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Brief Published: 9 Apr 2019

Nike Celebrates Air Max Day with Sneaker Academies

The Berlin Department

Targeting Gen Zers with creative aspirations, Nike is celebrating its famous Air Max shoe with sneaker design bootcamps in 12 global cities from March 21 to April 21. Playing on strategies in our just launched Dynamic Youth Spotlight (see Powering the Brand of Self), its state-of-the-art consumer-creator labs offer insights from Nike’s in-house team, as well as the chance to get hands-on.

Dubbed The City Department, the free one-day courses provide an introduction to sneaker design and production, exploring industrial design, illustration and typography, plus colour and materials. Classes are hosted by Nike designers, collaborators and creatives including material experts, industrial designers and graphic artists from the respective cities.

At the Berlin course (March 23-26), Nike’s senior design director Devon McKinney talked about the different design stages: from research and conceptualisation to prototyping and presentation.

Meanwhile, Errolson Hugh, co-founder of German functional fashion brand Acronym (and a frequent Nike collaborator), extolled the need to consider the impact designers’ use of technology has on wider culture.

Participants were encouraged to bring their own visual references, inspirations and perspectives to the table. Then, they created their own sneakers in a space equipped with individual workstations, materials and tools, including 3D printers. An entire team of Nike designers were on hand for additional support. At the end of the day, they presented their creations to Nike’s senior designers.

To get involved fans registered online, and all of the classes were fully booked within hours. Other courses will take place in LA, NYC, Toronto, Paris, Mexico City, Moscow, Bangkok, London, Chicago, Tokyo and Seoul.

While classes are registration only, the spaces feature photo-ops, a donation centre for old sneakers, a mini-store selling the 2019 Nike Air Max 720, and an exhibition showcasing visuals about Air Max’s rich history.