December 15, 2009 BY Aaron Hope
After their stellar work on a Nike Air Force 1 from last year’s 1World series, sneakerheads were excited to see samples with ‘Maharam’-emblazoned insoles. Turned out that those were actually part of a Winter Journey Pack, and the 107 year old New York textile maker had something else up their patterned sleeve. Maharam has designed two Nike Blazers and one Oregon Waffle runner, all three featuring heaping helpings of horsehair. Each has a unique weave, so while the Blazers are very similar, each has its own personality. These will be hitting select Nike Sportswear retailers on December 19th, but in the meantime, you can check out some more pics and info after the jump.
On December 19, Nike Sportswear and New York based Maharam will come together to release a special collection, Nike x Maharam, featuring two of Nike’s iconic shoes – the Nike Blazer and the Nike Oregon Waffle reinterpreted in horsehair textiles by Maharam. The collaboration will mark the second time the two companies have partnered to create product that combines Maharam’s elevated material awareness with some of Nike Sportswear’s most esteemed icons.
The Nike x Maharam collection represents what happens when sport and sophisticated textiles come together. Tapping its most luxurious materials, Maharam explores the idea of an athletic shoe that is equally suited for business or evening attire. By pairing three exceptionally refined horsehair textiles with two of Nike’s best known silhouettes, the Nike Blazer and the Nike Oregon Waffle, the result is a footwear collection that is classic as it is modern.
To create the look of the footwear, Maharam used vintage looms and techniques to produce classic weaves – a basket, check and striae, by turns textured, tonal and variegated. Intentionally devoid of pattern, the simplicity of weave reveals material opulence. Calfskin accents and waxed cotton laces heighten the effect. A restrained palette of black brings the interplay of matte and sheen surfaces to the fore. A renewable resource well ahead of its time, horsehair is painlessly clipped from the horse’s tail, which re-grows. At once natural and industrial, the Nike x Maharam collection signifies both companies’ synthesis of tradition, innovation, and commitment to finding new ways to bring sustainability to design. Additionally, Maharam Horsehair Striae will be included in the 2010 Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum Triennial.
In 2007, Nike Sportswear and Maharam first collaborated on “1 World,” a collection of Nike Air Force Ones created in partnership with global innovators in the fields of sport, music, and art & design to celebrate the legacy of the Air Force One.