Nike & Laika
With the recent release of the Roshe Run Mid 'Trollstrike' in celebration of 3D stop-motion film, The Boxtrolls, we take a detailed look at all three sneaker collaborations between Nike and Oregon-based animation studio Laika...
As Laika Studios is actually owned by Nike co-founder and ex CEO Phil Knight, a collaboration between the two entities seemed almost inevitable and the creative partnership began back in 2009 during the release of Laika's first animated feature, Coraline. Using a combination of denim and canvas, an extremely limited edition Dunk High was created to reflect the hand-crafted nature of the film, with parts of the shoes being individually hand stitched to make each pair unique. There were four different versions available (each with their own custom shoebox); 850 regular pairs, 100 pairs with a large button on the front of each shoe, 50 pairs with actual movie props attached and 15 individually numbered pairs complete with wooden presentation box. Although not available for retail, fans had the opportunity to win a pair of this very special collaboration by hunting for clues (note the reference to the story) in the film and online.
The second shoe was created to tie in with the release of Laika's second animated feature, ParaNorman, with the chosen model this time being the Air Foamposite One. To be in with a chance of acquiring one of the 800 pairs, fans had to either bid in a charity eBay auction or submit a photograph of themselves as a strange looking child with the hashtag #weirdwins via Twitter. Specific details on the shoe included a green smoke effect across the uppers, rising from the glow-in-the-dark green outsole (which was a very specific detail as the material for each shoe needed to be cut perfectly to ensure the smoke touched the green outsole - not a normal production process for the Foamposite). On the heel you can see a silhouette of the main character Norman, with the films 'wierd wins' slogan written across both pull tabs. On the auction version, a zombie slipper came attached to special green laces and on the end of each lace reads 'gagmHggG raHR gNgG' - a zombie translation of Just Do It. In addition to this shoe, one pair of Nike Air Raid ParaNorman's (orginally a sample created for Laika) were made available thanks to a donation by Tinker Hatfield and Tiffany Beers. The shoes came with a special edition box designed by Mark Smith (also shown below) and were again auctioned off to the highest bidder at a special event.
The third and final installment (for the time being at least) of the set was created to celebrate the release of The Boxtrolls film and uses a Roshe Run Mid model. Once again, a huge amount of thought and detail has gone into representing the film through the shoe. Designed by Tinker Hatfield, details on the 'Trollstrike' include a distressed leather upper, roped toggles replacing the regular laces, cheeseprint sockliners, cardboard tongue labels and a cobblestone print covereing the midsole. The shoe is intended to represent the dark and dingy world that the Boxtrolls inhabit and Nike even created a pair of bandage-like socks to go with the release - as well as a laser-cut shoe-box and burlap shoe bag. In true Laika tradition, the shoes were auctioned off for charity online, this time benefitting a child adoption charity, which was very fitting to the story told throughout The Boxtrolls film. Fans could also win a pair through a Twitter contest by creating a cardboard artwork and using the hastag #theboxtrollsnikeshoecontest.
To find out more about Laika, visit their website here