Nike is releasing two new footwear silhouettes this week by Tinker Hatfield: the Nike Zoom Heritage N7 basketball shoe and a skate-streetwear hybrid, the Nike Air Zoom Down Rock N7.
The shoes form part of Nike's new summer 2019 N7 collection, which also includes a range of men's and women's apparel. Hatfield got to work designing the original pieces after being approached by Nike N7 General Manager Sam McCracken.
"I immediately thought, if I'm going to work on a basketball shoe and a multi-purpose shoe, that I would start from scratch and do it with a certain criteria and give it the same energy that I would in designing for a professional athlete," says Hatfield. "It's ended up being one of my favorite projects at Nike."
For the Nike Zoom Heritage N7, Hatfield took inspiration from "rez ball," a style of basketball popular in Native American communities and known for being a physical and fast-paced game.
"Basketball is king in tribal communities across the United States and Canada," says McCracken. "On reservations, schools always have a basketball team, and kids always want to play. Whether teams play at home or on the road, the gyms are always packed. When Tinker shared with me his passion to create a unique shoe for Native American kids who love basketball, I knew that we'd have something special."
Hatfield worked with musical artist Taboo, already an N7 ambassador, on the Nike Air Zoom Down Rock N7, designing a skate-streetwear silhouette which could be worn in multiple settings thanks to its durable materials and dressed-down style.
The N7 summer 2019 collection releases June 21 on nike.com and at select retailers.