December 5th, 2013 by John Kim
Much of yesterday’s major news involved the launch of the Kobe 9 and the Kobe Prelude Pack, which featured guest appearances by Kobe Bryant, Nike CEO Mark Parker, and designer Eric Avar. It makes complete sense that such a gradual and graceful transformation from one phase to another was a reflection of one man’s direction, but it’s with Parker’s vision for the Nike brand and Kobe’s insightful suggestions that the Kobe signature line is the exemplar of architectural evolution. Many historians of the brand place Avar on the Tinker Hatfield tier – after all, Eric’s been behind some of Nike Basketball’s most influential, game-changing, and trend-setting designs in the brand’s history. During a Q&A session with select media, the proud architect of the Nike Kobe signature line answered a few questions about the Kobe 9 Elite – all of which we’ve detailed for you below.
Describe the process of working with Kobe, and why it’s so tough.
I wouldn’t describe it as tough – I would say it’s intense. Obviously Kobe is incredibly intense – very competitive, very detail-oriented. The way he plays the game is the way he wants to be involved in the design and innovation process. What he expects of himself, he expects from us, so it’s definitely intense. I’m a competitive person myself, so we just feed off of that – he pushes us.