the heel piece, heel accent and tongue label. And third, lateral and medial swooshes are offered in two color options: glossy black and hyper orange.