Culture

Nike Is Dropping The “Los Primeros Pack” Designed By Latino Street Artists For Hispanic Heritage Month And They Went All Out

Nike has commissioned four Latino artists to launch a collection of sneakers for Hispanic Heritage Month. Spanning the “month” between September 15th to October 15th, Hispanic Heritage Month has been a controversial celebration in the U.S. The celebration was started by President Lyndon B. Johnson in 1968, and expanded by President Ronald Reagan in 1988, when it was also signed into law.

According to the Hispanic Heritage Month website, the September 15th to October 15th “month” was chosen to encapsulate a bunch of different Independence days.

“The day of September 15 is significant because it is the anniversary of independence for Latin American countries Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. In addition, Mexico and Chile celebrate their independence days on September 16 and September18, respectively. Also, Columbus Day or Día de la Raza, which is October 12, falls within this 30 day period.”

Celebrating Christopher Columbus is obviously still controversial for many, with good reason.

However, Nike took this “Heritage” month as an opportunity to both work with Latino artists and to drop some dope kicks.

This Air Max 1  was designed by Chilean artist Wasafu, with inspiration from the traditional body paint of The Ona People.

Credit: Nike

According to Nike, this shoe is nicknamed the “Nomad.” Designed by Chilean artist Wasafu, the shoes take inspiration from the nomadic Ona people, also known as the Selk’nam, of the Patagonia region of southern Argentina, Chile and the Tierra del Fuego Islands. The Ona were known for navigating unforgiving conditions, and their unrelenting hope in the face of adversity comprises the spirit of this design, and their traditional body paint inspired the look. The Ona was once a thriving tribe is now extinct. Their language is only spoken by one descendent, a linguistic genius that goes by the name Keyuk.

A pattern made up of several Latin American symbols is used by Chilean artist INTI on the Classic Cortez.

Credit: Nike

The idea behind this Classic Cortez design from INTI is that we are many different Latin American cultures, but are one people. The “One Heart,” Cortez takes inspiration from several Latin American designs and weaves them into one tapestry.

Saner took one of the most iconic shoes in Nike’s arsenal, the Air Force 1, and turned it into a jaguar monster. 
Credit: Nike

The “Master Jaguar” Air Force One takes inspiration from native cultures in Latin America that believed in the magic of jaguars as a spiritual animal. It’s definitely one of the coolest shoes in the series. Street artist Saner takes inspiration both from actual jaguars, using a spotted fur print and the mask art he is known for on the heel of the shoe.

Brazilian artist POMB created a beautiful collage on the iconic Air Jordan 1 that would rival any street mural in your neighborhood.

Credit: Nike

POMB is a designer and urban artist from Sao Paulo. According to his website, in addition to being a muralist and engraver, he is into large-scale collages, as well as sculpting totem poles and masks from wood. POMB used a vivid and colorful mural collage on the tongue of the Air Jordan 1 adding an equally impressive and intricate suede design to the rest of the shoe. Entitled “É tudo nosso” or Portuguese for “it’s all ours,” a popular Brazilian expression meaning “we are everything and from all places – it’s all ours!


Keep your eyes peeled for the shoes, which go on sale starting this week in limited quantities.


[H/T] NIKE/ SneakersBR

READ: Legendary Artist Mr. Cartoon Joined Forces With Nike Again To Bring Us A New Set Of Nike Cortez


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Vanessa Bryant Ends Relationship With Nike After They Reportedly Low-Balled Her and Slacked On Kobe Products

Entertainment

Vanessa Bryant Ends Relationship With Nike After They Reportedly Low-Balled Her and Slacked On Kobe Products

Photo via Getty Images

On Tuesday, Kobe Bryant’s widow, Vanessa Bryant announced that she chose not to renew the Bryant estate’s contract with Nike. Nike will no longer release Kobe products. Vanessa Bryant took to Twitter to announce the news.

In a statement, Vanessa Bryant said that she had been “hoping to forge a lifelong partnership with Nike that reflects my husband’s legacy.” But apparently, the brand didn’t want to play ball.

“Kobe and Nike have made some of the most beautiful basketball shoes of all time, worn and adored by fans and athletes in all sports across the globe,” Vanessa said. “It seems fitting that more NBA players wear my husband’s product than any other signature shoe.”

She continued: “My hope will always be to allow Kobe’s fans to get and wear his products. I will continue to fight for that. Kobe’s products sell out in seconds. That says everything. I was hoping to forge a lifelong partnership with Nike that reflects my husband’s legacy. We will always do everything we can to honor Kobe and Gigi’s legacies. That will never change.”

