Nike Air Yeezy – Tooling Design Process

September 15, 2009 BY

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With all the talk about how dope it would be to own the Grammy or AJ VI-soled Yeezy sample, take a load of these prototypes and realize how many different forms the Air Yeezy could have taken.  Though we’ve previously seen an inside look at the production process, Nike’s Mark Smith and Tiffany Beers discuss several ideas, dead-ends and problems they encountered while trying to execute the best possible version of Nike’s first non-athlete signature shoe.

Ever wonder why images of the glow-in-the-dark soles look so bright?  It’s not photoshopped if that’s what you’re thinking.  The design team meticulously experimented with different mixes of rubber to get the brightest and long lasting glow without compromising the integrity of the sole.  But even before they decided on the glow route, Kanye pushed for a battery-operated illuminating sole.  Some may speculate he would want something like this, trying to embrace the futuristic aura of the “most likely never to be retailed,” Marty McFly prototype.  Nonetheless, Nike found it to be more practical to drop this concept.  Not only was the glow agreed to make a better look, those who were able to grab a pair of Air Yeezy’s would have supposedly been paying far more if they contained this electro luminescence technology.

It seems that most of the design variations lied in the aesthetics of the midsole.  One of the images after the jump shows a very rare look samples of midsoles with “Death Star” contours where an air bag would typically be on Nike’s.  Fortunately for us, the final product donned a more familiar look endearing to most sneakerheads’ hearts.  Hold up Kanye, Nike can’t use Jordan templates!  Behold a clever solution… thanks to Yeezy himself, actually.  The canny artist managed to surpass a technicality by using the tooling for the Nike Air Assault Retro, which is pretty much the same midsole as the Air Jordan III but has Nike branding on the sole.  What would we do without Kanye’s strive to go the distance?  Not a dope shoe, and certainly not a plethora of samples.  Be sure to check out the images below for an even more in-depth look at the making of the Air Yeezy.  via SC.

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Filed under: Air Yeezy Collaboration Sample

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