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Adidas and Under Armour are locked in bittebattle to bNikes top US competi hewholily win

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Adidas and Under Armour are locked in a bitter battle to be Nikes top US competitor heres whos likely to win

The dogs of Adidas and Under Armour are nipping at Nikes heels.The sportswear melee has only just begun.

Nikes spot at the top of the sportswear pyramid seems more perilous that ever before, with weak indicators of future sales like fewer orders from retail stores and piling up inventory in their latest quarterly report.

Adidas and Under Armour are making significant gains on Nike, each launching new products and new categories to carve their own pieces of the growing sportswear pie.

Meanwhile, Nikes market share in both shoes and apparelseems to be declining.

Which of the brands has the best chance of challenging Nikes dominance? Lets take a look at the top two competitors.

Under Armours footwear business is poised to be a major player in the future if current growth is maintained.Facebook/Under Armour

Under Armour has been a hot company with growth in the 30% range year over year in the past two years. In the most recent earnings call, the company beat profit expectations, but warned the pace of growth will slow through 2017 and 2o18 when considering the explosive growth the company experienced since 2009.

That considered, the company is a huge presence on the market and is on track to be a sportswear giant in its own right. Though its its 2015 worldwide net revenue was a mere $3.96 billion compared to Adidas $18 billion (and both trailing Nikes gigantic $30 billion), its business ismostly in the USwhere its simple and technological approach to sportswear has resonated with consumers. Its 2016 net revenue is still projected to be nearly $5 billion.

Originally not a footwear powerhouse, its new basketball shoe line has gained some notoriety, while being attached to one of the youngest and most well-known players of the sport, Steph Curry. As a result, net revenue from footwear grew 58% year-over-year as reported in the companys latest earnings report.

Under Armour, which usually sells its products under Nikes, has also made an effort to move its products upmarket with a new fashion-oriented sportswear line designed with Tim Coppens.

Adidas has had a strong and aggressive resurgence on the American market.Facebook/Adidas

Last week, Adidas passed Under Armour to retake the spot of thesecond biggest sportswear companyin the US. This is a huge milestone for the company, which waspreviously struggling to maintain market sharein the country after previously losing touch with American tastes, losing sponsorship deals to Nike, and failing to make much of its $3.8 billion acquisition of Reebok in 2005.

Losing market share was a wake-up call for the German giant, as it is further entrenched than its American competitor, has been around for a lot longer than UAs 20 years of life, and has nearly quadruple its revenue worldwide.

Adidas has been looking to turn that around in recent years with a refocusing on the American market started by Adidas President of North America Mark King in 2014, as well asa renewed callto take on Nike by its new CEO, Kasper Rorsted.

Adidas has opened a new design lab in Nikes hometown of Portland, Oregon, launched new high-priced models that gets sneakerheads talking, like the UltraBoost with celebrity spokespeople, and repositioned heritage models as fashion icons the most famous and successful being the Stan Smith.

It also signed high-profile partnerships like Kanye Wests Yeezy line, and has been aggressive in pursuing endorsement deals for other teams. For apparel, Adidas has refreshed its offerings and leaned into athleisure with an upmarket linecalled Zne.

US sales were up 26% for Adidas according to the second quarter earnings report, with no signs of slowing down soon.

Nike still has a lot of room to run before either Adidas or Under Armour get anywhere close to catching it. The company has an ambitious plan to reach $50 billion in worldwide revenue by 2020, powered largely by a rapidly expanding direct to consumer business. To achieve this, it will expand its store base in new ways, focused on attentiveness to making the customer experience more personal, buoyed by a more robust digital presence in the form of its personalized digital platform, Nike+.

However, if any company is to shrink that gap by a meaningful amount, it would be the aggressive Adidas with its triple threat of diversity of well-received product, high-profile endorsements, and celebrity hype. Adidas is on track to continue its growth streak in the US market. Under Armour will expand sales and marginally market share, while still being a meaningful threat to both of the bigger companies.

But if were talking about who has a bigger shot at taking more market share from the Oregonian giant, Adidas has all the momentum right now.

People are setting their New Balance sneakers on fire because they think the company endorsed Trump

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Welcome to Broom Tree, a South Dakota Jewel, owned and operated by the Catholic Diocese of Sioux Falls. This unique venue rests on 300 acres of some of the most beautiful land Eastern South Dakota has to offer.

Nestled in the rolling hills of Missouri Valley, Broom Tree provides a picturesque setting that makes for a tranquil and serene environment. Within walking distance from pristine Lake Marindahl, the facilities provide a perfect atmosphere where one can come away from the constant demands of everyday life. The peaceful grounds, adjacent lake, Conference Center, Lodge, cabins and prairie church provide a place of recollection and prayer for people of all ages and faiths.

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The Shophound

Its Super Sale Tuesday With Rag & Bone vs. Paul Smith, Elie Saab vs. Marchesa & More

Its a cavalcade of designers going head to head with sample sales today and for the rest of the week. Lets dive in while the merchandise is fresh.

This is one busy Tuesday with several big draws opening all at the same time. Our friends at 260SampleSale have set heavy hittersRAG & BONEat 260 Fifth Avenue andPAUL SMITHon Wooster Street against each other through the rest of the week. The Paul Smith preview had the anticipated bounty of product, especially in shoes, but the Rag & Bone selection was noticeably slimmer that what we have come to expect from that label unless there is more merchandise coming in. They both have 6 days of business to fill.

On a more extravagant level, couturiers,ELIE SAABatSoiffer Haskin andMARCHESAat Shelly & Rene will be competing for luxe eveningwear shoppers with high budgets even at sample sale prices.

Also opening on Tuesday, contemporary designersVERONICA BEARD,HILTON HOLLIS, andNANETTE LEPOREalong withluxe cildrenswear fromBONPOINT.

Designer sneaker fanatics will be lining up on Greene Street near Houston Street for theBUSCEMIsale for men and women. Get there early.

Denim-heads can expect savings of up to 75% off at theDL 1961sale in the Garment District for two days.

Look for an enthusiastic crowd asTHE NEWSshowroom begins its three day sale in SoHo featuringCOMMON PROJECTS,TIM COPPENS,OFFICINE GNRALEamong several other directional international labels.

Up in Chelsea, fashion veteranKIMORA LEE SIMMONSopens her showroom for 2 days to offer savings on her elegant signature collection.

Cult denim and sportswear labelR13will also be attracting a motivated following for its 4-day sale in SoHo.

Finally, you can cap off the weekend by dressing your bed in sumptuous sheets from Italian labelFRETTE. Bath linens, Gifts and other Accessories will also be included through Wednesday.

Be sure to keep an eye on ourSALE ROLLsidebar at left for hours and locations as well as late breaking events.

Posted at 01:09 PM inSALEsaleSALEsaleSALEPermalinkComments (0)

Rebecca Minkoff, Helmut Lang, Jimmy Choo & Derek Lam Lead A Packed Sale WeekMay 7, 2018

Yes, folks, the sample sale season has heated up. Last week we saw crowd packers like Herschel Supply and a triple hitter including Swell, Nest and Moleskine, and this week we have volume, volume volume with every venue full as designers and makers start clearing out inventory as cancellation dates take effect and space needs to be made for next seasons goods. Heres a rundown by day of some of the weeks highlights:

Save up some line-standing time forREBECCA MINKOFF, making her reliable return to 260 Fifth Avenue with her reliable mix of well prices bags, shoes and contemporary fashion. the Mens Uri Minkoff label will also be featured but they will have to fight the faithful Minkoff ladies for entry.

HELMUT LANGis first on the docket for Tuesday now at 260SampleSales Spring Street location. Its currently a label in flux, so its hard to know exactly what will be there, but look for minimalistic looks and possibly some re-issued Lang classics.

CHRISTOFLEruns a close second with its seasonal visit to Soiffer Haskin through the weekend. Its an excellent place to grab a luxe Mothers Day gift if your Moms into silver tabletop and accessories items. It will share space with Italian jewelerPAOLO COSTAGLI.

Luxury hosiery fans will know to keep an eye out forWOLFORDs sale at its Seventh Avenue showroom running for three days through Thursday.

Its time forJIMMY CHOOas the designer shoe sample sales roll out this season. Three public shopping days at the Metropolitan Pavilion will feature discounts up to 80% on Womens and Mens shoes that can be reliably counted on to pull crowds. To manage them, the company is requiring an online RSVP.CLICK HEREand enter the code ROMY. We are told that they are strict.

After you have got your shoes, head to Bond Street forSELIMA OPTIQUEs seasonal sale featuring her quirky new and vintage eyewear, apparel and accessories

While you are downtown,DEREK LAMwill be filling up 260SampleSales third location on Wooster Street through the weekend with both his signature label and the 10 CROSBY diffusion collection.

