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Articles on Nike

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Luxury has often been associated with high fashion brands. Be it the haute couture houses like Dior and Givenchy, or the avant-garde labels like Martin Margiela and Commes des Garcons, a label’s fashion design value seem to equate its luxury value. However, a lot of people forget that what most people would perceive to be “common” brands are also luxuries themselves. Such labels have been so heavily-publicized and loved by the masses that its immense popularity has made it too “ordinary” for people who equate luxury with exclusivity. However, these labels can rival that of the more-accepted luxury brands when it comes to design and quality. Just take a look at Nike.

Famous Nike Products

Nike Zoom Mariah Flyknit Racer Fall
Nike Zoom Mariah Flyknit Racer Fall

Nike boasts a roster of iconic and best-selling shoes. For example, there’s the beloved Air Force 1, named after the beloved US presidential plane. It was the first of its kind to feature the company’s innovative “Air” technology that helps basketball players to navigate and play better on the court. About 2,000 versions have been produced and sold since the shoe was debuted. There’s also the Huarache, referred to as one of the, if not the most comfortable pair the sportswear company has ever produced. Launched in 1991, it was marketed with the tagline, “have you hugged your feet today?”.

In terms of pop culture, their Mag shoes are arguably their most famous pair. It’s the pair worn by Marty McFly in the 80’s cult classic film series, Back to The Future, where the protagonist’s footwear was self-laced and featured a futuristic silhouette. However, the pair was not sold to the public until 2016, when the company finally released it for their consumers in association with Michael J Fox’s Parkinson’s Foundation. Straying away from the more traditional sports, the company also released Dunk SB in 1997 for the skateboarding crowd. It features grippy sols and hardened toes, perfect for the past time of skateboarding around the park with the right rigidness.

Tracing The Brand’s Roots

JUST DO IT sign inside Nike shop in Berlin, Germany.

This sportswear giant was started in 1964, by student-athlete Phil Knight and his coach Bill Bowerman. Back then it was known as “Blue Ribbon Sports”, but was changed to “Dimension 6” and eventually, “Nike” after it was suggested by the company’s first employee, Jeff Johnson. It was initially a distributor for Japanese shoe company Onitsuka Tiger until Bowerman began designing his own pairs with the use of a waffle iron. By the 70’s and 80’s the company was expanding tenfold, becoming one of the premier footwear and sportswear companies in the United States.

Carolyn Davidson designed the brand’s iconic logo back in 1971, which was patented by the company that same year. In the 1980’s the began advertising their products with various prominent athletes, from track and field stars to NBA players. Their television ad campaigns became the most watched during those decades, raising more awareness for the brand. By the late 80’s the company was the most well-known shoe manufacturer and sportswear brand in the world, and have branched out to outfit international sports superstars as well. In 1990, the opened their first retail store in Portland, Oregon, which they named “Niketown”.

Expanding Influence Through Celebrity Endorsements & Sponsorships

Nike Air Max
Nike Air Max

In the heart and soul of the company is their relationships with many prominent athletes, either as endorsers and/or collaborators. One of the most prominent is with NBA legend Michael Jordan, who stroke up a sneaker deal with the company in 1984. They released the Air Jordan, a subsidiary line of the brand headed by the athlete himself. Their most iconic product, the Air Jordans, became one of sportswear’s most best-selling items in the history of the retail industry. To this day, both Jordan and Nike are still heavily profiting from both the famous pair and the subsidiary line.

Other prominent athletes they’ve sponsored and have become the faces of their brand are golf-legend Tiger Woods, tennis superstars Roger Federer and Maria Sharapova, biking champion Lance Armstrong, and skateboarder Paul Rodriguez Jr. among others. Nike provides their gear when they’re competing in various national and international games and matches, while some of them have personally appeared in the brand’s television and print ad campaigns. They’ve also officially dressed national teams. Either in the Olympics or other prominent international competitions. In 2018, they were the official outfitters for the US National Olympic team during the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

Air Jordan Sneakers Review

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Designer Collaborations

Trying their hand at a more upscale market, Nike also collaborated with high fashion designers to create athleisure or special edition items and capsule collections. They’ve worked with the likes of Ralph Lauren, Olivier Rousteing of Balmain, and Commes de Garcon. They’ve even tapped Off-White designer Virgil Abloh to recreate and redesign a number of their classic items, most prominently the Nike Air Force 1.

Although they’re not always considered a luxury label, Nike has changed the industry with their unique spin on footwear and sportswear. They’re making billions off of products everyone wants and needs, and have become one of the most successful brands in the retail industry. Their impact goes beyond fashion and they’ve made an indelible mark in the retail business.

Nike Logo

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