The Wall Street Journal is running a great article on how Nike is reaching well beyond the sports world to find inspiration for their lifestyle products.
At Nike, the drive to recruit under-the-radar influencers like Mr. Cartoon is on the rise and a key part of the company’s strategy. While other sneaker-makers have also called on cultural soothsayers to shape their aesthetic agenda, Chief Executive Mark Parker has taken the practice all the way to the executive suite — acting as the company’s ambassador of cool.
“I have a personal interest in popular culture and the influence of culture on the consumer landscape,” says Mr. Parker, rattling off the worlds he turns to for inspiration: interior design, cuisine, art and music among them.
In addition to Mr. Cartoon, Mr. Parker has fostered Nike collaborations with a New York graffiti artist named Lenny Futura, the industrial designer Marc Newson and a pair of twin Brazilian muralists known as Os Gêmeos.