Nike and 3M have teamed up for a design-led collaboration that features best-in-class 3M innovation applied to iconic trainer brands such as Force, Air Max and Blazer.
“We are thrilled to partner with such a respected global brand and changemaker like Nike,” said Brian Rice, 3M’s vice-president of brand and design. “The result of this collaboration highlights the value of design in bringing our world-leading 3M technologies to life in a way that improves the customer experience.”
3M has been celebrating its materials and technologies through creative collaborations at Milan Design Week for several years. At the 2019 event, fashion and design enthusiasts from the world’s top brands admired 3M’s art installation, ‘A Pinnacle of Reflection.’
The piece earned international headlines for its kaleidoscope effect, showcasing 3M technologies in a visual medley of colours and shapes.
One brand in particular took notice: Nike.
“Once Nike experienced our installation, they knew 3M was a company that thinks differently,” said Robert Quintero, a UX creative director at 3M. “They appreciated our ability to express the 3M brand emotionally through storytelling.”
Nike Sportswear was in the early stages of concepting a shoe line with ‘protection’ as its theme and approached 3M about a potential collaboration.
After Milan Design Week, Robert invited a few members of the Nike design team to visit 3M’s global headquarters. He and his colleagues introduced the Nike team to 3M’s brand by highlighting hand-selected technologies that are used to offer protection, including materials that provide warmth, durability, visibility and breathability.
“This was an opportunity for Nike to interact with technologies across many of 3M’s businesses,” said Robert. “They wanted to enter the candy shop through one door.”
After the visit, Nike took samples back to its headquarters in Oregon and decided to feature 3M™ Scotchlite™ Reflective Material throughout the entire collection to elevate the shoes’ aesthetics. Nike also used 3M™ Thinsulate™ Insulation to add an extra layer of warmth in a section of the trainers.
Both technologies have a long history of being utilised by top apparel brands. In 2019, adidas applied Scotchlite Reflective Material to its updated Nite Jogger collection.
More recently, well-known running brand Brooks included 3M Scotchlite Reflective Material – C790 Carbon Black Stretch Transfer Film in its Run Visible collection.
3M Thinsulate Products can be found in many fashion brands around the world. Recently, 3M joined up with outerwear company Askov Finlayson to help create the world’s first climate positive parka by using 3M™ Thinsulate™ 100 per cent Recycled Featherless Insulation. This revolutionary material is made from recycled plastic bottles and demonstrates 3M’s commitment to advancing a circular economy.
“3M has earned the trust of brands because our materials are based on sound science,” said Ryan Gallagher, a global marketing manager for 3M Scotchlite Reflective Material. “At the end of the day, we apply our technologies to make products more impactful; and this collaboration with Nike is a great example of that.”