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August 30, 2017

A Collaboration with London Cloth Yields Women's-Only Footwear Collection

This season, Nike’s exploration of indigo, both as a dye and as a color, began with a hand-dyed Nike LunarEpic Flyknit, "Aizome" Nike Air Force 1s and a collaboration with Japanese brand Loopwheeler. Indigo’s powerful heritage as a coveted pigment in use since the 4th millennium BC has inspired a new collection of women's footwear, created with hand-woven, indigo-dyed fabric from London Cloth Company (LCC), the only mill in the UK that weaves denim. The collaboration consists of three iconic Nike silhouettes: the Nike Blazer Mid LX, Nike Cortez Classic LX and Nike Air Max 1 LX.

“The yarn that we use is thicker than normal denim,” says Daniel Harris, founder of LCC, who officially set up shop in 2011. “It is two-ply in both warp and weft. We weave it very wide and shrink it a lot. The yarn is rope-dyed so that the garment will slowly accumulate wear and develop character.”

Nike x London Cloth Company Blazer Mid LX

Nike x London Cloth Company Cortez Classic LX

Nike x London Cloth Company Air Max 1 LX

Nike designers were drawn to the quality of LCC’s indigo-dyed denim, which can take two to three days just to set up for weaving, as well as the company’s story: It is the first mill to open in London in more than 100 years. Harris, who was originally a sewer, admits that he’s been learning and perfecting the indigo-weaving process for more than five years — a process he and his team have started teaching the local community during day-long workshops.

“As a textile designer, it was so inspiring to be able to visit the London Cloth Mill in London, try out their machinery and experience their manufacturing process from yarn to finished cloth,” says Marie Crow, Nike Material Design Director for NikeWomen Sportswear. “It was incredible to see how our material design direction could be interpreted through such traditional methods of make, bringing a unique update to three of our icons.”

Accenting the denim fabric on the uppers, which mimics a textured herringbone pattern, is indigo-colored leather for the Swoosh, heel and tongue, a vachetta leather insole and gold-colored lace tips.

The Nike x London Cloth Company Blazer Mid LX, Cortez Classic LX and Air Max 1 LX will be available September 1 at select retailers.