HTM collaborations have been immensely coveted. Of course, HTM is an acronym for the three minds involved. H is for Hiroshi Fujiwara (fragment design founder), T is for Tinker Hatfield (Nike Vice President of Creative Concepts), and M is for Mark Parker (Nike President and CEO). Since 2002, 32 collaborations have been created and released. The three figures addressed their work, how it started, and unveiled some key details along the journey.
Below are some highlights that we found interesting. For the rest of the story and photos, find it here on Nike News.
Hiroshi Fujiwara: When I met Mark for the first or second time, before he became the CEO, he asked me, “If you were to do something with Nike, what would it be?” I answered that I wanted to help elevate certain models.
Mark Parker: I was traveling a lot to Japan and connected with Hiroshi. Of course, Tinker and I had been working together for years on projects like the Nike Air Max 1, Air Trainer 1, ACG, Jordans, among others. When we were around Hiroshi, we’d spend a lot of time talking about product and design. So at one point we felt that instead of sitting around and talking about ideas, we should put them into action and make something.
Tinker Hatfield: I’m pretty sure HTM ultimately was Mark’s idea. It strikes me in retrospect that this is right up his alley. He really knows how to bring the right people together.
Mark Parker: I’ve always believed the best partnerships are formed through authentic connections. That’s how HTM was formed. It happened organically.
Hiroshi Fujiwara: Other companies have used acronyms to stand for collaborations so, as a code name, I used HTM to represent Hiroshi, Tinker and Mark. But I never dreamed that would become the official name.
Mark Parker: We gave the project its own identity by putting our initials on it, which at first didn’t mean anything to most people. “HTM” was a simple name and came to represent each of our fingerprints on the process.
A GLIMPSE INTO NIKE’S FUTURE
Mark Parker: The Sock Dart resulted from Tinker’s team playing with circular knit machines. It was really part of the journey of sock-like product that began with the Sock Racer in the mid ’80s.
Tinker Hatfield: It was a challenging project that involved circular knitting, which we kept telling everyone was the future of footwear design. But we didn’t make many when we originally launched the shoe and no one really saw it. But soon thereafter, as I recall, Hiroshi wanted to bring it to HTM.
Hiroshi Fujiwara: Later, in Japan, I saw it being sold. I repeatedly told Mark and Tinker that the shoe is futuristic and interesting and that we should bring it back. So we decided to elevate it with HTM.
Tinker Hatfield: I will tell you — one of the reasons I participate in a project of this nature is that it affords you the opportunity to unearth some gems that no one really paid attention to. By doing so, you can spark thought about future design. The Sock Dart helped people rethink some upcoming projects, as we were starting to work a lot with knit and this was such an advanced, futuristic shoe.
Mark Parker: It was an important step toward what eventually became flat-knit construction with Flyknit. So again, we were working on things that would create another spark in the company.
Hiroshi Fujiwara: Rather than updating what has already been around, HTM became more about releasing new ideas for the first time.
WORKING WITH KOBE
Hiroshi Fujiwara: The KOBE 9 Elite Low HTM gave us the opportunity to celebrate how much Flyknit had evolved. What was first used for running could now be used for the intense, diagonal movements of basketball.
Tinker Hatfield: Of course I wasn’t really involved in the design of that shoe, but I was sitting next to Eric Avar throughout its development and I personally think that that’s one of the best-crafted, best-designed, best-tested products that we’ve ever put together. It’s a superb combination of technology and athlete insight.
Mark Parker: Kobe is an athlete who always wants the latest innovation in his footwear, so it seemed fitting that his shoe would be the first signature athlete model we worked on as HTM. He was exited about it. He loves sneakers, so I think he enjoyed the connection to HTM.