Last week, Jordan Brand and Nike were in New York debuting the new React cushioning technology. There, I had the opportunity to talk to Jordan Brand’s David Creech, the VP of Design.
David has been in the industry for quite some time. His past roles at Nike include Senior Creative Director of Nike Basketball and the VP of Global Brand Design at Nike. Now the VP of Design at the prestigious Jordan Brand, Creech has put in the work over 15 years.
When we spoke we discussed the Super.Fly 2017 and the direction in which Jordan Brand is heading — the future looks bright.
Stanley Tse: First and foremost, it’s an honor to get a chance to talk to you, we really appreciate you taking some time to chat with us.
David Creech: Oh, not a problem at all. We appreciate you coming out and hoping to give us some insight.
Stanley T: Absolutely. First and foremost, what is your current position over at Jordan Brand?
David Creech: Well, I’m the VP of Design over at Jordan Brand.
Stanley T: That’s got to be one of the most important positions to hold at a brand — it comes with some perks, particularly with shoes. [I’m referring to the friends & family Shadow/Black Air Jordan IV Retro ‘Kaws’]
David Creech: [laughs] It definitely has its perks.
Stanley T: Well, let’s just dive right in. With the React technology seemingly taking over the place Zoom Air once held — especially in the new Super.Fly 2017 — is Zoom or Unlocked Zoom on the way out?
David Creech: Well, I can’t particularly speak about that, but what I can say, for us, we felt like the Nike React responsive cushioning was the best as far as what we needed for our athletes — durability, lightweight, and responsiveness — so we decided we’re going to use that on the Super.Fly 2017.
Stanley T: For Jordan Brand, where do you see React technology being implemented along future models such as the CP3 line, the Melo Line, etc.?
David Creech: Well, I think as you can see the beauty about the React foam is you can design the foam. So we’re excited about how you can easily tell the difference between this and the Nike Hyperdunk. We’re excited about taking our DNA and inspiration from our heritage and scripting that through the future innovation by creating a new formula for developing and creating footwear moving forward.
Stanley T: Where do you think Jordan Brand is in terms of influential market? More lifestyle oriented or is it a combination of lifestyle and performance?
David Creech: I think you always have to start off with performance base — without a doubt. With us, performance and innovation — it’s kind of our center, especially aligned with our athletes. But, I’ll tell you this: our consumers, as you know, want to look and play fly, on and off the court. So we continue to evolve aesthetics to really take the best of innovation, style, and soul of the future and merge them all together.
Stanley T: You recently had the preview of the Fall ’17 Jordan apparel line debut in Los Angeles. Although I wasn’t there, I’ve seen the images and I thought the concept was simplistically engaging. I know there’s a lot you can say without getting into a pickle, but I still have to ask — where do you see Jordan Brand reaching in 2018-2019? Do you see a lot of adjustments on the fly going forward? Can you provide any tidbits to us and the consumers out there?
David Creech: Oh yeah! Just know that our we (our whole team at Jordan Brand) is obsessed with everything. Every detail, not just the product itself but how it looks in retail, how the story is told online. But I’ll say this: the Fall ’17 apparel and what we are doing here today is kind of a nod to where we are going as a brand. We are trying to create a future for Jordan Brand and that’s iconic innovation, DNA line from our past, and put those together to create a future silhouette — it’s that simple.
Stanley T: There were some mishaps in terms of recent Retro releases; certain models didn’t contain the technology its predecessor/original did, which caused a stir with consumers. Do you want to keep the future Retro models as true to their original forms as possible, quality and tech-wise, moving forward?
David Creech: You know we are constantly thinking. Without tipping the hat, we are constantly thinking how we can sustain everything as close as possible. We in design are constantly pioneers. We are constantly thinking about the future, and I think part of that future is: “How do we continue to tell the stories of our past and ultimately drive towards the future?”
I mean, we have an opportunity and I think that opportunity is huge in our opinion. We’re really trying and we think we have something that we’re going to unleash. Most importantly, we really believe in what we’re doing. It’s not just me, but we have a team who believes in it, the designers, the product marketing team, we believe what we have to move forward is really something special and we’re excited about it.
Stanley T: With the Super.Fly 2017, what made you guys use the suede material rather than what we’ve seen (mesh, fuse overlays, etc.)? What made you want to go back to the raw materials?
David Creech: It really came down to our athletes and our consumers. They want to be fly on and off the court. So we said okay, if we can take the most innovative innovation and check that box down as a performance shoe, but use premium materials to our heritage and then different things with implementing graphics on the tongue, and taking the typography to the word Flight, and debossing the matte eyelet — all those details bring back the craft and the format of the shoe.
Stanley T: It also seems like the format of the shoe and the ways it’s rounded along the midsole shows some signs of the Air Jordan 11 — which I’m super enthusiastic about.
David Creech: Definitely!
Stanley T: Along with suede materials, it seems like you might have something going for you by paying homage to the AJ11 such as possibly using the ballistic mesh upper or implementing patent leather. Will we be seeing that in alternate colorways of Super.Fly 2017?
David Creech: Just know we are constantly obsessing all the ingredients we have at Jordan.
Stanley T: Can you tell us anything about the Air Jordan XXX2?
David Creech: Oh, that’ll be in due time. [laughs]
Stanley T: It was worth a shot. Well David, It was a pleasure talking to you, we really appreciate your time and can’t wait to see what’s next.
David Creech: Absolutely, thank you.
Special thanks to Nike and Jordan Brand.
Photography by Stanley Tse. All rights reserved.
Exclusively for WearTesters.