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Promptly succeeding Nike’s Olympic Innovation Summit in New York on Tuesday and highlighted by the official launch of its groundbreaking Flyknit technology, the athletic apparel purveyor held a private viewing for the latest HTM collection at 21 Mercer in SoHo. Two-thirds of the three-headed monster that is HTM, Hiroshi Fujiwara and Mark Parker, were accompanied by two additional top designers at the exclusive event, offering detailed insight into the development of the shoe. With cost rarely accounted for, the duo expressed the initial need to create a product made from the best material and technology available, leading to the fundamental goal of heightened athletic ability. Spanning a four-year design process, less than a quarter of the prototypes were laid out in front of top members of Nike’s Innovation Kitchen as they intimately sat down with the inquiring press. Spawning from numerous athletes’ consistent request for a form-fitting, sock-like structure that could offer superior comfort and durability, Mark mentioned the idea originated from the audacious mind of Tinker Hatflied, with Hiroshi joining forces two years later. Similar to when our favorite musicians come together in the studio, the team began throwing ideas back and forth immediately tinkering with machinery, threads and structure, thus snowballing the possibilities. We discovered further that due to countless failed attempts trying to get a dynamic knit-like material to remain stiff, Flywire was inserted into the fabric to add structure, stability and fit. Continuing with the unique color blends, one designer stated “you have to almost think three dimensionally on how the colors stay together, if you look at the black, its just not a solid black, there’s a texture and a depth to it.” The Flyknit is slated for a July general release, with the HTM collection currently available at 21 Mercer with quantities limited to 100 per pair. So if you’re in the New York area, check out the future of footwear design, because as Mark so sincerely put it, “When you get close to it you can really appreciate the detail.”
Photography: Loren Wohl/HYPEBEAST