Nike is celebrating the 10 year anniversary of the mouthful of a silhouette the Zvezdochka. Designed as a collaborative effort between Nike and industrial designer Marc Newson, the Zvezdochka’s pushed boundaries with a modular construction yet an unfortunately Crocs-like aesthetic. The advanced design and clever features put these in the history books, and though we may not see many around today, these were still a revolutionary piece of the footwear puzzle. Mark Parker and Marc Newson had this to say about the Zvezdochka’s legacy.
The ZVEZDOCHKA represented an entirely new method of shoe construction. It challenged convention. Why is upending the status quo important in design?
Sometimes you need to disrupt and create new models to affect meaningful change. We could not make the ZVEZDOCHKA with traditional cut-and-sew methods of making footwear. But we also didn’t anticipate the original idea would take us in that direction. Sometimes it’s about asking the right questions in the right moment with the right tools in hand.
I like to think there’s always a balance. You don’t always have to start over to create an emotional reaction to your product. It’s always powerful to deliver a breakthrough, but there’s also a true art to making something great even better.
For me as a designer, it is vital always to push boundaries—to look to the future and think about how things will be. Otherwise you are irrelevant. For me, design is always about exploring possibilities with new technologies, processes and materials. Often cross-pollinating between industries.
How will the ZVEZDOCHKA continue to influence design, be it at Nike or elsewhere, moving forward?
The principles of the ZVEZDOCHKA have the power to unlock many exciting opportunities at Nike – from customization and modularity to sustainability and manufacturing.
Design is an iterative process. One idea often builds on another. Looking ahead, I’m energized thinking of the opportunities provided by customization and modularity. Of course, in terms of sustainable design, the ZVEZDOCHKA’s influence will continue to be deeply felt. The shoe removed constraints for a sustainable future. This will always be a goal of ours.
In general terms, the influence has been and will continue to be more about approaching design problems from a different standpoint. In this case a piece of footwear being seen as a product rather than a garment, both in practical and philosophical terms.
Score your OG colored Zvezdochka’s starting December 29th.