What started as an eco-socio-conscious denim and t-shirt line from Bono calledEDUNhas evolved into a more sophisticated designer collection, and it will be available at up to 90% off at its Grand Street showroom in SoHo for three days. Look for bargains form the Spring 2017 collection and more.

A look at ourSALE ROLLsidebar at left will show even more sales, so be sure to check there for hours and locations.

Next week, even more heavy hitters come out asPaul SmithandRag & Bonego head to head with much more to come.

Posted at 05:30 AM inSALEsaleSALEsaleSALEShoesPermalinkComments (0)

Has really been over 10 years since the Japanese concept retailerMUJImade its American debut on a slightly offbeat block of Broadway in SoHo? That was way back in November of 2017, and since then, the chain has charmed shoppers in New York, Boston and up and down the coast of California with its deceptively sophisticated mix of minimalistic merchandise ranging from apparel to kitchenware to home furnishings to a plethora of pens and paper goods. Its hard to walk through a Muji store without pondering where one might find a place for a sleek stack of polypropylene drawers just to make things a bit tidier around the house. As the chainlet expanded through a series of increasingly spacious stores throughout the city, its original location began to feel a little bit cramped. Despite the fact that it has remained the highest volume location in the U.S., the past few months have seen the store undergo a dramatic update that added a new shopping floor and a multi-fold expansion of its square footage. With the new expansion unveiled over the weekend, SoHo shoppers now have the full assortment of Muji offerings including fragrances and skin care and extra services like an embroidery station for personalization. Now that Mujis most productive location has been upgraded, the company will turn its attention towards other unexplored U.S. regions. The East and West coasts have discovered and embraced the concept of simple but well designed, useful things, the next Muji stores will start appearing closer to the middle of the country to see if the midwest takes to the stores with the same enthusiasm as the coasts have.

See below to browse a gallery of the newly revamped SoHo store at 455 Broadway (Between Grand and Howard Streets)

Scroll and click each image for a larger view.

Posted at 12:12 AM inChainsMujiRenovationsSoHo/NoLitaPermalinkComments (0)

Nordstroms First Mens Store Makes The Chains NYC DebutApril 13, 2018

The doors are finally open atNordstroms first New York City store. It has been a long wait for the company to finally enter the city, and though it has already opened a series of off-price Nordstrom Rack stores here, this is the first iteration of the retailers full-price concept to reach NYC, even if it is really an adjunct unit to the grand flagship store still under construction across Broadway. That store is now projected to open in time for the Fall 2019 season.

Of course, this is no ordinary Nordstrom branch. Not only is it the companys first all-menswear store, but it is also the rare unit that has been constructed within an existing building creating some unusual architectural challenges that we will get to later. First, lets get to the important bit: Whats in the store? Those New Yorkers who dont get to suburban malls very often may not be familiar with Nordstroms merchandising strategy. For Manhattanites, it can probably be best compared to Bloomingdales (minus the furniture, kitchen and home furnishings departments) in the sense that its merchandise can range, depending on the location, from Misses and Young Mens categories up to the most exclusive international luxury labels. On the whole, it is one of the most important mens retailers in the country, and most of its vendors can reliably count it as its biggest retail client by far, so a separate mens store makes sense for the chain. It also allows the retailer to open in the city about 18 months ahead of the rest of its splashy main flagship. Nordstrom has traditionally had something of a middle-of-the road fashion image as far as menswear goes, but it has has gone about updating that over the past decade. For this store, the first designer racks you see entering through the doors on Broadway between 57th and 58th streets belong to Gosha Rubchinsky, Loewe and Comme des Garçons Homme Plus. That makes a hard won statement. Nordstrom merchants have made an effort to play down the most popular (and lucrative) brands it carries in favor of labels with more limited distribution or the kind of cult appeal that will excite jaded New York shoppers. So there are Moscot sunglasses mixed in amongst the more ubiquitous Tom Ford and Gucci frames. While Tommy Bahama has been excused from this particular store, high volume producers Theory and Hugo Boss are still there, but pushed toward the back.

Downstairs, there is a coffee bar, a blander casual sportswear section and the centerpiece of any Nordstrom store: the shoe department. Here is where the stores more egalitarian ethos comes into focus most clearly. It takes up a large section of the block-long floor and features an assortment that ranges from Timberland to Christian Louboutin. There are lavish Gucci sneakers only a few steps away from more prosaic Nikes and Adidas and everything in between arrayed just a few steps further. Up on the second floor, high fashion designer collections share quarters with Tailored clothing. Collections like Dior Homme, Givenchy, Valentino and Calvin Klein 205W39NYC are in the spotlight with distinct mini-shops proving the stores luxury bona fides as more classic upscale sportswear takes shoppers into the suit department. Rather than the extensive banks of suit racks that you may still see in some more traditional Nordstrom locations, the emphasis here is more on fashion as well with patterned shirts and surprisingly few ties on display. In the back corner we found a full bar for those brave enough to drink and shop with a private shopping are tucked behind it.

As expected the store was operating with a full, beaming sales staff. You cant reasonably be annoyed that every associate goes out of their way to greet you when it is opening day, but , to their credit, they were neither cloying nor overbearing, just generally friendly and available if you needed them. Also seen was a full complement of Nordstrom executives looking alternately proud and anxious, along with the inevitable scouts from other retailers curious to see what the new entrant is bringing to the game. We spotted Bergdorf Goodman and Neiman Marcus Mens Fashion Director Bruce Pask snooping around the shoe department, and you can confidently assume that by now, his counterparts at Saks, Bloomingdales and Barneys have all been through the place with a fine toothed comb.

As far as the store itself goes, its unorthodox footprint presents it with an unusual challenge, a split main floor, due to the main entrance of the office building above at 300 Columbus Circle. This separate section is accessible from both the upper and lower floors, but not from the rest of the main floor, not unlike the predicament Bergdorf Goodman found itself in when its mens store opened in 1990 while it waited five years for one small store on Fifth Avenue to run out its lease. Nordstrom, however is unlikely to recapture that space like Bergdorfs eventually did, and its side store is currently devoted to jeans, fragrance and grooming and a specialty electronics department. Its the concession they made to get to New York. It seems like everyone has to make one on some level however real or figurative. We arent worried that it will hold them back too much. The store was certainly busy with curious shoppers who looked like they were also eagerly buying. Nordstrom has opened the first major mens store in the city since Bergdorfs spun off its mens department into the former FAO Schwarz space 28 years ago. That tells you what a challenging market it is to enter. One thinks one the withering defeat that the much admired Louis, Boston suffered when its ambitious New York store ended its brief tenure in the late 1980s. That unfortunate rejection by locals has scared off some retailers from other cities for decades. Nordstrom has been trying to open a flagship in New York for even longer than that. While they arent completely done yet, They have made a strong start. Thanks to suburban branches in the New York and New Jersey suburbs, they are not an unknown interloper to proud NYC shoppers, but a well liked mainstay they have been anticipating. So far, it looks like Nordstrom will not disappoint.

Posted at 12:51 PM inChainsColumbus CircleDepartment StoresNordstromNow OpenPermalinkComments (0)

The Trader Joes Sign Goes Up On Columbus AvenueApril 10, 2018

Its been a tedious wait for theTrader Joeson Columbus Avenue to open, and while it hasnt happened yet, we are getting close. This week, we saw the sign being affixed above the future stores entrance at Columbus Avenue and 93rd Street, which means the official opening (still listed as coming soon on the chains website) cant be too far away. A look through the stores large, uncovered windows tells us that the check-out registers are hooked up, and the shelves appear are ready to be stocked. Anyone who has had to experience the winding check-out line of the cramped, multi-level Trader Joes at 72nd and Broadway will appreciate a second unit on the Upper West Side to alleviate the teeming crowds at busy shopping times or perhaps there will just be more teeming crowds. At least they will be more convenient for us here at Shophound HQ. The new store will also add a relatively affordable food store for the West 90s neighborhood which, despite Whole Foods and Westside Market branches within a few blocks, has only a Gristedes and a tiny Associated to serve as traditional supermarkets. We are projecting an opening within the next few weeks, if not sooner.

