Nike & London Underground
We have to admit, we were pretty gutted when we fist saw this collaboration, as Intercity have been photographing tube/train/bus seat patterns for some time now - with the intent to use them for the right project. We even talked to a sneaker manufacturer (not Nike) about using them on a shoe (albeit on the insole) a few years ago. That said, after initial disappointment, it soon became clear that this collaboration is certainly one to be admired…
Developed to celebrate Transport for London’s 150th anniversary, the Nike & Roundel by London Underground Air Max collection combines two of Nike’s classic Air Max silhouettes (the AM1 and AM90) with a vibrant pattern that takes inspiration from the famously bold seat upholstery found on London’s tube lines. Traditionally made from moquette (a hardwearing wool and polyester mix), the geometric pattern used on the shoes was originally created by designer Misha Black and launched in 1978 on the District Line. In addition to the pattern, the shoes also debut Nike’s new Jacquard innovation - with an engineered one-piece woven upper (used on the AM90) updating the fit and feel of the classic silhouettes, but without compromising the lines traditionally achieved through cut-and-sew methods.
The Air Max 90 Jacquard has a one-piece upper made using the age-old process of looming, using pattern breaks to emulate the panels created by conventional construction. The shoe’s signature Swoosh and eye-row overlay panels are applied with a no-sew technique that apparently uses heat and pressure for adhesion. The Air Max 1 Jacquard is built from the same engineered Jacquard weave, but manufactured using traditional construction methods, including a stitch-and-turn technique on the overlay panels.
Both shoes also feature natural gum outsoles and an embroidered Roundel (the London Underground logo) on the tongue. The shoes also arrive in custom packaging featuring the distinctive moquette pattern.
The limited edition Nike & Roundel by London Underground Air Max collection launched on 14 December 2013 at select retailers. The first 150 pairs were released at a Piccadilly Circus station pop-up kiosk in London at 6am