Nearly 15 years ago, Nike’s designers had an idea that has changed the company forever. They started a secret boutique at 55 Elizabeth St. in Manhattan, which was closed to the public. Invitation cards would go out for opportunities to get a sneak peak at new designs. As the hype grew, Nike had to start raffling off tickets for invites, and access to special edition shoes. Getting an invite to Nike’s custom design shop to select a unique pair of Nikes became the stuff of legend for sneakerheads.
“In 2007 it became a global expression, starting Nike iD in New York, then London and Tokyo,” said a NIKEiD specialist on Wednesday at the launch of the custom creation service in Canada, which, thankfully, will be accessible online to everyone.
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Today, 28 different countries have access to NIKEiD’s online design hub, which allows the consumer to design a number of different models from scratch.
“This is actually a great time for Canadians coming to NIKEiD,” said the designer, who was up from Nike’s SoHo store for the launch. “The site has evolved. Now you can choose different different gaits, even independent sizing.”
Many of Nike’s running models can be customized, including the Free, Structure, LunarGlide and the Pegasus.
Thursday also marks the long-awaited launch of a Canadian-friendly Nike online retail store. The inventory will be sourced from Nike’s European collection, which means that Canadians will get an opportunity to acquire models and colourways that may not even be available in the U.S. Apparently, good things do come to those who wait.