Travis Scott: Nike's New Poster Child?
It's been almost three years since the breakup. The notorious breakup that saw Kanye and Nike cut ties in probably the most bitter way possible.
And whilst Kanye has found a new partner in the form of a $10 million Adidas deal, it seems as though Nike is struggling to move on. Even worse, they've had a tough time keeping their potential partners. With Drake reportedly leaving, it seems as though, Nike was only a pitstop until he made his mind up.
So who is Nike turning to now...?
In the wake of his new album, Astroworld, Travis Scott has arose in recent times and it now appears that he might be Nike's new poster child.
But with the lack of rumours reporting a potential signature line, is this really the case?
Nike Boys, We Don't Do Three Stripes
Constantly shouting out #NikeBoyz all over his social media accounts, Travis Scott is no stranger to Nike. Despite rocking Yeezys initially, Travis is a massive fan of Nike, with his favourite shoes known to be the Air Force 1 and Air Jordan 4.
And Nike happens to be a big fan of his work too.
We saw this last year when Nike Travis Scott helped ring in the 30th anniversary of Nike's iconic Air Max with a performance in New York.
The biggest piece of evidence has of course been the two sneaker collaborations he's worked on - the Nike Air Force 1 "Sail" and the Jordan 4 "Cactus Jack".
It might be too early to speculate but with Drake reportedly leaving the brand, is it the time for Travis to earn his signature sneaker?
Also known as La Flame, the rapper has no trouble gaining popularity from millennials. In the week leading up to the release of his new album, Astroworld, Travis revealed his album art cover which gained a lot of attention. Majority of this audience happened to be the millennials. Having taken almost two years for him to release his new album, there is no reason not to be hyped over the man.
Disregarding the Sean Wotherspoon's and the OFF-WHITE x Nike "The Ten", you could almost confidently say that Nike has had trouble attracting the attention of the youth. And that's not to blame, majority of Nike's big releases have relied upon retros (check it out here to read more) which are appreciated by mostly the older crowd -the original sneaker enthusiasts so to speak.
Travis' power and influence over the youth that now makes up the majority of the sneaker market and trends, gives him a reasonable case to be Nike's new poster child.
With the state Adidas is currently in, it would make sense for Nike to make him the next poster child and honour a signature shoe.
That's Not The Way Nike Works
Well quite frankly, the way we see it, Nike doesn't need the help of any celebrity. Period.
We saw it with the way they treated Kanye in the final fallout. After refusing to pay Kanye royalties for the sales of his own shoe, Nike CEO Mark Parker was then unwilling to get on the phone with Kanye.
And that's not to bag Nike at all. As a company, they understand their worth. They have a system that honours designers and upholds tradition.
Many have attributed Nike's comeback to the Sean Wotherspoon's and the OFF-WHITE x Nike "The Ten". Both are recognised designers. Ok maybe not Sean Wotherspoon that much ... but even then his shoe was recognised through Nike's Vote Forward design competition, so it's only right to technically call him a designer.
And as you would know, Virgil Abloh is the current Artistic Director for Louis Vuitton and the Founder of OFF-WHITE. These brands are no stranger to the world of fashion, and with Virgil Abloh headlining their designs, we do not blame Nike for taking full advantage of his talents.
And if you want to trace back even further, we of course have no one better than Tinker Hatfield. The chief creator of the Air Max.
Nike focuses on themselves. That's who they have been and that's who they will be. The past year or so, Adidas has fleshed out its ability to offer creative freedom to the likes of Kanye West and Pharrell Williams. And recent reports have also shown that Adidas is teaming up with IKEA and are aiming to use only recycle plastic by 2024.
How is Nike responding? Doing what they've done for the past 54 years. Be Nike - the goddess of victory.
They have and will focus on what is working for them. And right now, it just seems to be utilising the talents of their team and creating designs their fans love. All without the help of a celebrity.
Nike “On Air” Design Competition
There's been no better example as to why Nike does NOT need a new celebrity sneaker than their very own "On Air" Design Competition in 2018.
Launched last year which eventually produced the Sean Wotherspoons, Nike's design competition offers their fans with the opportunity to create their own shoe, which will then be produced and released to the public. After inviting contestants from six different cities, Nike judges at Air Max Day workshops narrowed it down to only six finalists. Here is a closer look at the designs:
They're not the best designs in our opinion, but they're not too bad. Many weren't a fan of the Sean Wotherspoons at first but we all know how that turned out. Perhaps one of these shoes could do the same...
So will Travis Scott be Nike's new poster child and get the honour of designing his own signature line?
The answer sadly is no.
However, we can expect much more designs in the Air Force 1 and Jordan 4.
When asked about the significance behind his new album, Astroworld, Travis Scott answered:
“They tore down AstroWorld [an amusement park in Houston] to build more apartment space... we want it back. We want the building back. That’s why I’m doing it. It took the fun out of the city.”
So with that being said, there will definitely be a lot of storytelling in the upcoming designs of the Air Force 1 and Jordan 4; given that they are Cactus Jack's childhood sneakers.
Whilst Travis presents an amazing opportunity for the brand in terms of marketability, specifically the youth; Nike has too much talent in the form of legitimate designers. And it is these designers and their work that helped Nike get back on track and who will continue to leverage their advantage over Adidas. Bottom line is Nike simply does not need to re-invest their resources into gifting any celebrity with an entirely new signature line.
Do you think Travis Scott deserves a signature line? Let us know in the comments below!
By Daniel PUSHAS