Having already visited Shanghai and London, Nike took its celebration of the Air Max to Paris and its Cité de la Mode et du Design. Through its “Paris On Air” event, Nike offered the creative youth of Paris and its surrounding suburbs a chance to create the Grand Paris Air Max, however only 200 of the 2,400 candidates were selected to access the design classes held over the weekend. These sessions lasted more than three hours and helped the creatives structure their design of an Air Max inspired by the Grand Paris project, taking it through every step of the design process.
From the mood board, to the selection of the fabrics and the mix of colors, the Swoosh provided all the tools needed for the attendees to use their creativity and realise their designs. Exclusive redesigns of the Air Max 90, Air Max Plus or Air Max 270 came to life, straight from the minds of the young Parisians.
Among the 200 designs submitted, the jury selected three designs to represent France on the global stage. The best design from each nation will then go on to be produced by Nike in the future.
For the occasion, Nike took a few of its best designers to the City of Lights to help the participants with their knowledge and expertise. We got the chance to talk to Caroline Fullerton, Courtney Daily and Marie Odinot, who gave us a peek behind the curtain of the brand goes about creating new designs. Here are some of the best parts of our conversation with the creatives who came straight from Portland.
Caroline Fullerton - Materials Manager
“Each city has its own energy, its own vibe. The best advice I could give to a young creative is to stay authentic, to keep your story personal. We’re looking for a story that Nike is not able to tell. A story that only a person who lives here can tell. The more personal you get, and more people can relate to your story.
When you’re a designer, you have to find the right balance to defend your ideas but still be open to others. In order to stay inspired, I try to go out of this industry. I travel, I look into science, high-tech and I explore other cultures to bring fresh ideas that you can’t find if you stay static.”
Courtney Daily – Senior Colors Designer
“Color can define a shoe as much as material can define a shoe. That’s why we all work together to create a place where we can create the product that people want to wear in the future. It’s important to be open and altruistic because a Product Designer can come up with the right color, and a Color Designer can come up with the right material.
Throughout this tour, the real inspiration for us is the positivity of the people and how they share this energy around the brand and the shoes.”
Marie Odinot – Footwear Designer
“I’m so happy to see that the Air Max 270 was adopted by the streets, it gives me the feeling that my mission is complete. We had to make it aggressive and I think we got it right. I come from Cergy and it feels special to come back here and witness this creative effervescence around Nike and the Air Max.
I would like to tell to the 200 participants who will design their shoes that it is possible. You have to believe that it can happen and even if it’s no today, you can live as an artist. When I was younger, I didn’t even know that this job existed, and today here I am.”
Open to all, the place was dedicated to the emblematic Nike Air and offered immersive experiences in the heart of the iconic bubble. Customization workshops allowed the attendees to customize T-shirts, socks or hats and create a truly unique piece.
While you wait for the winners to be announced by Nike on the 8th of May, have a scroll through the gallery of the Paris On Air event above.