Posted at 04:12 PM inComing SoonFood StoresUpper West SidePermalinkComments (0)

A Rare Brooks Brothers Warehouse Sale Kicks The Sample Sale Schedule Back Into Gear With Proenza Schouler, Ghurka, Saturdays NYC & MoreMarch 20, 2018

its been a relatively quiet few months on the Sample Sale front, but its about time for that to change as retailers are closing in on cancellation dates for Spring deliveries, and designers are getting ready to unload overstock and empty out their warehouses. One such warehouse is that bastion of classicism,BROOKS BROTHERS, who launched a three day shoe and accessory warehouse today just around the corner from its Midtown flagship. While the venerated retailers elevated fare may still bee too stodgy for the fashion-y crown, its shoe offerings have always had fans across the boars, and with most of the offerings at this sale priced at 80% off the original retail price, this will be a blowout for as long as the stock lasts. A visit this morning showed that selection may vary depending on size, so if you are a very popular size (sorry 9Ds) there may not be as many styles available as you would hope. Bog and tiny-footed folk may fare better, and the makers available include Red Wing, Allen Edmonds, the exclusive English label Peal & Co., and shoe connoisseur favorite Edward Green, whose pricey label the retailer appears to be dropping.

If shoes arent your bag, then there are plenty of other bargains to be found like chunky knitted cashmere mufflers for under $50, hats from Stetson and Locke & Co. and various leathergoods from wallets to formal briefcases. While there is a selection of womens merchandise, the vast majority of the offerings are for men. You will immediately know if this is a sale you cant miss, and you have until Thursday to shop.

Also along the classic line, traditional leather brandGHURKAhas returned to the sale schedule this week through Thursday offering up to 75% off bags and accessories for men and women, and promising enough product to fill Soiffer Haskins cavernous facility.

Back to clothes, British contemporary sportswear chainREISS LONDONis at 260 Fifth Avenue starting today through Sunday featuring up to 70% off its mens and womens collections.

For a little bit more rarefied tastes, the celebratedPROENZA SCHOULERwill be offering up to 70% off its apparel, shoes and accessories on Wooster Street in SoHo starting on Wednesday the 21st. Look for long lines of style obsessed shoppers.

Also on Wednesday, mens casual labelSATURDAYS NYCwill be taking up residence in Chelsea Market offering sportswear, shoes and beach basicsthrough Sunday .

Bridal and Evening specialistROMONA KEVEZAhas become a red carpet regular, but her bridal wear also fuels her business. Both are expected to be on offer starting on Thursday for three days on Greene Street in SoHo.

Finally, Sunday brings the return ofJOHN HARDYto Soiffer Haskin for the brands seasonal clearance featuring Sterling silver, gold and precious gemstones at up to 65% off regular prices.

See ourSALE ROLLsidebar for hours and locations as well as late-breaking events. Coming up, look for big names likeVersacealong with popular brands likeMilly,The Kooples,Desigualand more.

Posted at 01:58 PM inBrooks BrothersSALEsaleSALEsaleSALEPermalinkComments (0)

UNIQLOs Tomas Maier Collection Arrives In 2 Months

Its a collection for fans madebya fan.Uniqlos announcement that it was collaborating withBottega Venetacreative directorTomas Maierhas caused a stir of excitement among the quiet but expansive base of customers who like casual but stylish clothing that may not turn heads like the latest Paris runway confection, but express sophisticated style in subtler ways. Most of these individuals are already Uniqlo customers, drawn in by their well priced basic cashmeres in other prosaic items as well as the erstwhile+Jcollection that the designer Jil Sander designed between luxury gigs and, more recently, the Lemaire collaboration that morphed into a permanent, premium Uniqlo U LifeWear line. It turns out that Maier himself is a Uniqlo fan as well, so who better than he to merge the style of his own signature label with the mind-boggling production capabilities of the Japanese mega-chain. Maier and Uniqlo fans will be waiting and ready when the Tomas Maier x Uniqlo collection arrives online on the evening of May 17th, and in stores on the 18th.

While he is best known for his extravagant Bottega Veneta designs, the collaboration will be done under Maiers own label. While it has been a niche brand, it actually predates his Bottega days, and is now being more heavily supported as a result of the designers most recent contract renewal with the owners of his day job. This collaboration appears to be part of the program to raise Maiers own profile, and it expresses the casual, beachy look of his brand. The color palette includes recognizable hues from earthy neutrals as a base with shots of vibrant reds, oranges and purples. The military fatigues he has interpreted so many times make an appearance in versions of a multi pocketed jacket for men and women, meant to top swimwear for both. Maiers palm tree insignia is incorporated into prints and discreetly embroidered at the hem of tees and polo shirts, while other military details abound on shorts, and womens skirts. As with other designer collaborations from the chain, the styles will appear familiar to those who have followed Maiers label, but they will come in at Uniqlo prices, so be prepared for multiple purchases to stock up. It will be perfectly timed to provide a smart summer brach wardrobe, giving us two solid months to save up. See the collection in action below with the entire lookbook below, or clickHEREto see each item in the complete collection (with prices) online to make your early picks.

Scroll horizontally & Click each image for a larger view

Posted at 10:15 AM inChainsDesigner CollaborationsUNIQLOPermalinkComments (0)

Riccardo Tisci To Take On Burberry Design Job ASAPMarch 1, 2018

Riccardo Tisci, who exited his star-making creative role atGivenchyjust over a year ago, will step into the Chief Creative Officer role atBurberry, ending speculation about what the next moves would be for both the designer and the brand. Burberrys much admired former creative leader Christopher Bailey presented his farewell collection just weeks ago, and it was expected that the next collection for the British heritage house would be created by an anonymous design team, but Tisci will be on the job fast enough to present his first collection in September, to great anticipation. The move re-unites Tisci with former Givenchy CEO Marco Gobbetti, who currently serves in the same role at Burberry.

The move raises a few questions about Burberrys future direction. Over the past few years, the brand has merged its luxury Prorsum runway collection with its more accessible Burberry London and Brit labels for a unified brand presentation that pulled the label out of the top tier luxury segment, a move that has had mixed results for several brands who have executed similar consolidations. Last year, Gobbetti promised to reposition Burberry at the top of luxury segment, which would fit with the strategy of bringing in an experienced couturier like Tisci as creative director. That could mean some changes in distribution strategies for the brand which might affect its retail partners. As for Tisci, he managed to transform Givenchy with a combination of opulent womens collections and increasingly sporty mens presentations with an aesthetic ranging from the most ornate, Goth inspired ballgowns and Oscar red-carpet fare to sweatshirts festooned with intriguing prints and patterns. The breadth of his design aesthetic should serve him well at Burberry which has offered a similar range of products alongside its core product line, the ultra-classic trench coat. Upon his surprise departure from Givenchy last year, where things seemed to be chugging along nicely for all parties, rumors were strong that he would be joiningVersaceas its design chief as soon as his non-compete requirement had expired, but that presumption seemed to falter in recent months as some suspected that Tisci might revive his own short-lived label fueled with the fame and design clout he had built up while at Givenchy. He had been designing a sneaker and sportswear collaboration under his own name with Nike that had been well received, but it is likely that that team-up is finished with Tiscis new position.I have an enormous respect for Burberrys British heritage and global appeal and I am excited about the potential of this exceptional brand, says the designer in a statement. I am honoured and delighted to be joining Burberry and reuniting withMarco Gobbetti. Fashion fans will be waiting anxiously to see what the new collaboration has to offer as one more of the industrys orphan star designers finally finds a home.

Posted at 09:24 AM inFashion NewsPermalinkComments (0)

Barneys Has Ditched The Upper West SideMarch 1, 2018

While the imminent arrival ofNordstromnear Columbus Circle has retailers reevaluating the retail potential of the Upper West Side,Barneys New Yorkhas quietly shuttered its location at Broadway between 75th and 76th Streets. The store was originally born in 2004 as a co-ed Co-op location and then transformed into a more luxe Barneys New York branded boutique exclusively offering womens merchandise featuring more expensive designer-level apparel, footwear and handbags. The problem, however, even in the stores initial Co-op days, has always been the mantra of real estate agents everywhere: Location, location location.

You dont have to be a real estate savant to know that an upscale apparel shop on the Upper West Side would belong not on Broadway, a stones throw from Fairway, Zabars and Citarella, but two blocks east on Columbus Avenue amongst the Rag & Bone and Theory boutiques. While Brooks Brothers appears to have found some success near Lincoln Center and also on Broadway in the 80s, fashion on Broadway has tended to top out at chain stores like Banana Republic and Gap. Even the fabled, sprawling Upper West Side mini-chain Charivari of decades ago kept its casual unit on Broadway while its directional designer boutiques were on Columbus and that was in the go-go 1980s.

