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Unpacking the Experimental Silhouettes of Nike ISPA

How Nike’s ISPA program creates shoes that imagine the future. Featuring HTM, Off-White, Tom Sachs and more.

WRITER: GREGK FOLEY
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Since its founding in 1971, Nike has defined itself as the sportswear brand of the future, with a name borrowed from the Greek goddess of victory. The brand’s first-ever ad campaign declared “There is no finish line,” while Nike’s later, more famous slogan, “Just Do It,” has endured as a rallying cry to the daring required to achieve feats of greatness. Among the brand’s major accomplishments in its earliest years was the introduction of Air technology, kicking off the technological arms race that has defined performance footwear and apparel for the past 50 years.

Throughout the Golden Age of Sneakers, flagship franchises such as Air Max and Air Jordan were the tip of the spear for introducing customers to new technology, materials and production techniques. And from the turn of the millennium onwards, Nike has continued to showcase its forward-thinking ethos with all manner of premium divisions and collaborative projects. The latest of these projects is ISPA, which follows a familiar ethos of mold-breaking innovation, but grounds it in material concerns that give the whole endeavor a clearer sense of purpose.

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