So I felt pretty bad I that didn’t get the third part in my series Form, Function & Philosophy of the FlyKnit Trainer to you by the weekend so for this weeks sketchbook drop I chose to give you two projects! On the real though, I am sorry I didn’t keep to my word and give you the Philosophy but you should know that I decided to design my own shoe for it so its not just a bunch of words and will have some dope imagery as well! Now back to the topic at hand, this weeks Sketchbook Drop!
I am calling the overall theme of this drop “Missed Shots.” In the summer of 2009 I was up vying to get in at Nike and I was doing multiple, multiple projects in the late hours of the night and these are two of those projects.
The first project is something that I do every year, and I am actually currently doing right now; is create my vision for the future Air Jordan. At the time of this project I was aiming to become a Designer 1 for the Jordan Brand so I was trying to show them not only how I think and develop my projects but also where I think I could help take their brand. The idea for this Air Jordan was based around creating an upper out of one piece of leather. I was obsessed with the Louis Vuitton wallet that you see on the first page as it did everything that I was aiming for the Air Jordan to be. It was beautiful in its form, it has efficient performance by laser etching slits in the leather to hold your currency and uses luxury materials in a way that wasn’t just a reason to take a product to a higher price-point. In the end it wasn’t enough as I didn’t have the experience. But this missed shot taught me a lot, especially as I look at these sketches because this is the project where I really feel I started to “get” how to design and that feeling only pushed me further to try over and over again.
The next project I am very proud of not because of the end result of the design, as it needs a lot of work; but for the time I created it in. I can’t speak for everyones experience when trying to get into Nike but mine was not always for a specific job. I would be told we have a few openings and your portfolio is being reviewed by multiple teams. Generally their recruiting team, who is great to work with by the way; would inform me what groups they were and in this instance they informed that my work was being reviewed by the “Cleated” group (that name might not be accurate, but it was something to that effect) and in particular football cleats (American not European). So I freaked out because at that time my portfolio was all basketball and running shoes, so I wanted to provide them with what I could do with a cleat, my first cleat to be exact. Which may or may not have helped me as the project was rushed and I think the idea suffered from it. But none the less, I found out in the afternoon and I spent the next 15 hours doing the work you see below. Is it the best design ever? Not by any means. But did it teach me that I can manage my time decently and still have good output? Yes it did and for that little reason I felt like I succeeded even thought I didn’t get the job.