Ahead of today’s highly anticipated Nike Innovation Summit in New York, the Swoosh lifts the veil on the brand’s most elusive collaborative series: HTM.
Short for Hiroshi (Fujiwara), Tinker (Hatfield) and Mark (Parker), the trio has been responsible for some of the Beaverton behemoth’s best and most coveted designs. Oftentimes, their collaborative work will highlight the latest technologies and hint at future applications, much like how concepts function in the world of automobiles.
To learn more about how they’ve worked together over the years, the team at Nike spoke to all three across six key categories. Check out some choice excerpts below and read the full interview here.
I was traveling a lot to Japan and connected with Hiroshi. Of course, Tinker and I had been working together for years on projects like the Nike Air Max 1, Air Trainer 1, ACG, Jordans, among others. When we were around Hiroshi, we’d spend a lot of time talking about product and design. So at one point we felt that instead of sitting around and talking about ideas, we should put them into action and make something.
Complementary Skill Sets
Mark plays the role that he’s always played: He is a designer, but he’s also been a developer and has spent time in the lab. In addition, he’s always had the vision to choose the right people to work with and right projects to work on. He’s also a genius at refining, curating and reorganizing. For example, his office is beautifully curated. There is art and memorabilia in there from distinct walks of life. But somehow, when put together, it works. It’s symbolic of the way he thinks.
This was a time when luxury sneakers were not so common. So at the beginning, HTM became an opportunity to add a sense of luxury to sneakers.
A Glimpse Into Nike’s Future
I will tell you — one of the reasons I participate in a project of this nature is that it affords you the opportunity to unearth some gems that no one really paid attention to. By doing so, you can spark thought about future design. The Sock Dart helped people rethink some upcoming projects, as we were starting to work a lot with knit and this was such an advanced, futuristic shoe.
Working With Kobe
The KOBE 9 Elite Low HTM gave us the opportunity to celebrate how much Flyknit had evolved. What was first used for running could now be used for the intense, diagonal movements of basketball.
The HTM Legacy
[At its inception] HTM was all very spontaneous and motivated really by a basic desire to explore and make something interesting. The process is emblematic of how we approach design across the company. Nike is a place where exploration is best done together.