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Nike tie-up produces women’s pre-match fashion

The SHOX style of footwear is said to resonate with UK youth culture.

Nike has joined forces with British apparel designer Martine Rose to design a new shoe specifically for women footballers to be worn off the pitch. The launch of the ‘Nike x Martine Rose SHOX Mule MR4’ was timed to coincide with the European Women’s Football Championships, that were held in England during July.

The new shoe design began as an ‘observation’. According to Nike, while men’s national teams often arrive at international tournaments in bespoke tailoring, their female counterparts tend to travel in standard-issue team tracksuits. This imbalance reportedly spurred Martine Rose to imagine a new aesthetic, which is said to ‘dissolve the boundary between getting off the plane and getting on the pitch’.

“We recognised a great opportunity to really focus on women and football and then make a trainer that is almost like a smart shoe,” remarked Rose. The design is marketed as pulling the SHOX R4 into a brand-new mule shape, while the silhouette places renewed reverence on an everyday icon. “In the UK, SHOX are very closely associated with subcultures. The style has a real cache and resonance with youth culture,” adds Rose. “It was really exciting to take something very familiar and culturally significant in a completely different sense.”

In redefining the SHOX as a ‘smart shoe’, Rose claims to have subtly highlighted the inequality between men and women in sport, but also crafted a new object, by re-writing the rules of football’s off-pitch subculture.

London-born Rose, who first worked with Nike in 2018, is said to count her upbringing alongside her older cousins who were followers of reggae, Lovers rock, punk and dance music as being formative to the direction of her career.

Publishing Data

This article was originally published on page 44 of the July/August 2022 issue of SATRA Bulletin.

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