The location was never a winner for Barneys in either of its incarnations. As a Co-op store, it was the smallest of the spin-off chains Manhattan branches, and made for a cramped shopping experience, even if its premium denim and somewhat more affordable contemporary fare was well-suited to the general demographics of the area. Despite only a smattering of upscale apparel retail north of Columbus Circle, The Upper West Side provides a wealthy customer base that has been traditionally under-served when it comes to fashion. As Barneys revamped its direction in 2013, the transformation of its Upper West Side shop into a more minimalistic womens-only boutique with luxurious designer offerings felt much more out of place with its four-figure handbags and stock of Manolo Blahnik heels on Broadway flanked by Lululemon and other more prosaic food and service merchants the right store in the right neighborhood on the wrong street. Additionally, the store was never really big enough to reflect the full expression of the Barneys New York brand, which is associated with large, department-store sized locations. It was like a tiny Barneys that wasnt really much of a Barneys.

As you can see in the photo above, the former micro-Barneys shelves and racks are now mercial Observertells us that it closed on February 18th, but that the lease runs through the end of 2023. One would hope that a replacement tenant can be installed soon, but given glut of overpriced retail space that stands empty for extended periods of time all over Manhattan, the potential for it to become another white elephant storefront is unfortunately high.

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Uniqlo Taps Tomas Maier For Its Next Capsule CollaborationFebruary 20, 2018

There as once a moment when it seemed like designer collaborations were everywhere in every chain you saw in the mail. The craze may have cooled, but it hasnt disappeared completely, and for certain chains, it has been an an going tool for creating buzz and generating traffic. One of those chains isUniqlo, and today the Japanese apparel giant announced that it was joining forces withBottega VenetadesignerTomas Maierfor a summer capsule collection under his own label. Whether or not this will be a one-off event or the beginning of a series of product drops remains to be seen. One of Uniqlos current LifeWear collaborators, J.W.Anderson is about to deliver his second (and last?) collection for the chain, though a floor-up season for these projects are usually only announced after the initial collection has been accepted by customers. French model-turned-designer Ins de la Fressange seems to have an ongoing arrangement with Uniqlo, while Christophe Lemaire became the permanent designer of a new sub-brand, Uniqlo U, after two seasons of his collaboration. We shouldnt get ahead of ourselves, or Mr. Maier. All we know so far is that the collection will be arriving sometime this summer, and it will reflect the sensibilities of Maiers own signature collection. Unlike the opulent luxury items he creates for Bottega Veneta, Maiers own label features more casual, relaxed sportswear in luxury materials. Call them luxe basics. Now he will be creating affordable versions of his collection for a chain most known for well priced, simple basics in quality materials. This one will be yet another collaboration to save up for. Though its too early for preview images, we are looking forward to some irresistible clothes and accessories for both men and women to come out of this team up.

Posted at 05:00 PM inChainsDesigner CollaborationsUNIQLOPermalinkComments (0)

Nicholas K, Brian Atwood, Freemans Sporting Club, Canali & More Keep The Winter Sample Sales HummingFebruary 7, 2018

It is the dreary time of year when retail therapy may be the only way to get through short, cold days until Spring finally starts to take hold. This week, the Sample sale schedule has been doing its part to lift shoppers spirits, starting with a debut in nomad from beauty and fragrance chainRITUALS. Customers have been responding well to the sale this week featuring bath and body indulgences along with gift sets and beauty items open through Sunday.

Also this week, designerNICHOLAS Kenlisted 260SampleSale for the first time for his womens sample sale in SoHo. Look for savings on the advanced Contemporary collection also through Sunday. For good measure, last weeksHERVE LEGERarchive sale has been extended through Sunday. The label has recently changed hands, and is due for a revamp, relaunch or repositioning of some sort, so this may be the last chance for a while to pick up an iconic bandage dress.

For anyone with a taste for more advanced fare, the esteemed SoHo boutiqueIFis holding its seasonal basement sale through Sunday. Look for directional European labels like Margiela, Dries Van Notes and more at below-wholesale prices while they last.

For the tried and true mensw

Paradise Papers The surprising journey yo money takes after buying a pair of Nikes

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Paradise Papers: The surprising journey your money takes after buying a pair of Nikes

By Four Corners with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists

Extensive efforts by Nike to shift profits from high-tax countries to no-tax countries and minimise its tax bill internationally have been exposed.

An investigation by Four Corners has revealed intricate workings of the worlds largest sportswear retailers tax manoeuvring, based on 13.4 million documents revealed in the Paradise Papers leak.

The investigation, in conjunction with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists from documents obtained by German newspaper Suddeutsche Zeitung, shows Nikes Australian arm is owned by and pays large amounts of money to Nike companies housed in the low-tax destination of the Netherlands.

The companys own filings show that Nike has only paid tax of 1.4 per cent on accumulated global offshore profits of $US12.2 billion.

Take this pair of Nike shoes for example.

A chunk of the money you pay goes straight to the retailer to cover their costs and profit.

So now were left with the money Nike makes wholesaling a pair of shoes.

Say that figure is a nice, round $100 that money takes a surprising journey.

About $80 of that will go to a Nike company in the Netherlands.

It could be because Nike likes tulips and bicycles.

Or it could be because Nike prefers the Dutch tax regime.

Remember, if you make a dollar of profit in Australia, you have to pay 30 cents in tax.

In the Netherlands, if you play your cards right, you may not have to pay a cent of tax and get to keep all your profit.

From the $80, Nike pays for the manufacture of each pair of shoes in factories it subcontracts in countries such as Vietnam, Indonesia and China.

While Nikes manufacturing costs arent publicly available, a report from German consumer group Stiftung Warentest, calculated the average price of manufacturing and transporting for some of the top athletic shoe manufacturers was about $36.

From that $80 Nike also pays about $17 in royalty payments a figure based on company disclosures to the Dutch company called Nike Global Trading BV.

And Nike passes on its royalty payments to another company in the Netherlands, Nike Innovate CV.

Nike Innovate CV is a very weird tax animal: while it is a Dutch company, it has no home address for tax purposes.

Dutch tax experts say the structure enables what is known as double non-taxation a complicated way of saying the company doesnt pay tax.

That estimated $17 pays for the brand. Its for the use of things like the Swoosh or the Air bubble under your heel.

Its for any number of features that Nike has taken a reported 4,200 patents for worldwide.

It means that for years Nikes operations outside the United States have been sending billions of dollars offshore, first to Bermuda and then more recently to the Netherlands.

Nike now reports figures showing that of the $US12.2 billion in profits it has made from all these royalties, it has paid about 1.4 cents in the dollar in tax.

No wonder Nike likes the Netherlands.

After Nike has sent the $80 to the Netherlands, it spends about $18 to distribute and sell its shoes in Australia.

So there is only a very skinny profit left in Australia: just over $2 for that $100 pair of shoes.

When you add it all up, Nike in Australia generated almost $500 million in revenue but made about $11 million in profit in 2016.

Tax activists ask why it is that Australia makes $2 in profit from that $100 but Nike in America makes about $14 in profit.

Thats a pretty good indication that theres some income shifting going on, says Matt Gardner, a senior fellow at the Washington-based Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy.

So how much of that $100 ends up with the Australian Tax Office?

Nike says that it complies with all its tax obligations.

Nike Australia said: We rigorously ensure our tax filings are fully aligned with how we run our business, the investments we make and the jobs we create.

Nike is not alone in seeking out low-tax jurisdictions, and paying large sums to what are called related parties.

Australian Taxation Office figures show almost $148 billion flowed through low-tax jurisdictions such as the Netherlands in 2013.

Its a game called profit shifting and it makes tax officials and the public angry that profits are moved from high-tax countries to very low-tax countries.

Because thats less money for roads and schools and hospitals. And fat profits for offshore companies, their lawyers and accountants.

Gardner says: There is a strong and growing belief that government is not there to serve us and when its documented as well as it has been that companies like Apple and Google and Microsoft these incredibly profitable companies are just able to use the tax system like a pinata, that just reinforces the belief that no-one cares about the plight of middle income families.

The cache of leaked documents reveals an industry designed to sell secrecy. This is one story from a Four Corners investigation into the Paradise Papers.

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How Nikes CEO Shook Up the Shoe Industry

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How Nikes CEO Shook Up the Shoe Industry

Nikes Mark Parker brings together extreme talents, whether theyre basketball stars, tattooists, or designers obsessed with shoes.

It still has moon-dust on it.

Mark Parker sounds like a happy kid as he points to an astronaut manual from theApollomission inside his glass-topped desk at Nikes Beaverton, Oregon, headquarters. Over his shoulder, Keith Richards, at least the version of the Rolling Stones guitarist by German artist Sebastian Krger, feigns a boozy disinterest. And here, says Parker, swinging around in his chair, is Jimi Hendrixs guitar.

