The Nike x 3M Collaboration Is What We Need
If you on the hunt for a pair of stellar kicks, Nike and 3M have teamed up for a highly anticipated, design-led collaboration that features best-in-class 3M innovation applied to iconic sneaker franchises like Force, Air Max and Blazer.
“We are thrilled to partner with such a respected global brand and changemaker like Nike,” said Brian Rice, 3M’s vice president of brand and design. “The result of this collaboration highlights the value of design in bringing our world-leading 3M technologies to life in a way that improves the customer experience.”
The trendy Nike collection made in collaboration with 3M is making its way to Singapore and Southeast Asia, where sneaker culture is already on the rise. According to premium sneaker marketplace Ox Street, 40 per cent of global growth in the athletic footwear market is expected to come from this region. This comes as no surprise especially with events like Singapore’s Sneaker Con, Malaysia’s Sneaker Lah, Jakarta Sneaker Day and more attracting thousands of sneaker fans, eager to make a sale or get their hands on limited-edition boutique brands.
The Nike premium collection, made in collaboration with 3M, offers great features in both technology and design. Integrating new materials and style, these are a must-have for all sneakerheads.
3M has been celebrating its materials and technologies through creative collaborations at Milan Design Week for the past several years. At the 2019 event, fashion and design enthusiasts from the world’s top brands marvelled at 3M’s art installation, ‘A Pinnacle of Reflection.’ The piece earned international headlines for its kaleidoscope effect, showcasing 3M technologies in a visual medley of colours and shapes. One brand in particular that took notice was Nike.
“Once Nike experienced our installation, they knew 3M was a company that thinks differently,” said Robert Quintero, a UX creative director at 3M. “They appreciated our ability to express the 3M brand emotionally through storytelling.”
Nike Sportswear was in the early stages of concepting a shoe line with ‘protection’ as its theme and tapped 3M for a potential collaboration.
After Milan Design Week, Robert invited a few members of the Nike design team to visit 3M’s global headquarters. He and colleagues introduced the Nike team to 3M’s brand by highlighting hand-selected technologies that are used to help protect end users. This included materials that expressed warmth, durability, visibility, breathability and more.
After the visit, Nike took samples back to their headquarters in Oregon and eventually decided to feature 3M™ Scotchlite™ Reflective Material throughout the entire sneaker collection to elevate the shoes’ aesthetics. Nike also used 3M™ Thinsulate™ Insulation to add an extra layer of warmth in a portion of the sneakers.
Both 3M technologies have a long history of being utilized by top apparel brands. In 2019, adidas applied the 3M™ Scotchlite™ Reflective Material to its updated Nite Jogger collection. More recently, well-known running brand Brooks included 3M™ Scotchlite™ Reflective Material – C790 Carbon Black Stretch Transfer Film in their Run Visible collection.
3M™ Thinsulate™ Products can be found in many fashion brands around the world. Recently, 3M joined up with outerwear company Askov Finlayson to help create the world’s first climate-positive parka by using 3M™ Thinsulate™ 100% Recycled Featherless Insulation. This revolutionary material is made from recycled plastic bottles and underscores 3M’s commitment to advancing a circular economy.