Swish Swoosh

Nike's big new thing is bespoke.


More than a decade after Nike launched its customize-your-sneaks-in-every-color service (known as NikeiD), the athletic giant is upping the ante: In November the company’s sleek store in New York’s SoHo became the site of Nike Sportswear Bespoke, a program that allows customers to personalize more than 30 parts of their kicks, choosing everything from the lining and stitching to the laces and outsole. Using the iconic Air Force 1 shoe as the base, clients pick from 82 colors and materials that include nubuck, suede, premium denim and full-grain patent leather. Self-expression is the goal of the program, according to Nike design director Jesse Leyva, who worked with LeBron James on the hoops star’s red, white and blue bespoke pair, an homage to the U.S. men’s basketball team’s Olympic gold medal win in Beijing last summer. Although James is the only high-profile client thus far, “it’s an experience we are looking forward to taking other Nike athletes through in the future,” said Leyva. And you’d almost need a pro athlete’s salary to afford the price tag: $820, which includes a by-appointment-only consultation at the Mercer Street store.