Nike's Spirit of '77

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Credit: Nike Re-Run Party
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To some, old shoes are just that—old shoes. But Nike wants to make your old running slippers brand new again. Saturday night the "RE-RUN" launch party hit Brooklyn's Powerhouse Arena in DUMBO with booze, bands and plenty of retro sneakers. While Soiled Mattresses and the Springs played the stage, visitors mingled and peered at the Nike-commissioned art installation aimed to celebrate the connection between, as the shoe giant puts it, "running, sport lifestyle, art and design."
"The event was about capturing the spirit of '77, when things were a bit irreverent and had a certain passion," says Nike's KeJuan Wilkins. "With something like this, it can touch a lot of consumers—whether those that were around 30 years ago that get excited because of a certain nostalgia they feel for the shoe and then you have the kids now that just love the look of the shoe. It's got a classic look that speaks to a lot of people." Curating the exhibit for Nike was Aaron Rose, founder of New York's Alleged Gallery in the 1990s and curator of the traveling contemporary art and street culture exhibit "Beautiful Losers." Rose asked artists Scott Campbell, Tracy Nakayama and Andrew Jeffrey Wright to create a series of posters to fit the 70s mood of "RE-RUN."
"We've worked with Aaron in the past and for us it just seemed like a natural fit," says Wilkins. "He's someone who really understands the brand and we definitely wanted him to be a part of what we were doing, particularly in New York City based on his reputation and the role he's played within the culture here."
Credit: Nike Re-Run Launch
Starting July 21, Nike is releasing a re-issue of a select line of running shoes so consumers can enjoy the fit and style of their waffle-soled forefathers. But there's a catch.The re-issues aren't meant to simply mimic the originals as they were brand new, but how those originals look today. "We wanted to take this idea and bring it to consumers but in a way that the shoes had the look of shoes that have aged," says Wilkins. "So, we have the technology and resources to make the footwear look like it's aged 30 years."
Here's hoping the technology and resources prevent the shoes from smelling like they've aged three decades. Wilkins says that Nike will hold similar events to mark the re-issues in other American cities, including LA and possibly Chicago, Miami and Portland. Those looking for some brand new old Nikes can hunt them down at select Urban Outfitters and specialty sneaker shops around the country.
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