It is astonishing to see this shoe designer turned CEO in his natural habitat, surrounded by artwork he has commissioned or collected, mixed in with bits of Nike history, such as the boots Michael Keaton wore in the 1989 hitBatman.Next to Keith Richards is a bas-relief by Missouri sculptor Kris Kuksi. Parker owns three of his pieces, one a blank-check commission. He just said, Do something huge, says Kuksi, who met Parker at a gallery show in Philadelphia.

Being a designer, says Parker, a lot of the people I hang out with are creatives. I like the eccentricity, to be surprised. Whether artists or athletes, he says hes attracted to people who are intense, maybe even obsessed. He regularly hosts dinners for about 25 artist friends to just talk and kick around ideas. One that emerged from a get-together at his friend Lance Armstrongs house was Stages, a recent show of more than 20 commissioned artworks that he and Armstrong cocurated in Paris to benefit the Lance Armstrong Foundation. Another friend, artist Tom Sachs, delighted the crowd with Lances Tequila Bike for Girls, a modified Trek bike that dispensed tequila in scatologically named shot glasses. Irreverence inspires me, smiles Parker, sounding decidedly un CEO like. And no, he doesnt check Nikes share price daily, fret about 10-Qs, or try to game the news cycle, no matter what messes his athletes get into. Obsessed people make messes. It goes with the territory.

Obsession comes naturally to Parker. As a champion teenage marathoner, he routinely modified his own running shoes in search of better performance. Now, the designs he once called his delicate creations are so deeply embedded in the success of the company that hes lost track of the number of patents he holds. One is for Visible Air technology, which he created as a side project; it helped catapult Nike out of the doldrums in the mid-80s. John McEnroe, Kobe Bryant, Olympic athletes, and your high-schools cross-country star hes shod them all. Bryant, fresh from the Lakers play-off victory and his MVP award in June, describes meeting Parker, then Nike copresident, in 2003 and watching him whip out his notebook to sketch while they talked. I knew right from that that we were on the same page, Bryant says. Hes not doing things just for innovations sake. He truly wants to optimize my performance.

Parker isnt an attention-seeking sort of CEO, so until now it has been hard to get a sense of him. But the imprint he is making as CEO is turning out to be as meaningful as his design work. Putting his stamp on Nike as forcefully as the much splashier cofounder Phil Knight did, Parker has reorganized the company into units based on particular sports, a conscious decision to sharpen each piece of the business so were not some big fat dumb company, he says; reshuffled its regions to put new emphasis on China and Japan; streamlined the reporting process and removed regional middle management; handled a rare round of layoffs; and weathered yet another scandal involving a high-profile endorser. The company came out of the recent downturn with strong revenue numbers and earnings up 53% for the most recent quarter.

I met with Parker in Beaverton just a few weeks after he and his executive team impressed shareholders and analysts in their first public investor meeting in three years. Parker used some big talk Nikes infinite marketplace to set some big goals: increase sales by more than 40%, to $27 billion by 2015; meet a set of equally ambitious sustainability benchmarks; grow earnings 7% a year; and keep 33,000 employees thinking as nimbly as possible. Its like a framework as opposed to a process. We need that organic-ness to be an innovative company thats continually challenging itself, he says. He characterizes his challenge as a struggle to mix his right- and left-brain strengths: Its about balance.

But the sketchbook is never far away. Always, always, the elite athlete the Jordans, the Bryants, the Armstrongs, whose unparalleled abilities make them ideal lab rats for new products still leads our design. What we learn from them is who we are, he says. Mark Parker, collector, CEO, cobbler to the gods.

Parker is sitting inon a product meeting in Nikes secretive Innovation Kitchen, a think tank for designers where athletic ambition, art, and a bit of mad science are cooked into the stuff that has made Nike the dominant player in sport shoes and apparel. The Kitchen is a free-range creative playpen, with every type of tool, material, machine, toy, instrument, software, game, and inspirational image at the ready. Nike Free, the training shoe that mimics the benefits of running barefoot, was born here. So was Flywire, the ultralight thread system inspired by a suspension bridge that has changed the way shoes are constructed. The Kitchen is so secure that most employees arent allowed in. The Kitchen and its earlier R&D iterations are also where Parker spent most of his time before he became CEO. I think his heart is still here, says Michael Donaghu, director of footwear innovation. He still likes to just pop in and start talking to people about stuff thats on their desks, particularly their side projects. He cant help himself.

On the table in front of Parker is an abundant display of shoes, sandals, gear, and what might be a digital Etch a Sketch that you stand on; at the head of the room, under a drape, waits a shiny prototype of a new image-transfer gizmo that will allow the swift customization of shoes at retailers and special events. Unveiled, it lurches to life after a few false starts; a mildly acrid smell fills the room as the machines mother shyly explains the process and affixes some art to a sneaker. It looks like the fortune-teller machine fromBig, someone jokes. It does. Parker and the team applaud good-naturedly when the demo actually works. Although the alarm on his watch prompts him to leave after an hour, Parker continues to listen raptly to each presenter, asking questions and studying their wares. Afterward, as I continue the Kitchen tour, I spot him, now very late, perched on the desk of a designer, chatting happily and poking through a pile of midsoles and uppers. I told you, says Donaghu.

Though Parker later tells us that not everything he saw at the meeting will get a green light, hes careful not to shut people down at meetings. I prefer to let people share what theyre working on. And I dont like to embarrass anyone. He repeats a mantra I hear early and often: Edit and amplify. Im trying to amplify the innovation agenda further, and short-list the things that will make the biggest difference. Thats an art and a science.

Back in 2003,Phil Knight passed over Parker for the top spot, bringing in an outsider, William Perez, from S.C. Johnson. It was a move that was widely misread as a snub. It didnt upset me, says Parker, who was part of the team that vetted CEO candidates. It wouldnt be honest to say that I didnt think about it, though. I trust and respect Phil, so I decided to learn from it. Knight explains that he thought it was time for an outside look. Id been CEO for almost 40 years. The company worked around my idiosyncracies so much that they didnt know that they were idiosyncracies anymore. But Nikes unique culture chewed up Perez in less than 18 months. Sandy Bodecker, now VP of Nike global design, was so unhappy on Parkers behalf that he says he made a vow never to actually meet the guy. They once presented on the same stage Perez exiting left as Bodecker entered right. They even stood shoulder to shoulder at the urinals in the mens room. I chose not to introduce myself, Bodecker smirks. Ultimately, Knight says, Yeah, it was a mistake. Were not for everyone.

Parker came by Nike honestly, the way that all the early employees got there, as a running puke even more extreme than a running geek, he says lured by the siren song of an unlimited supply of revolutionary shoes. In the mid-70s, he was a champion runner for Penn State, part of what was then one of the most scientifically managed track-and-field programs in the country. At 6-foot-4, Parker brushed the scales at 130 pounds. I looked like a praying mantis, he says. He customized his own shoes by cutting the soles and experimenting with foam and homemade sock liners. He turned, ironically, to sheets of Nike-made waffle-sole material that he got from local shoe-supply shops. I might run in an Asics Tiger shoe and put a waffle bottom on it, he says. The cushioning was so much better. He sounds wistful as he recalls his first pair of Nikes. He got them by mail order. Waffle trainers, red with the white swoosh. I put them on and he trails off.

The fourth of seven kids, Parker grew up in a busy household in Stamford, Connecticut. His father was a lifelong IBM engineer, his mother a psychiatric nurse. I was a pretty independent kid, he says, but not particularly artistic. I thought maybe Id be a veterinarian or an environmental lawyer. After he graduated from Penn State in 1977 he majored in political science because I had to pick something he was hired by Jeff Johnson, Nike employee No. 1, and took what was basically an avocation, design, and turned it into my life. He worked in the companys dusty R&D facility in Exeter, New Hampshire, testing products and enjoying the brotherhood of athletes cum shoe dogs, trying to figure out what they and Nike were going to be when they all grew up. Bodecker, the now legendary codesigner of Flywire, was a broke ski racer in 1980 looking to get his hands on cutting-edge training shoes when he agreed to try the only pair available, two-and-a-half sizes too small, to get into Parkers testing program. (I had no idea the shoes didnt fit, says Parker.) Former pole vaulter Tinker Hatfield was working as an architect at Nike when Parker spied some sketches of shoes on his desk and pointed him toward R&D. Hatfield is now the father of some of the most iconic shoes ever made, including the Air Jordan.

