If you ever wanted to create your own custom pair of Nike shoes, your time arrived about 12 years ago. Since 2005, Nike has had the highly successful NikeiD feature in place, allowing customers to change the color, texture, pattern, and more on a pair of their favorite shoes and have it sent directly to them. Only problem is the process could take up to 3 months for you to get your shoes. Twelve years later, and it seems that Nike, along with tech group Wieden+Kennedy, have finally solved this problem, getting you your own custom shoe in 90 minutes or less. The collaboration has come to be known as the Nike Maker Experience.
A big step in the future of retail has been taken with this new project. Mark Smith, vice president of Innovation Special Projects, along with his Nike Kitchen team opened the first Nike Maker Experience lab at the Nike By You Studio in New York, located at 45 Grand Space. Digital Designing meets a traditional way of footwear creating, allowing guests to have an unreal, but enjoyable experience making a unique shoe that they’ll be able to take home in under 90 minutes. Smith stated, “The Nike Maker Experience is a fast, fun, interactive, one-of-a-kind design experience…In our minds, this is tomorrow, today.”
The shoe that makers will get to experiment with first is the Nike Presto X, a shoe specifically designed for the project. It comes in two versions, one being a traditional Presto look and the other a slip-on (although the slip-on version is only available through the Nike Maker Experience). To start, guests are given a blank slip-on Presto to use in the Live Design Arena. The experience is initiated with several graphic options from either Nike heritage or any command of a phrase (for example birthday themed), which is then customized and altered through different patterns, sizes, and colors to fit the likes of the maker. The makers command will be projected onto the Presto X through object tracking and projection systems, allowing the customer a chance to see their design in real time before making the decision to create.
“The intention of the project is to bring to life the collaborative design experience that we offer our athletes,” Smith pronounced on Nike’s website. “They love products that tell their story, so we wanted to combine that idea with a new process of live design and manufacturing that allows our guest to come into the space, work collaboratively with us and leave with a special product in less time than ever before.”
For now, the Nike Maker Experience is only up and running in New York and open to a limited number of Nike friends and family, along with a few lucky Nike+ members, but hopefully in the near future, we’ll see these arenas occupying shoe stores worldwide.