Nike Cortez: building an icon

  nike_cortez_bwBorn with an athletic heart, the Cortez is known as the only sneaker to become a best-seller for two different shoe companies. It was originally built as a prototype from the best bits of two existing models from the Japanese company Onitsuka Tiger by Bill Bowerman, legendary Oregon track coach and jogging guru who was trying to build a light and durable running shoe. After years of designing and experimenting, Bowerman finalized the image of the Cortez in 1968 and Onitsuka Tiger found the hybrid creation an splendid idea so they commercially released the shoe for the 1968 Mexico Olympics becoming an instant hit.

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On board as a technical advisor for an Oregon-based sports gear company named Blue Ribbon Sports, an official distributer of Onitsuka’s innovative shoes run by one of Bowerman’s former pupil, Phil Knight, Bowerman himself was aware of the commercial possibilities his design had. Eventually the marriage between Onitsuka and Blue Ribbon Sports soured and, whilst distributing Tiger, Knight and Bowerman started to develop their own line of sneakers called Nike, being the Cortez their first design and their most successful product. Officially released as Nike Cortez for the 1972 Munich Olympics, the demand for the shoe grew exponentially nearly immediately after the public noticed the shoe was being used by the 1972 Olympic Athletes. The sales went through the roof reaching $800,000 during its first year of commercial life and the rest is sneakers, sports and streetwear history.

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COMPILE-NIKE

Over the past 20 years the Nike Cortez has continuously been redesigned. From a running shoe it turns to be an element of urban culture with a strong visual identity and its own codes. The black and white Cortez, for example, is commonly worn by latino gangs favouring the shoe’s comfort and simple design. It also had a deep impact on contemporary hip hop and graffiti streetwear, amongst many other popular fashion trends it had been adapted to. It keeps, though, the main feature that made Bowerman’s original design a big success: thick and long-lasting herringbone rubber outer sole with a full-length midsole manufactured from dual-density foam (the first ever shoe to be released with this characteristic). The combination of these two soles reduces leg fatigue, raises the heel of the shoe to reduce Achilles tendon strains and provides maximum comfort. It’s appearance has not changed a lot though, from the original leather material turning to nylon and suede to reduce shoe’s weight leading to its final transformations so far. Despite the use of new tech fabrics the shoe has kept its iconic simple and minimalistic outer design with the Nike Swoosh across the sides of the shoe. Continuously improving to keep the shoe’s strong identity and character, the Nike Cortez is in the middle of a streetwear comeback becoming one of the on-trend vintage designs you are likely to see this summer in every festival, club or beach party.

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by Marcos F Gallego

Game, Set, Match. Wimbledon 2015

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It’s Wimbledon time! And as such, our mind are on classic white tennis shoes.
I don’t mean the high tech trainers that Andy Murray and co will be wearing
for the next fortnight, but the traditional plimsoll-styles more akin to our other
great British tennis hero, Fred Perry.

The all white monochromatic look has taken over this season and Wimbledon gives us a great
reason to rock this sports luxe style. This trend has us all loving some clean cut classics like
the Adidas Stan Smiths, Lacoste and Nike.

Here some of our favourite styles:

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Lacoste Europa

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Adidas Racer Lite

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Nike Air Max Thea Jacquard

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Fred Perry Turner Heavy

▓ ▒ ░ We love neons and graphic patterns ░ ▒ ▓

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Neons and graphic patterns are a trend that show no sign of slowing
down this season!

That’s why we loved this selection of shoes over on our website.

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Nike AirForce1 Premium

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Asics Gel Saga

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Nike Roshe One Print

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Toms Satin Paint Chips

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Reebok Ventilator

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Toms Fiesta Classic

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Adidas Superstar East River

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Camper Peu Rambla

Sneakers at the mosque by Toufic Beyhum

Photographer Toufic Beyhum returns to Brixton to capture the footwear fans kicking
back at Friday prayers.

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Just inside the entrance of Brixton masjid is an undiscovered sneakerhead’s paradise:
racks and racks of the latest adidas and Nikes where worshippers leave their shoes before
entering the sacred space. It’s here that photographer Toufic Beyhum has been
documenting footwear fans at Friday prayers for a year, in a series that debuted on Dazed.
Beyhum’s project caused a stir in the Muslim community – after the images found
their way around the mosque, he had people coming up to him saying how much
they loved them (the imam even declared himself a fan).

