Nike iD has been around for a while now, and with every major brand offering a custom sneaker program in 2009, they clearly felt the pressure to up the ante. Available only from the New York Mercer St Nike store, iD Bespoke definitely raises the bar, and then some. As the name suggests, it's a much more personal service, with the well educated Nike iD staff discussing your iDeas and starting with loose sketches, before working through 82 different colours and materials til the end result is tantalisingly revealed. There's no hurried computer simulation at any point and the possibilities, while not exactly infinite, are definitely expanded far beyond the iD online system we have all become accustomed to.
In this case, I wanted to recreate my first pair of Air Force in classic black and yellow but with some added flash. With the helpful advice of Izzy, I was able to take it far beyond any GR release and really go to town on my uptowns. For starters, they're made from a luxurious black suede that is lined with Loopwheeler fleece. I also added a yellow 3M Swoosh and a safari print tongue tag with a patent heel for a touch of shine. The nutkicker is the transparent sole unit, which I had painted yellow on the inside, offering a fresh look at the internal dimensions of the Air Force 1. Now that is definitely fresh! iD Bespoke also lets you loose on an asymmetrical free-for-all, so I opted for a black suede tick on the inside of the shoes to match the yellow on the other side. The metal laceholes likewise have a yellow shot in the first hole only. Whilst there's no magic wand as such, it's little things like these that add up to make Bespoke such a cool and incomparable experience.
The whole process is taken slowly and like a fine degustation menu, each step is meant to be savored slowly, rather than the wham-bam standard service the computer version delivers. The shoes also arrive with custom Mercer St sandalwood lasts to keep your toes in shape and your joints smelling fresh. However, there's always a catch and in the case of iD Bespoke, it's the lofty price. At $800 it's a formidable amount of coin, but if you have the pesos to flaunt, it's definitely a wise investment in time and money. Life's too short, why not live the high life every now and then!
Appointments are limited and can be made exclusively in-store at 21 Mercer. Bespokes take four weeks once the design has been completed.As seen in Issue 17.