Martin Lotti sees his work come to fruition only every two to four years. That’s because the 37-year-old design whiz is Nike’s creative director for the Olympics, and was behind the brain that got the company to outfit 400 athletes in highlighter-yellow shoes that couldn’t be ignored by anybody watching the 2012 games.
Before London, athletes sponsored by Nike wore a range of colors. This year, Mr. Lotti wanted something more unified, so he created Volt, that peculiar shade of neon yellow-green that painted the brand’s new ultralight Flyknit shoe, as a way to create a unified “Team Nike” despite the brand not even being an official sponsor for the games.
And color is Mr. Lotti’s thing. When he was designing the TurboSpeed tracksuit worn by track athletes, he decided to color-block the forearms and legs, because they move a faster clip than the rest of the body. Interestingly, athletes told him they “felt faster” when they wore the suit.