Maraham for NIKE

Another day, another half-baked sneaker collaboration? Not quite. Nike has co-opted Maharam, the world’s leading supplier of textiles for architects and interior designers, to emphasize the relationship between the way a sneaker looks and how it feels. If that seems like a facile point to make — that fabric alone can affect appearance — examine your own kicks. What’s that material even called? From burlap to bombazine, the world of textiles is esoteric enough to make even the most devoted sneakerhead spin.

With these $250 sneaks, Michael Maharam shot for what he calls “restrained opulence,” choosing a luxurious but underused fabric, horsehair. Nike calls horsehair “a renewable resource” because it’s clipped painlessly from the horse’s tail, but Maharam concedes that horsehair is not a practical replacement for everyday fabrics. “It grows slowly, is woven on arcane Victorian-era looms at a tedious pace, and costs a fortune,” he says. But — whoa, Nelly! — what a result.

The Nike x Maharam collection features three classic weaves — basket, check, and striae — on two of Nike’s easily recognizable (grace à swoosh) sneaker silhouettes, the high-top Blazer and the low-top Oregon Waffle. The kicks are classy enough to pair with a suit. “In my closet,” Maharam says, “it’s a Thom Browne suit in charcoal gray worsted wool Thorn-proof.” Talk about living in a material world.
- by By STEPHEN HEYMAN for New York Times-

Nike x Maharam sneakers are available at select Nike Sportswear shops, including the location at 21 Mercer Street.
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