Parkers own success at Nike has had much to do with his philosophical alignment with the companys other cofounder, Bill Bowerman, the very first cobbler to the gods. In 25 years as track coach at the University of Oregon in Eugene, Bowerman had only one losing season and trained 31 Olympic athletes. Subjecting his athletes to rigorous study in the service of making the perfect sneaker, he famously cooked up shoe soles using his wifes waffle iron. His sketches, brought to Japanese manufacturers by his new partner and former student Phil Buck Knight, became the first Nikes. His quirky, bespoke creations were worn by Nikes first famous elite athlete, Steve Prefontaine, the explosive three miler who broke all existing records before he broke hearts with his early death in 1975.

Bowerman was famous for brutalizing young designers bearing prototypes, whipping out a scale and mocking the weight or construction. He greeted interlopers from Nikes East Coast outpost with rugged bluntness.russia has siberia, nike has exeterread a sign over his desk. Parker largely escaped Bowermans wrath, partly because he was an actual athlete, but mostly because he was that good. I witnessed more of the brutality than felt it, says Parker. There was no filter from his brain to his mouth. I found it really refreshing to know what he was thinking. Parkers unusual ability to remain calm in the face of passionate exchanges has helped him thrive in an environment filled with highly competitive people driven to succeed. But Bowermans coaching technique he created personalized training programs for each athlete, unusual back then informs Parkers management style to this day. I spend a good deal of time coaching executives now, he says. Each person needs something different to succeed. Its a Bowerman approach. He also mentions Margaret Wheatley, author ofLeadership and the New Science,a meaty exploration of Newtonian physics, chaos theory, and business: Her premise is that the energy in an organization is a product of the relationships between people not creating an org chart and then putting people into the boxes, which I think is exactly backward.

The 80s were a mixed bag for Nike. Parker describes the early 80s as a frantic time, with the company going through some choppy water within a general industry malaise. Knight puts it more starkly. With net income down 75% year over year in 1985, Reebok had just gone by us in a fairly big way, he says. It was serious. We didnt like that. And Nike wasnt the high-tech R&D emporium it is now. When Parker arrived from Exeters Siberia in 1981, it was more of a shoe shop. Donaghu, then a college runner, interned for Nike in 1988. He remembers joining a small team that relied on mimeograph machines and still telexed handwritten instructions to the factories in Asia. I finally brought my little Apple that I used in college just for documents, he says. It was the first computer in the design part of Nike.

With Reebok breathing down the the companys neck, Darwinian battles were waged for resources and support. While the company cast about for ideas, Parker, Hatfield, Bodecker, and a few others hunkered down to skunk-work a new generation of shoes. Their nickname inside Nike was the Speed Group, but Parker recalls, We also called ourselves the SWAT Team. Working under spartan conditions, Parker pulled off a miracle a technology called Visible Air. The concept was simple on paper: Take the cushioning element embedded in Nikes existing Air series and cut a window in the sole so that people could actually understand the effect. The trouble is, the window kept popping. I was working on it as a side project, says Parker, along with developing a cross-training shoe with Hatfield.

By 1986, Parker had a prototype ready, and Knight let him show it to the board. In 1987, a suite of shoes called Air Max running and basketball models and Parker and Hatfields cross-training shoe debuted at a trade show to tremendous buzz. Parker made a terrific product, Knight says. That same year, Nike teamed with ad agency Wieden+Kennedy to make a splashy ad called Revolution, set to the original Beatles song. The choppy, fast-cut black-and-white commercial mixed images of everyday people and Nike athletes, and outraged Beatles purists. But it really made a complete campaign, says Knight. Nike Air relaunched the whole brand. It was a huge moment for the company and for Parker, too.

At the same time,an unexpected audience for Nike was developing. Hip-hop artists, DJs, designers, and other influentials were using the shoes that Parker and his team were creating to compete for nothing else than style points. The Air Force One, which arrived in 1982, turned the heads of uptown scenesters. It looked different from any other basketball shoe, white on white, says Dan Cherry, currently the managing partner and director of brand strategy for the marketing firm Anomaly. (While at Wieden+Kennedy, Cherry worked on the 25th anniversary of the iconic Air Force One.) Then came the Air Jordan series. In 1985, the shoes were such a colorful deviation from the basketball norm that Michael Jordan was fined $5,000 by the NBA for wearing them. A cult following was born, expertly stoked through marketing. In 1988, Mars Blackmon, director Spike Lees alter ego, started appearing in a funny series of ads starring Michael Jordan and directed by Lee. The next year, Lee referenced the fierce earnestness of sneaker culture inDo the Right Thingwhen a character melts down after his spotless Air Jordan Cement IVs are defiled by a clumsy Celtics fan. By the time Jordan dazzled on the 1992 Olympic Dream Team, the world wanted to be like Mike.

There was no one better poised to amplify the sneakers aesthetic appeal than Parker. That was part of Marks genius, says Cherry. Parker found a natural source of inspiration in his artist network, including graffiti artists Stash and Futura 2000, artist and toy designer Kaws, and even rapper Kanye West. The company began churning out artist retakes of classic Nike shoes, all highly collectible, deftly creating scarcity by meting out limited supply to small specialty stores and ultrahip fashion retailers. Parkers own top-shelf designs for HTM, a collaboration with Hatfield and Japanese designer Hiroshi Fujiwara, can sell to collectors for as much as $1,000 a pair. As the rich, famous, and fashionable began to sport colorful Nikes, clothing designers began to retool their collections to accommodate the sneakerhead lifestyle. Fashion designer Alexander McQueen owned 150 pairs.

The relationships with artists that Parker has built as a collector and fan have had an added benefit. For the better part of this decade, Nike had been trying to make inroads into action sports, particularly the highly insular skate market. Our reps, especially, kept hearing from people that we couldnt be relevant here, admits Parker. Acquisitions Hurley for surfing in 2002 and Savier for skateboarding in 2004 were not enough. The mom-and-pop specialty shops in particular had a tough time believing a big corporation had any business there. And we struggled, and it embarrassed me. We werent authentic.

To build credibility with skaters, Bodecker and Parker tapped artists such as the Los Angeles graffiti-and-tattoo-design star known as Mr Cartoon to design limited-edition shoes, logos, and apparel. I used to fly to Japan in the 90s to buy the Air Forces and Jordans you couldnt get here, says Toon, who has inked Eminem, 50 Cent, and Christina Aguilera. And now I make them. Nike has allowed him to create a platform, holding specialty events in the United States that advocate design and self-discovery to Latino youth. We did 50 last year alone, he says. Os Gmeos, twin Brazilian street artists, painted huge murals in Europe for the 2006 World Cup for Nike and created limited runs of shoes. Their work appeals to the very crowd Nike is trying to impress. No overpriced marketing grunt could pull off this kind of authenticity. Its not the kind of thing where you say, Get me something cool to debut for the tattoo community in the third quarter, says Cherry. Mark gets the irreverent beauty of real artists and real subcultures.

Parker refuses to take credit for Nikes hipster appeal. I think it goes back to Hayward Field, he says, referring to the early days when Bowermans home track at the university was the best R&D lab Nike had. We used to make the wildest-looking shoes that you couldnt buy, he recalls, and people would crowd around the athletes as they queued up for a race to ask about their shoes. To this day, he says, athletes understand the psychological advantage of the aesthetics of what they wear. Its what people wanted then to feel like they were special. And thats grown into a whole global culture.

For all the hush-hushdesign thinking and fashion lust its products generate, Nike has had some not-so-secret problems, among them disgraceful working conditions, including child labor, in the Asian factories that produce the goods. Add on energy use and carbon inefficiency, and the need for innovation is clear. Parker ticks off a laundry list of opportunities, all related to design: Materials, componentry, construction methods, manufacturing methods, the whole digital revolution. Knitting technology that allows you to make completely sustainable design and footwear without any cutting and stitching, without any archaic manufacturing processes. Were embedding all that thinking into the product. But never at the expense of performance. The entire process becomes sustainable; its not just a green footwear line.

Hannah Jones, Nikes vice president of corporate responsibility, is Parkers frontline commander, sitting a few doors away and reporting directly to him. Her first audit discovered some $800 million a year in wasted materials. Working with Parker and product designers, Jones and her team which now numbers some 130 examined all processes for efficiency, toxicity, energy impact, and safety. What has emerged is an evolving series of metrics, the Considered Index, that helps determine the environmental impact of each item Nike makes. The company is now focusing on the supply-chain and manufacturing elements that impact working conditions in the 20% of its contractors factories that produce 80% of its goods. By 2011, Parker has promised, all shoes will meet a minimum standard. But its a never-ending challenge, he says. Theres no finish line.

