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Just Don’t Do It

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Apparently I struck a chord with my NikeiD rant the other day. Greg ranted righteously about the utter faux-ness of the iD’s supposed customization:

Customizing Nikes is to expressing your individual creativity what rhythmic gymnastics is to sports. Whatever the people who actually do it obsessively say, most sensible people can see it for what it is after a couple of colorful swooshes.

and links to a fawning NYT Magazine style section article about the store. (I know, I know, the cognitive dissonance of NYT + style + fawning all in the same sentence is just too much to bear.)

The Curbed kids did some creative editing and, stripped of my qualifiers, made it appear that I actually have opinions in their Calling Bullshit: NikeiD is for suckers. (Though they seem to think I’m some kind of anti-consumerist Marxist type. As anyone who knows me will tell you, I’m a girl who loves her shopping.)

Also I got tons of kudos via the Anonymous Tips box, making me flush with the glow of my moment of blog glory. Aside from notes congratulating me on, you know, having an opinion, I also got some additional feedback about the aforementioned iD faux-ness. Reader Scott Walker wrote in and said:

The funny thing about this Nikeid stuff is that it is not even remotely “personalized”. It might be good marketing, but it is barely scratching the surface on design. Allowing a person to slap colors selected from a (very limited) palette on an existing set of products is midly entertaining, but not design.
Design would be adjusting width, choosing stability, choosing firmness, choosing tread patterns, and (oh yeah) selecting colors, materials, and printing cutom patterns, etc., etc….

Also weighing in, artblog Forward Retreat:

I thought now would be an exceptional moment to link to Jonah Peretti’s infamous Nike iD project (2001), as immortalized on shay.net. Peretti’s email correspondence with the corporation is chronicled there, along with a timeline of the subsequent media explosion after Nike refused to honor Peretti’s request for custom-made Nikes with the word “Sweatshop” emblazoned on their sides.

Exceptional moment, indeed! I had forgotten about that fiasco, and it’s a timely reminder.

(Image courtesy of Forward Retreat.)

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