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Marc Newson Explains His NikeLab Air VaporMax Design

Industrial Designer Marc Newson’s relationship with Nike began in 2000. “I think it's safe to say that from the beginning we went all in and started with possibly the most ambitious collaboration we could have imagined, the Nike Zvezdochka,” he recalls.

Since then, Newson’s maintained a close relationship with Nike — “We feed off of each other's own works.”

Born in Sydney, Newson now lives and works in London. There he maintains a diverse practice, touching everything from luggage to furniture; teakettles to footwear. In short, Newson crosses boundaries — home goods, fashion, travel — impacting the world of design broadly.

It is a mesmerizing thing really.

Marc Newson

“Interestingly, I trained as a jeweler. And ironically I've ended up designing every other type of object that relates to the body, whether it be footwear, luggage or furniture,” he says. “All of these things are nothing without human interaction or without a reaction — without being used by somebody.”

The cultural relationship between Nike and the designer is evident in the collaborative NikeLab Air VaporMax x Marc Newson. True to his description of the relationship, Newson fed off Nike’s latest innovation, the VaporMax platform. “The overwhelming emotion when you see this thing for the first time is tactile. You want to touch it and squeeze it and figure out how it works,” he says of VaporMax. “It is a mesmerizing thing really.”

Marc Newson Explains His NikeLab Air VaporMax Design 2

For his design, Newson has married the technical Air VaporMax platform to a Flyknit and leather upper. “There's this wonderful cultural juxtaposition of skills and things going on,” he explains. The cross stitch reflects a traditional handcraft, while the knit and sole unit are evident of highly technical innovations. “It's wonderful to be given the opportunity to work with all of these incredible new technologies and materials,” Newson concludes.

Ultimately, the shoe is “a product that I'd want to use, and not only want to use, but want to use every day” — a reminder of Newson’s unique capacity to manifest his dreams as both immediately accessible and future forward.

The NikeLab Air VaporMax x Marc Newson releases March 26.