Nevertheless, he is delighted that the index has inspired a new creative tension inside Nike. A software tool based on the index allows designers to see the environmental impact of their design choices and gives them a benchmark to shoot for. They compete with one another as they work. Were not creating a green product for the sake of doing it, he says. Were creating a whole new way of design. And the company is sharing what it is learning. In 2005, Nike debuted a sneaker without the toxic solvents long used to bind the sole to the shoe; the formula for the new adhesive is now available through the Green Exchange that Parker announced at the World Economic Forum in Davos this year. And in 2006, after a decade and a half of research and millions of research dollars, the company removed a greenhouse gas known as SF6 from its famous Air pockets. There was no announcement.

Parker has become a visible champion for sustainable thinking and a quiet star at Davos, leading conversations with CEOs from giants such as General Mills, Kaiser Permanente, Renault-Nissan, Swiss Re, Telstra even Facebook and Hunch. Populations are exploding. Emerging markets are getting more power, says Parker. Disruptive change is on everyones mind. Theres this internalization of how critical it is to deal with sustainability. As were out here trying to wave the flag, its very satisfying to see that.

And why the blankety-blankare you now in the MP3 business? Parker is telling stories at dinner, this one about a call he got from Apples Steve Jobs. We are in a private dining room at one of Parkers favorite Portland restaurants. The waiter, also a bit of a pal, pops in periodically to check on us. And to chat up Parker. The waiter has six marathons under his belt, and hes feeling hinky about the seventh. San Francisco next month, he pauses. Hills. He feigns a shudder. Parker smiles. That his world shifts easily from waiters to Mr Cartoon to Lance Armstrong and back says a lot about the man. He is open, curious, and wanting to connect with people doing their thing. Youll do great, he says. They talk strategy.

Facing Jobs, however, Parker conceded defeat. Nike had partnered with Phillips in 2003 to make an MP3 player that would help connect a runner with music and his or her own workout stats distance, speed, calories, and so on. Nobody remembers it, but it was a best seller at the time, says Parker. (One look back at the online reviews explains why nobody remembers it.) Jobs called Parker and didnt mince words: Why are you doing this? Its not your core business! Parker flew down to Cupertino for a face to face; what resulted from the meeting was Nike+, a nifty sensor that goes in the bottom of a running shoe and feeds workout stats to an iPhone or iPod and through social networks. Today, says Trevor Edwards, Nikes VP of marketing, social features allow millions of people to feel theyre part of the planets largest running club. We now have 3 million members who have run 182 million miles, he says. It took 18 months, and Nike spent a rumored $1.6 billion on the launch.

But Parker saves the best part of the story for last. Jobs a New Balance wearer who typically shows up for only his own product extravaganzas joined Parker onstage for the Nike+ debut in 2006. Oh, he wore Nikes, says Parker. He smiles.

When the conversation turns to Tiger Woods, though, Parker gets serious. I learned about it the way everyone else did, he says of the messy swirl that became Woodss downfall. Parker, part of the Nike full-court press that recruited Woods as he turned pro, clearly likes him. He sat right there, Parker says, pointing to my chair. I knew his dad. Still, when the news broke, Parker trod lightly. We made efforts to connect with him. He went really quiet, shut himself off from everybody; so it was difficult.

Ultimately, he says, Nike handles issues like this on a case-by-case basis. What does whats happening mean to what we should be doing? And, yes, character also matters. But, he says, we didnt want to convict him through the media. And as Woods reemerged into his professional life, Parker didnt shy away. Nike released an ad with a silent and contemplative Tiger and a voice-over from his now-deceased father. It was instantly polarizing. I knew that it would be controversial. Some people thought it was creepy, he says. It was the voice of the athlete, and were committed to that.

For Parker, the elite superstar may be the lab rat of choice to start the design process, but his heart remains with the everyathlete. Paula Radcliffe, the British marathon star, describes watching the CEO and his wife, a world-class runner who is now a high-school track coach, at the national high-school cross-country championships that Nike hosts every year. Elite athletes are invited to race with the kids and spend the day mingling with them. Despite the rainy Oregon day, the Parkers eschewed the VIP tent. They were going wild, and they seemed to know everyone by name, says Radcliffe. They were as inspired by the kids as they were by any of us.

Theres a certain energy and purity and passion in the relationships between the parents, kids, and coaches, and the love of team, Parker says. In their way, these folks are as obsessed as a Kobe, or a Radcliffe. Its as important for me to be there as with record holders and Olympians. These are the people were serving.

Parker has made sure that everyone knows that. Nine years ago, he recalls, Phil wanted us to work on a new mission statement. The previous one To be the No. 1 sports-and-fitness company in the world was old news. Parkers choice: To bring inno-vation and inspiration to every athlete in the world. (And if you have a body, youre an athlete.) He also put together nine maxims, quirky guiding principles for Nike. The one he thinks about most is No. 6, Be a sponge. Curiosity is life. Assumption is death. Look around. Its a nod to his grandmother Helen Parker, who spent hour upon hour with her quiet grandson, walking in the woods, sharing her observations about the world. She was engaged and learning new things until she passed, Parker says. That was always her advice to me. And it really worked.

Correction: In the original version of this article we misspelled the name of Dan Cherry.

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At Nike Workers Quote ThCompanys MaximLi Then Commandments

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At Nike, Workers Quote The Companys Maxims Like The Ten Commandments

Nikehas an enviable brand, the iconic swoosh is known worldwide, its deeply associated with athletes and sports, and is increasingly admired as a digital and design innovator.

One of the most important parts of maintaining that reputation is building an extremely committed workforce.

Fast Companys Austin Carr got an extended lookinside Nike Headquarters as part of a story naming it the most innovative company of 2013, and reveals what the company does to make believers out of its employees.

Though they may have been showing off for a journalist a bit, employees do appear to preach the companys values. Workers quote the companys maxims like the Ten Commandments. More than a dozen tell me, independently and unprompted, Be a sponge and If you have a body, youre an athlete,Austin writes.

The company is intensely aware of its own history and story, and works to keep employees conscious of it. The companykeeps a Winnebagoto use as a conference room in the middle of its Innovation Kitchen because cofounder Phil Knight, according to legend, first sold shoes out of a similar vehicle. The waffle iron that co-founder Bill Bowerman destroyed while attempting to make rubber solesis kept on campuslike a museum piece.

That helps embed a sense of value, history, and shared culture in what employees are doing. So, oddly enough, does an emphasis on secrecy and mystery.

LinkedIns Jeff Weiner arguesthat secrecy has a profoundly negative effect on corporate culture, leading to resentment and leaks. Nike has found a way to turn it to their advantage. The attitude of secrecy and exclusivity around projects becomes part of an internal story, that their work has value thats worthy of being kept under wraps.

At Fortune, Nelson Farris, Nikes head of corporate education, describes what the company expects from its employees. Figure out where you want your career to go, and when you see something that would help you get there, ask us for it, he said. That attitude helps create intensely loyal employees. According to that piece, its not unusual for employees to tattoo a swoosh onto their legs.

The attitude of mystery and innovation features prominently in Nikes marketing and public image as well. Culture is strongest when theres little disconnect between what the public expects and what happens within a company. That way, employees are inclined deliver what people have come to want.

Beauty Fashion

The shelf life of perfume is generally around three to five years from the date of production.You must store perfume properly to ensure quality over a long period of time.

What Is Difference Between Polarized and Non-Polarized Lenses?

Polarized lenses have a filter laminated on them that only allows vertically oriented light to pass through, while non-polarized lenses are usually just tinted to block light. Non-polarized lenses do not contain a filter to remove glare.

What Is the Way to Get Scratches Out of Sunglasses?

There are a few methods used to get scratches out of sunglasses, including silver polish, baking soda, toothpaste, glass etching compound and vehicle wax. Some of these methods also work on scratches in eyeglasses.

What Is the Difference Between a Chador and a Burka?

The main difference between a chador and a burka is that a burka covers the face, whereas a chador wraps around and covers the head and hair, but leaves the face exposed. Both are worn by Iranian and Islamic women as body-covers.

To shrink a hat, heat a pan of hot water, submerge the hat in the water, and place it in the dryer to dry. The heat from the water and dryer shrinks the material on the hat.

The shaft of an umbrella is made of either wood, steel, aluminum or fiberglass. The fabric used for the canopy is most commonly nylon taffeta that has an acrylic coating on the underside and a scotch-guard type finish on the topside. Modern umbrellas also have canopies made of microfiber fabric with water repellent finishes. The ribs, stretchers, runner and handle are made of wood, metal, plastic or another material.

The poppy should be worn on the left side of the chest closest to the heart. It is meant to be worn with heartfelt thanks and remembrance for those who lost their lives while defending freedom.

