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Design Director Graeme McMillan on the Nike Breathe Collection

The launch of the Nike Breathe Collection could not be better news for us inhabitants of this perpetually balmy (read: sweltering) island. With intent to bring summer-focused performance benefits to sport classics, Nike has transformed the by now familiar Air Max Lunar1, Air Max 1 and Roshe sneakers into ultra-breathable, lightweight shoes.

Graeme McMillan

Through a series of Q&A, Graeme McMillan, Senior Director of Global Footwear Design, puts the Breathe Collection and its inception into perspective.

Q: Why did you decide for the sneakers design?

A: When our design team looked at solving the problem of hot weather, we gravitated towards providing the solution in our most iconic footwear, Air Max. The AM1 is one of the most loved trainers. As an innovation company, we are always evolving our products to make them better. With the Breathe collection, we combined technology from the present with an icon to free your feet from the oppressive summer heat.

HO14_NSW_Lunar1_M_Small.jpeg copyMen’s Air Max Lunar1 ($219) – The definitive union of lightweight cushioning and flexibility. This season, the beveled ribs of Nike Lunarlon is highlighted by a colored window that compliments the mesh upper. 

Q: Not many people have the true knowledge about what’s to design a sneaker? Could you explain the layer system in the sport shoes and the difference with the Breathe technology?

A: We stripped the shoes to their core essentials and infused spacer mesh to create pockets of space between the upper materials to allow for more airflow.

At its essence, mesh is a very technical material in that it is both lightweight and breathable. The open structure of the Breathe mesh also allows for airflow, which is why we picked it for this collection.

HO14_NSW_Lunar1_W_STP small.jpeg copyWomen’s Air Max Lunar1 ($219)

Q: How did you start developing Breathe? Was it a concept made exclusively for sport, or did you include lifestyle in its development?

A: The shoes themselves are performance inspired: Air Max and Roshe. But the inspiration behind the Breathe collection is lifestyle driven. We know that people tend to be very active when it’s warm outside so the collection is designed with comfort, lightweight and breathability in mind. In terms of the collection’s vibrant hues – we choose the colors to specifically speak to excitement and energy of the Summer Season.

HO14_NSW_Airmax1_M_STP small.jpeg copyMen’s Air Max 1 ($169) – Stripped of the traditional leather, suede and synthetic toe overlay, a dynamic fit tongue ensures the foot stays secure and moves with the body, while an updated Phylon tooling makes the sole ultra-light and super comfortable.

Q: Nike is always developing new technologies. How does that affect your designs?

A: It’s fantastic – we have a multitude of technologies to help make our footwear better and for every occasion and need. New constructions and technologies need to be approached in new ways which leads to new expressions of style that our consumers expect and demand from Nike.

HO14_NSW_Roshe_M_STP small.jpeg copyMen’s Roshe Run ($149) – The men’s colorways boast vividly hued platforms, bringing a strong contrast to the neutral uppers. The women’s looks sport white platforms supporting bright uppers and accented with a white Swoosh. 

Q: As an Air Huarache fan, I need to ask: Will we see Breathe in some of those models in the near future?

A: The Huarache is another icon! Well, you will just have to wait and see.

The Nike Breathe Collection is available in a wide range of colorways for both men and women, at Nike Sportswear retail outlets across Singapore, such as Nike Raffles City and Nike Shaw Tower.

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