Yes, if you were like me who missed out on the Air Jordan 1 Fragment (bummer) on Saturday afternoon, you knew had to purchase the pair on NikeLab.com, instead of NikeTown.com.
But why on Nike Lab? What is this? And why couldn’t we get the Jordan 1s on Nike Town?
Well, if I had to guess why Nike choose to sell the newest retro J’s on Nike Lab, my answer would be two words: Enhancing and Competing.
Enhancing why? The style is changing in the urban world. It’s become more (I guess I can say) Shiek, now. Hip-hop, through the years, was a big part of fashion culture in the 1980s and 90s. Now it’s becoming more sheik and European. Yes, Nike is more of a training style of clothing — but, it seems as if they want to dive into the fashion world.
That’s what they’re doing with Nike Lab. They sold the new Jordan 1’s on there, so they can promote it. Nike wants to put NikeLab.com on the map. And what better by doing is to sell one of the hottest Jordans of the year; and to sell them right at the end of 2014.
Part of this evolution has a lot to do with the NBA players. As we know, the Nike brand is predominantly worn by basketball players. Now, we’re starting to see NBA players change there look. Players are starting to look like runway models, instead of a hip-hop rapper. Nike notices these changes and are taking advantage of it.
The one NBA player that comes to mind for everyone, when they think fashion, or having their own fashion statement, is Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook. Sure, players like Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant were always coming into games with suits, but, at that time the younger players were so captivated with hip-hop music and wanted like the rapper — instead of the great athlete.
Which brings me to…Kanye West.
Competing with who? Adidas.
Nike is starting this whole enhancement with “Nike Lab” is to compete with the Adidas brand. Why? Well, Nike’s former, biggest non-athlete, client, by the name of Kanye West, signed with Adidas. That was a big lost for them. Kanye’s “Air Yeezy” were one of, or the most, top selling sneaker for Nike.
Kanye even topped Michael Jordan’s “Air Jordan” sneaker. He even said it in a lyric from a song called “New God Flow” where he says: “Hold up, I ain’t trying to stunt, man – but these Yeezys jumped over the Jumpman”.
It’s a big lost when you lose to the biggest name in hip-hop and an immense fashion icon, today. Kanye has changed the look in hip-hop and in fashion in general. That being said, Nike now feel they have to step up their game. Losing a name like that, who made so much money for them, they can’t just sit back and make Jordans; I mean, they could and still be rich. But it’s a risk to take comfortably.
Like Kanye said once on a “Sway In The Morning”, as he was talking to Sway about his departure with Nike, that the Nike owners didn’t want to give Kanye more money since he’s not an athlete. And Kanye explained to them that he’s “a rapper” — young kids look more up to Kanye for fashion – (I know I do). And he’s right.
The young kid from the age range of 14-20, isn’t look at sports athlete for fashion inspiration. They’re not gonna buy what Kobe Bryant is wearing, or they’re gonna buy what Russell Westbrook as on. The days of the athlete selling clothing is over. Because musicians capture the audience and designers more, than what an athlete is wearing.
Reason why, for that? All sports athletes are typically big men. Me, I’m an average height, skinny dude and I can’t look like Carmelo Anthony — he’s fucking 6’8 and over 230 pounds! How am I gonna look at him for fashion advice? If I was over 6’3, sure. But not at my size.
I can look up to someone like Kanye or Chris Brown for style. Those are guys are more average looking.
Musicians know more about fashion. It’s just that simple.
That’s why we’re hearing a lot about Nike Lab. The brand is becoming more futuristic. Now mind you, I’m not here to promote anything; I WISH I was because that’ll mean I’m making money – but I’m not. Although…by looking at what Nike Lab has, the sneakers look dope. NikeTown.com has too many sneakers, but the Lab separates themselves from the simple and basic, to the good quality.
I like what Nike’s doing here. Even though I’m still upset I didn’t get my Fragments! 😡 …. 😉