We know that Nike serves the athlete, but over the past 10 or more years, it’s been serving a few contemporary artists and designers as well, like Hiroshi Fujiwara, Futura, KAWS, Marc Newson, and coming up, Tom Sachs.
Mark Parker’s office on Nike campus, is full of paraphernalia. It’s a visual overload when you first walk in. It’s not exactly the office you’d expect a top CEO to have, but when you consider that Parker started out as a designer for Nike over three decades ago, it makes a bit more sense. Parker is all about visual stimulation and inspiration. One of his mantras is “Be a Sponge.” And it’s obvious that he lives by it. He also lives by the idea that collaboration is key and that design is the foundation of any company’s success.
In 2009, Nike was a key player in Livestrong and Lance Armstrong’s “Stages” exhibition, which included work by Ed Ruscha, Richard Prince, Shepard Fairey, Aaron Young, and more. In 2003 Nike’s exhibition “White Dunk” asked artists to reinterpret the iconic, all-white Nike Dunk basketball shoe. The show touched down at the Palais de Tokyo in Paris, Minami Aoyama in Tokyo, and LACE Galleries in Los Angeles.