Sneaker-heads in London will be aware that tonight is the night that Nike iD‘s new and permanent studio opens within Nike Town situated at Oxford Circus. Nike iD, in case you don’t know, is a service Nike’s been offering since 1999, where punters can use an interface on the nikeid.com website to select different colour and material combinations to customise their choice of sport shoe – which will then be made up as per their design and shipped to the customer.
If you can use Nike iD online, why even have a physical studio in the store? Well, Nike want to show off – and grow – the concept. Here’s how it works: The new iD studio is split into two floors. The first floor will essentially serve as an introduction to the concept of iD as the walls will display, floor-to-ceiling, an array of sneakers each comprising different colour combinations – thus demonstrating the potential for customisation.
On that same floor, there is a wall of grey sneakers so you can see the various styles (54 different Nike shoes are available to customise) stripped of all colour. Here, customers can sit at a computer terminal, hooked up to the online version of iD, and play around with the interface and see what iD is all about, ordering a pair of their own creations if they so wish. This floor will also play host to exclusive-to-the-space iD choices, the theme of which will change each month. We can reveal that November’s theme is all about Nike’s partner football clubs in the UK so you can get your favourite sneakers in your club’s colours.
Up on the second level is where the really hot sneaker design action is – as this top studio offers a much more interactive service to punters. How so? Well, to get in to the top studio, users must book an appointment with Q, the concierge and gatekeeper to the studio. Q will book you in and introduce you to one of several specially appointed iD design consultants – each of which is a sporty type with a background in either graphic design, fashion, sneaker collecting etc) and work with that consultant to design their ultimate Nike shoe. A bigger range of shoes are available than online or in the studio below (up here on the second floor users have exclusive access to the following Nike classics: the Air Force 25 Mid, Dunk Hi, Dunk Lo, Dunk Wmns, Air Max B/W and the Air Max 90) and there is a bigger choice of materials to make your sneaker all the more special. The different leathers you can choose from include crinkled patent, patent, perforated, smooth, mock croc and mock anaconda. The exclusive styles on this floor will change roughly every season.
When booking an appointment in the top studio, users can choose which of a selection of specially appointed iD design consultants they want to work with – each of which has a different approach to design due to their background, training and personal passions
It’s possible to apply for an appointment already (www.nikeid.com/londonstudio or by calling 0207 612 0990), though Nike iD predict it might be tricky. Certainly in Nike iD’s New York studio in Elizabeth Street which has been operational for over two years, the waiting time for an appointment can often be months and months. BUT, there is a way to get an appointment quickly – as Nike has devised a system where a selection of movers and shakers are sent a special metal cube each with an individual code to quote to iD staff. Et voila, a fast track appointment can be made. We advise being nice to everyone you meet – as you never know who might have a cube you can use!
Another way to get your foot in the door is to check out future copies of Creative Review as Nike iD London has kindly offered to give CR readers the chance to win some fast tracked, fully paid for sneaker-customising appointments. Keep an eye on our Gallery page…