LAIKA’s new stop-motion film, “Missing Link” inspired Nike to work together on an exclusive pair of shoes that implied the use of Stratasys 3D printing tech. and Nike’s rapid prototyping technique.
The one-of-a-kind pair alludes to Mr. Link’s plaid suit, designed by LAIKA costume designer Deborah Cook. Nike VP of Advanced Concepts Tinker Hatfield and former animator Michael Berger took materials and patterns of the suit to design the Susan pair.
“Costume isn’t a separate entity from character design, it’s very much intrinsic.” says Deborah Cook. “If Mr. Link was wearing completely different clothes, you’d read him in a very, very different way.”
“The Air Max 1 has always been a really uplifting, happy design.” said Hatfield. “When I saw the film, I immediately felt Mr. Link was instantly lovable — he’s happy-go-lucky, the type to stop and smell the flowers. So, he’s got a certain chill that for me made sense with the silhouette.”
3D printing the Missing Link x Nike Air Max for Mr. Link
Overall, production of the shoes benefit from a fusion of LAIKA’s specialty in 3D printing and Nike’s rapid prototyping. They used LAIKA’s Stratasys PolyJet-based 3D printing technology to create a mini-version of the Missing Link x Nike Air Max Susan for Mr. Link.
Back in 2016, LAIKA received a Scientific and Engineering Oscar® plaque for its innovation in 3D printing.
Run by Nike founder Phil Knight’s son Travis, animation studio LAIKA is not stranger to partnership projects. These ranging from a Foamposite for “Paranorman” to a Roshe for “Boxtrolls”; However, Air Max Susan pair is the first project to release commercially.
The Missing Link x Nike Air Max Susan releases April 9th for $170. After that, Missing Link arrives in theaters April 12th.
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