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Nike Air Max Day #AirMaxDay

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On March 26, 1987, the Air Max 1 was introduced,
forever changing footwear in the process. Runners were hooked.
The world was intrigued. And when the marathons ended, the revolution
carried onward.
Twenty eight years later, the legend of Air Max continues to spread,
across borders and through boundaries.

On Thursday, to celebrate the birth of an icon Nike is giving footwear fetishists
something that may well break the internet: the release of the Air Max Zero.
Based on 1980’s sketches of a prototype Air Max by legendary designer
Tinker Hatfield, the Zero is described by Nike as ‘The one before the 1’.

So lace up your favorite pair, wear your Air, and share it with the
world using #airmax.

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AIR MAX 2015

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AIR MAX 360

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AIR MAX 2003

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AIR MAX 97

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AIR MAX 95

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AIR MAX 93

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AIR MAX 180

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AIR MAX 90

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AIR MAX 1

ARTIST OF THE WEEK #10 _ CHRISTOPHE GUINET (“Mr. Plant”)

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Nature is the key component for Paris-born artist Christophe Guinet,
also known as “Mr. Plant”.
As a teenager he was always very much in touch with nature, a fascination
that he later combined with the urban street art inspired by skate and fashion.

Always eager to discover nature in a new composition, traveling has made him
develop new perspectives for plants in different types of media via collage,
photography, graphic design and sculpture.

The Plant Monsieur used Nike sneakers as a canvas to create handcrafted flower
and tree bark sculptures.
Through the sneakers his artistic aim is to express a critique of our consumer culture,
an important perspective of going back to the source; nature and its purity.

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To see more visit www.epiphytegarden.com

NIKE AIR FOAMPOSITE ONE

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Since its on-court debut in 1997, the Air Foamposite One has turned heads
while steadily evolving into a staple of lifestyle footwear.
The design’s revolutionary one-piece upper marked a dramatic shift
in material choice and aesthetic direction. Early designs of the Foamposite showcased primarily solid
color-blocking though recent renditions have featured stand-out graphic prints.
But the latest design takes it back to the basics – and back to Orlando.

Inspired by the man who first popularized the sneaker, the new Air Foamposite One
is suited in a formal colorway this time around. A black Posite upper has been complimented
with premium white leather and a translucent ice outsole.
Checkerboard detailing is found on the carbon fiber shank for midfoot support and an
additional touch of ‘90s styling.

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Buy your Nike Air Foamposite One HERE.

Tie one on: ‘Back to the Future’

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Nike designer Tinker Hatfield declared earlier this year that he expects self-lacing shoes like those seen in “Back to the Future: Part II” to
become reality by 2015, which also happens to be the future year the
time-travelingMichael J. Fox flick is set in. It looks like a Kickstarter project has gotten a jump on Nike by introducing Powerlace, an auto-lacing shoe technology.

The new Powerlace auto-lacing system is the most effective means of tying shoelaces the hands-free way.
The mere insertion of the foot automatically engages the lacing system’s mechanism.
The activation of the small lever found at the lower rear end of the shoe unlocks the power system. It’s really that simple! The total energy required for
the lacing system’s mechanism is provided for by the weight of one’s body.The Powerlace shoe has been extensively tested in laboratories and has been subject to
the wear and tear conditions when in actual use. The easy and adjustable tension design system guarantees the best fit, the best comfort, every time!

It’s not like auto-lacing shoes are a necessity for living, but they do have an undeniable cool factor based on the cachet of Marty McFly’s Air Mags.

Nike Air Huarache Hyper Pink/Dusty Cactus

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Resembling a “South Beach” style code, the iconic Nike Air Huarache is given a unique Hyper Pink/Dusty Cactus colorway. This new rendition of the original Air Huarache pairs the cult colorway with a black and white base. The model’s signature neoprene foundation is dressed in black and pink to match the mesh toe box. Black textured overlays and a dusty cactus rubber heel clip and tongue tag help finish off this kick, along with a pure white midsole.
See more angles of this modern makeup of the Nike Air Huarache below.

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shop your pair of Nike Huarache HERE.