Last night I popped down to Nike Sportswear’s Cadencia exhibition at their 1948 space in Shoreditch (I’ll talk about this later). Aside from the caipirinhas, delicious Brazilian food and new Nike Sportswear collection what I was interested in was seeking out the hi tops rumoured to be inspired by macaroons. Seriously.
I’d seen the pictures and received the sell but wanted to check them out first hand before giving them the glory I felt they deserved.
Now, spinning a tenuous story to give a product an exciting PR angle is one thing, but spinning a story that sounds pretty unlikely then finding out its deliciously true is quite another. A trainer inspired by a delicate, sugary, nutty treat – mai oui?! Here’s why I’m giving props to the new women’s Nike Air Royalty macaroon line.
On show at 1948 are two cushiony hi tops in a candy-shop array of very berry and cool pistachio. From the pictures I’d seen I was already curious about the smooth clean lines, flush finishes and uniformity of colour that makes up the main design features. I love that the colour blocking disregards conventional stitching patterns, with the entire trainer, swoosh and all, looking like it’s been dipped in molten macaroon mix. What I hadn’t expected from the pictures was that the damn things actually feel like macaroons. The ankle cuffs are plump and velvety, with a creamy quality that feels like if you sliced them open with a knife gooey raspberry might melt out. The pistachio pair are covered with a splattering of silvery spots, almost as if someone has exploded a can of fizz next to them. The result gives them an eggshell like glaze, not dissimilar to a certain French, almond confection. You getting my drift?
So aside from licking them, do these trainers serve a purpose? Are they actually wearable? Well the good thing is, technically, these are Nike kicks which means that little things like foot support have been taken care of. The soles are thick enough to keep your peds protected, but the sole is malleable enough to give you flexibility (remember the hi top is traditionally a court shoe). Then from a styling point of view, I think these trainers could really give S/S wardrobes a lift.
I’m imagining styling the berry ones with Vivienne Westwood Anglomania’s stripy dress (pictured) – a perfect transitional outfit that is chic without trying too hard. When the weather hots up, teaming something like the See by Chloe bold candy striped dress (pictured) with bronzed pins and bright feet will make a kick-ass festival out fit. I think if you’re clever you could even get away with styling them up for work too, the pistachio ones have a crisp, fresh quality so should be paired with Miss Selfridge skinny pastel jeans and a nipped in grey blazer (suggestions pictured). I have to be honest – I didn’t imagine Nike hitting up the Spring/Summer 10 sorbet trend and getting it so right, but this makes the brand all the more intriguing.
The main reason these kicks tickle my French fancy is that they’re girly without being cutesy, and offer the casualness of a trainer without any of the scruffiness. They are undeniably a bold statement, (unless your home is Hoxton) so you need to have the confidence to wear them otherwise they might end up wearing you. With the right styling and a lick of attitude I think they make a welcome change from ballet pumps, brogues and Converse as go-to casual footwear.
I’ve heard a rumour that more colours/flavours will be available to buy from 1 April. Until then Nike’s 1948 store and Offspring outlets will play sweet shop should you want to try before you buy. With a run of only 22 pairs of each colourway, it’s worth popping down from today to see if they suit your taste(!) look. Men’s styles in painterly purple, red and green are also available exclusive to Office.
Nike Air Royalty Macaroons, £80, Offspring/1948 (Nike Sportswear)
Candy Block Dress, £208, See by Chloe; www.my-wardrobe.com
Striped Ariana Dress, £234, Vivienne Westwood Anglomania; www.my-wardrobe.com
Nancy Double Breasted Blazer, £415, Rag&Bone; www.brownsfashion.com
Pastel Blue Skinny Jean, £35, Miss Selfridge; www.missselfridge.com
(These are items to aspire to and be inspired by – good high street versions are available if your wallet is on a diet).