Interview by Juan Martinez [Twitter - @ezyville]
It all started with a haircut and a size 10 pair of the “Royal Blue” Nike Zoom Rookie. Gentry Humphrey, the Nike Sportswear big boss, was in need of a trim while visiting family in his hometown of Southern California. In the same way that celebrities like to give back to their fans, Humphrey put out the call through Twitter that he was going to be at his favorite barbershop and that the first person to get in contact with him there would be walking away with a pair of the elusive shoes. Such is the life of the man who has the power to make colorways happen at the drop of a penny…
I don’t live my life hoping that famous people will retweet what I say or give me free stuff. When I first saw the tweet, I had no intention of driving miles out of my way to “win” a pair of shoes. But as luck would have it, his location was a scant five miles from where I was running errands. Opportunity was knocking; it dawned on me that the chance to meet and talk to one of the most powerful people in the sneaker world was about as rare as finding the Nike Air Yeezy II. If you have the chance, go get it.
I knew I wore my Jordan CP3.V “Year of the Dragon” kicks for a reason.
When I arrived at the location, Humphrey sadly let me know that the shoes were gone. With a few moments before it was his turn on the chair, Humphrey was gracious enough to answer a few questions. With old school jams playing in the background, he shared a few stories about his career and his journey as an account executive to his current position at Nike Sportswear. With nostalgia high on both of our minds, I knew this was the perfect time to talk about how his brand helps bring back the past and bridges the gap to the future along the way.
On what category Nike Sportswear actually falls into:
“So they’re really more like categories within the Nike organization, and Nike Sportswear is broken up into various categories in and of itself. When you look at the overall Nike portfolio, you have the categories that are performance driven, which are basketball, running, training, which from a technical standpoint, is focused on getting athletes to perform. Then you have Nike Sportswear, which is more of a lifestyle point of view, whether that’s basketball or running or anything else.”
What kind of decisions go into retro releases:
“Each group does it a little bit different. We try to talk to consumers all over the world and we try to assess what the consumer wants to see at any given time. As you continue to drop certain releases, other projects come up on the priority list. So we try to keep a running tally of what are the all-time favorite shoes by consumers and we take a consensus, and then you just figure out when is the best time to bring those out. We also want to look at the other projects that we have, so if we’re going to do a new project that might bear a resemblance to say, an old Air Penny, we might not bring out that exact Penny, but we might release something that compliments it. So it just depends on what you bring out in each particular season.”
Article source: Kicks on Fire