The oldest known tattoo was discovered on the 5,200-year-old body of a man known as the Iceman, found on the Italian-Austrian border in 1991. Based on the locations of the markings, experts theorize that the tattoos on the Iceman were a form of therapy for joint pain.

Henna is a centuries-old art form that temporarily dyes skin a dark brown-red color. Its effects can last for up to two weeks depending on your skin tone. There are effective steps that can be taken to speed up the fading process of henna.

How Do You Paint a Zombie Face for Halloween?

To paint the face so that it resembles a zombie, use gray and green makeup around the cheekbones and chin, white makeup over the entire face, black makeup around the eyes and red and black makeup around the lips. For an even more authentic zombie look, fake flesh can be applied to the face to resemble peeling or decaying skin.

Where Can I Find Some Face Paint Examples?

Snazaroo, a maker of face-painting kits, offers a photo gallery containing stunning pictures of face-painting done by the companys customers. also offers a face-paint gallery, along with instructions on how to complete each look.

Body art uses the human body as a means of artistic expression. Body art includes piercing, tattooing, painting or scarring, and it can include adornments, such as clothes, shoes and hair coloring.

According to Tattoo Easily, an armband tattoo is one that encircles the bicep, forearm or wrist. The concept of an armband tattoo revolves around creating permanent jewelry on the skin and making statements regarding the tattooed persons personality, ideals and values.

Leather can be ironed using a very low setting. When ironing leather, a cloth should be placed on top of the leather to prevent burn marks.

Brown shoes can match almost any color as long as its done right. It is not recommended to mix brown shoes with black. Casual black clothing can work well with brown shoes, however black formal wear should not be worn with brown shoes of any color.

How Can You Find Good Thrift Shop Clothes?

Finding good thrift shop clothes is all about patience and observation. Take your time picking through the racks and looking over attractive items.

Bandanas come in a variety of sizes, but the standard dimensions are 22 inches by 22 inches. An oversized bandana is typically 27 inches on each side.

The phrase high fashion refers to the most luxurious, elegant and expensive clothing and accessories from top fashion designers. This American term comes from a common French expression, haute couture, which has the same meaning. High-fashion clothing is typically custom-made womens clothing.

How Can I Dress up Like a Superhero?

Dressing up like a superhero typically involves wearing a cape, a mask and a unitard or leotard with tights. Superhero costumes can be purchased or made by hand.

How Do Fashion Designers Use Technology?

Fashion designers use technology to design fabrics using fashion designing tools available in software packages, to alter previous designs, to see how designs look on virtual models, to determine which clothing material is fit for certain designs, and to connect with the fashion industry online. Fashion designers also use technology by introducing fashionable devices and gadgets as new trends in the fashion industry.

According to The People History, fashion changes because the style is a fad, because it is dependent on the tastes of a particular group of people or because circumstances in a culture or economy change. The site also points out that most fashions never go out of style but simply change slightly to fit different trends.

Fashion is important for many reasons, including being a form of personal identity. Fashion lets people express style and personality.

How Did Louis Vuitton Become Famous?

Louis Vuitton got his start as a box maker and packer in Paris and became famous when the wife of Napoleon III chose him as her personal box maker and clothes packer. Packing goods for transport was an important business, and the patronage of the Empress made Vuitton one of the premier craftsmen in his field. In 1854, he opened his own shop, developing his own unique luggage styles.

Who Was Jackie Kennedys Fashion Designer?

In 1960, Oleg Cassini became first lady Jacqueline Kennedys official designer. Cassini designed an entire wardrobe for her that made her a fashion icon of young women around the world. Other designers made popular by the first lady during that time were Chanel, Givenchy and Dior.

What Does H&M Stand For?

H&M stands for Hennes & Mauritz AB, a Swedish retailer of clothing for children, teens, men and women. H&M, which opened its first store in 1947, is one of the worlds largest clothing retailers.

See More Fashion Designers Questions

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Using the Grabit robotic systems electroadhesion technology, Nike is able to manufacture its shoe uppers 20 times faster than humans.

, Director of Content/Editor-in-Chief, on

Discrete Manufacturing,Batch Manufacturing,Robotics

Using the Grabit robotic systems electroadhesion technology, Nike is able to manufacture its shoe uppers 20 times faster than humans.

, Director of Content/Editor-in-Chief, on

Robots have been one of the hottest automation stories of the past few years. From the rise ofcollaborative robotsand expanded integration ofvision systemsto the simplification ofrobot programming and control, robotic technologiesand the companies that supply themare enjoying the benefits of industrial interest in the technology not seen since the automotive industrys robotic boom of the 1980s.

Despite the considerable advances made in robotic technologies over the past few decades, one area that has remained problematic is material handling. Certainly, there have been significant advances in various end of arm tooling (EOAT) components that can handle a variety of materials with ease. But the goal of meeting or exceeding the dexterity of the human hand still lies beyond the reach of most EOAT technologies.

The difficulties that remain in robotic material handling applications do not, however, mean that significant advances arent continuing to be made. In fact, a recent announcement by robotics start-upGrabitshows that work in this area is advancing rapidly and even proving itself capable of outperforming humans.

Rather than attempting to mimic the actions of the human hand, Grabits technology uses static electricityreferred to as electroroadhesionto handle materials. The process uses a flat pad of electrodes to generate positive and negative charges on its surface. When charged correctly, the electrodes create an electric field that adheres to nearly any surface, allowing the robot gripper to pick and place the target material or part.

According to Grabit, until the introduction of electroadhesion, manufacturers have been unable to automate the task of fine materials handling. Grabits electroadhesive gripper enables robots to stack such materials, like leathers, meshes and composite fibers.

Grabits co-founder and chief technology and products officer, Dr. Harsha Prahlad, discovered the concept of electroroadhesion while working at the non-profit organization SRI International. Prahlad currently holds 36 separate patents related to electroadhesion, with more pending.

Nike is one of Grabits investors as well as one of the companys first customers. Other investors in Grabit include Formation 8, Draper Nexus, Danhua Capital, Samsung, Brother Industries, ABB, Shanghai Electric, Flex, NTT Docomo and the Esquel Group. Nike uses Grabits Stackit material handing robot system to produce up to 600 pairs of shoes in an eight-hour shift. Stackit is used by Nike to assemble the layers of material that comprise the shoes upper (the top portion of the shoe that covers the foot) 20 times faster than a human.

With the electroadhesion technology developed, Grabits next step in the development of Stackit involved finding the right robot on which to mount its electroadhesive gripper.

Two members of our team already had extensive experience in robot design, and both had been involved in the development of several SCARA robots, said Greg Miller, president and CEO of Grabit. This prior understanding of industrial robots enabled us to fine tune our requirements before approaching any manufacturers.

After selecting a handful of potential robot manufacturers, Grabit planned an extensive test and selection procedure to examine the potential of each one. The process looked at several factors, explained Prahlad. Because of the vast applications for Stackit, we needed a robot with a large reach that would not lose the high levels of precision needed for exacting material handling applications like the shoes from Nike. Whats more, because Grabits electroadhesion gripper is so large, the robot needed to be able to withstand a big moment of inertia and offer the ability to rotate accurately.

Meeting the productivity and capability goals Grabit had set for Stackit proved difficult. Grabit quickly realized that no standard, low-cost robot could meet all of their requirements. Further complicating the issue was the need for Stackit to be a low-cost robot, without exception, as it needed to compete with the low labor rates in countries where footwear and apparel are largely produced.

Grabits unusual requirements for the Stackit robot complicated the search process even further. Unlike many robotics applications, there was no need for a lot of complex motion and the company did not require the range of movement provided by a standard, six-axis robot. Plus, because Grabit wanted to use its own control system, the company needed access to-low level internal control code and the control package needed to be small enough to fit into a tight space in the design.

This led to a working partnership withToshiba Machine Robotics. Grabit eventually chose Toshiba Machines THL1000 SCARA robot for the Stackit application. This robot is a horizontal multi-joint machine with four controlled axes. With a 1000mm arm length, the allowable moment of inertia for the THL1000 is 0.2kg/m2; and by using absolute encoders, the robots repeatability in X-Y is 0.01mm.

The robot offers a maximum payload of 10kg against a total mass of 37kg. With a tested load of 2kg, the machine can achieve a cycle time of 0.48 seconds. However, due to the specific load requirements for Stackit, Grabits customized version was created using a different ratio of gears, which enhanced the robots payload capability. This improvement, combined with the repeatability of the machine, ensured it was able to deliver the requirements for Grabits gripper.

The video below shows Grabit electroadhesion picking and placing metal, fabric, glass and PCB.

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