Bonus #2: Nike Mag
In January, it was the undisputed, number-one most anticipated sneaker-related story of 2015. But we started getting hints about the Nike Mag coming back in true, auto-lacing, glorious form three years ago. Tinker himself dropped hints about a year ago. Then the big day, October 21, 2015, came and what did we get? The Nike Bruin Michael J. Fox wore in Back to the Future! What else? Absolutely nothing! Well, close. We got an announcement that there will indeed be an auto-lacing Nike Mag release. In 2016. For charity again. Which is great. I mean, it really is great that a sneaker can generate millions of dollars to help fight against a horrible disease. But it also means none of us stand a chance at attaining a pair.
But that isn’t the point. My real question is: are we really going to just let Nike off the hook for teasing the crap out of a 2015 Nike Mag release, only to have them tell us they aren’t ready yet? If you skipped your anniversary, your spouse would have you sleeping on the couch at a minimum. October 21, 2015 is THE DAY associated with the Nike Mag. And yet, here we are, the date two months in the rearview as we turn the page to 2016, and the Nike Mag is essentially no longer a viable talking point in the sneaker community due to its vaguely forthcoming exceptionally limited release.
Now, obviously I’m not a sneaker developer, as fun as that would be (I’m a designer, of course I think that). So if the developers of the Nike Mag ran into the perfect storm of complications in creating the futuristic sneaker, then that’s just how the cookie crumbles. But here’s what I know. We have given Nike its best revenue year ever, and the growth they’re projecting is nothing short of astounding. Is the lack of a Nike Mag in 2015 a microcosm for strategies such as the Remastered series where better quality was promised and only questionably given, and is it a cause for concern among sneaker enthusiasts? I don’t know the answer to those questions, but I am certainly wary. Only time and more sneakers will tell, but I think there is a sizable segment of the market, particularly in retro sneakers, that is in jeopardy of losing much of its appeal to the younger consumer if brands like Nike can no longer continue to retell compelling stories that are supplemented by high quality products.
Does the Nike Mag’s release in 2016 have much bearing on that? Probably not. But it is a product that has been given special attention by the brand, and that type of care about the commitment to quality in design and production of sneakers going forward would go a long way toward sustaining the now enormous sneaker enthusiast subculture for years to come.
Here’s hoping that 2016 will be a year filled with an abundance of great sneakers!