2018 has seen sportswear brands at war for who can take claim to having the best trainer on the market. Out of all the brands and all the styles, Nike React reigns king of the sneaker game this year.
A project which was in its concept stage 5 years ago finally saw the light of day in February. A focus on running in comfort and style was the brief and Nike, like with all their product launches, showed the rest of them how it was done creating a trainer with one solid piece of foam as the sole, the first of its kind.
When the time finally came to launch the product in store, Nike entrusted Millington Associates to produce yet another epic store install across, first Nike Town London, then the rest of their estate. My role was to deliver the project from start to finish from a project and account manager point of view working with Nike's very own Brand Design agency as creative lead.
Nike set the challenge of recreating their trainer in various pop ups across their flagship store. this involved plenty of foam, giant springs and digital activations that blew away consumers and sold thousands of units. Nike gave myself and the team just 4 weeks to produce every item.
An intense sampling phase kicked off the project where our all knowledge, skills and will power were truly tested to give Nike the finish they desired. Recreating soft textures that were robust enough to withstand 6 weeks in one of London's highest footfall stores proved especially challenging. Myself and the team delighted Nike with our blend of hardwearing materials such as plywood combined with dense acoustic foam sandwiched between more crafted materials such as MDF coated in carpet glue to recreate foam textures built to last.
The highlight for all involved were the giant springs. These had to be strong enough to stay straight under a weight load of 20-30kg but also flexible enough to "spring". Working with our steel engineers we delivered a spectacular replication using welded rod coated in a chrome finish that we developed without the need for actual chroming and simply powder coated with a double hit of paint to give it a metallic finish, the first truly chrome finish any of the team had seen using this method.
A wonderful project that truly tested my mental resolve as Nike drove the team to give them the impossible.