To some fans, Vanessa’s statement left them feeling like the Bryant estate and Nike ended on less-than-friendly terms.

https://twitter.com/NBAKicks/status/1381986843206373383?s=20

The specific language Vanessa used in the statement betrayed the fact that Nike didn’t offer the Bryant estate the contract that they had been hoping for. The fact that she said she had been “hoping to form a lifelong partnership” and she will “fight” for Kobe’s fans means that Nike fell short of her expectations.

Per ESPN, Nike presented Vanessa with a contract that “was not in line” with similar contracts they had offered comparable players, like Michael Jordan and LeBron James. So basically, Nike was trying to lowball Vanessa and the Bryant estate.

Insiders say that another reason that Vanessa declined to renew the partnership was because Nike was slacking on the Kobe line.

For a while now, customers have been struggling to find Kobe footwear products on the open market. Instead, they’ve been forced to buy the products at super-marked-up resell markets.

Also per ESPN: “Bryant and the estate had grown frustrated with Nike limiting the availability of Kobe products during his retirement and after his January 2020 death in a helicopter crash. There was also frustration with the lack of availability of Kobe footwear in kids’ sizes, according to sources.”

For the most part, Kobe fans rallied around Vanessa Bryant’s decision not to renew a partnership with Nike.

According to rumblings on Twitter, it appears that Nike was profiting off of Kobe Bryant’s death because of the large uptick in in sales after his death.

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Nike Partners With Crisis Text Line To Expand The Conversation Of Mental Health And Athletics

Things That Matter

Nike Partners With Crisis Text Line To Expand The Conversation Of Mental Health And Athletics

Mental health and wellness is crucial in everyday life, whether you are an athlete or not. It is even more crucial to have someone to talk to when you are feeling those lows. Nike and their athletes have partnered with Crisis Text Line to help expand access to critical mental health and wellness resources.

Nike and Crisis Text Line want to help athletes access mental health and wellness resources.

According to Athletes for Hope, an estimated 46.6 million people in the U.S. are living with a mental health condition. That is roughly 1 in every 5 adults who will face a mental health challenge in their lifetime. There are a lot of ways that people manage their symptoms, including physical activity, but that doesn’t mean that athletes are immune to mental health struggles.

Thirty-three percent of young adults including college athletes face mental health crises. However, among college athletes, the study states that about 10 percent seek help. Meanwhile 35 percent of professional athletes face a mental health crisis.

Nike and their athletes want to change the conversation around mental health and wellness.

“Nike’s really committed to helping all athletes whether they’re elite athletes or everyday athletes,” Vanessa Garcia-Brito, the vice president of North America Communications, says. “Not everyone is comfortable talking about that and not everyone knows how to get support. Not everyone has access to it either. Nike’s really hoping to change that.”

That is why Nike teamed up with Crisis Text Line and included their athletes into the conversation. Not only does Nike want people to have access to the necessary resources, the athletics company hopes to combat the stigma around people seeking mental health help.

Laurie Hernandez is one of the athletes working with Nike to destigmatize talking about mental health.

Garcia-Brito is enthusiastic about the partnership and what Hernandez, Hayden Hurst, and Scout Bassett offer in bring involved. The athletes are using their own mental health crises to relate to people seeking help.

Hernandez understands struggling with mental health and wellness as a young athlete. The world watched Hernandez as she competed in gymnastics representing the U.S. at the 2016 Rio Olympics.

“Especially reaching the Olympics at such a young age and hitting 16 and all of those changes that happened after that,” Hernandes recalls. “Mental health was a really big topic.”

The athletes are sharing their own experiences to encourage others to seek help.

“You have to take care of yourself first and foremost,” Paralympic athlete Scout Bassett says. “If you don’t you’re not going to be able to be not just the best version of yourself but you’re not going to be able to help out somebody else if you yourself are not well.”

Garcia-Brito is inspired by the athlete’s willingness to come forward and share their stories. Garcia-Brito says that the athletes being so open about their own struggles is creating a space for Nike employees and others to have honest conversations about their mental health issues.

“We know there is no off-season for mental health and it isn’t just about being ready for those moment son urgent need It’s also about cultivating a healthy mind and body for everyday life,” Garcia-Brito says. “We’re always looking for new ways in which we can serve our athletes physically and mentally.

Nike is here to help people access the mental health they need.

“So we are thrilled to partner with Nike to advance the conversation about mental health and expand the support that is available,” Chief Transformation Officer Dr. Shairi Turner says.

If you need some help finding resources, you can text “STRONG” to 741-741.

READ: Olympian Laurie Hernandez Is Back And Just Gave A Powerful “Hamilton” Inspired Performance

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