At Nike, the phrase “be a sponge” is often bantered about. Mark Parker, President & CEO, NIKE, Inc., has noted the eyes-open mandate as a habit he picked up as a child, when he would take long walks with his grandmother and soak up the natural world — plants and rocks, seeds and bugs. This attentive observation is shared by Nike designers, who consciously connect to the world around them. They interact with athletes, view art and travel the globe to activate their imaginations and inform their creations — a dynamic blend of influences that has recently taken on a vivid tone.
In anticipation of the summer’s competitions, the company’s color design team first considered the flow of the body in motion. Imagining athletes’ travel then directed their minds to tropical rainforests and the fauna that thrives in the environment: birds, with their attention-grabbing, color-shifting feathers; beetles, with their futuristic shining shells. Absorbing these inspirations prompted an exploration of artwork. The designers pored over images and films of birds in flight, close-ups of their iridescent wings and insects arranged like precious jewels.
These colorful influences ring out into the company’s vibrant summer palette, led by Nike’s new signature unlimited colorway and extending to its exploration of national shades, which broaden traditional flag tones to both their brightest and their deepest extremes.
In motion, these brilliant colors appear to paint a subtle glowing path, representing not only its wearer’s unlimited athletic abilities but also the way in which Nike views the world: bursting with unlimited inspiration and design possibilities.