Complex Simplicity: Eric Avar talks about designing the Kobe 9 Elite


Words: Chris Benfield

Nike Basketball will always be one of the most innovative sectors within performance footwear. Summer means training camp for athletes in the NBA and it also means a new season on the horizon. More importantly it means new shoe designs are set to be announced and previewed. The designers who are responsible for these new creations can pride themselves on being at the forefront of innovation, always showcasing and pushing the current abilities of performance footwear technology. Nike have been responsible for some of the most iconic basketball shoe designs ever, with performance releases leaking into lifestyle and fashion sub-cultures effortlessly.

Nike’s Vice President of Design Innovation, Eric Avar, knows a thing or two about design and innovation. Avar began his career at Nike under the wing of Tinker Hatfield and within the ACG sector, before moving onto basketball and working on projects such as Nike Free and Lunar. Amongst Avar’s great body of work is the ongoing collaboration with Kobe Bryant for Bryant’s signature shoe line with Nike. It’s a project that has pushed the boundaries and potential of the basketball shoe as we know it. The Kobe 9 Elite is another example of Avar’s innovative and progressive vision where we see the workings of Flyknit, Flywire and Lunarlon combined. It’s a blending of technologies that we haven’t seen applied to a basketball shoe before and Nike have once again ripped up the blueprint of what a basketball shoe should be and rewrote the script.

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