why 3 is the magic number for nike htm

​As HTM release their 32 design, Nike CEO Mark Parker guides us through one of the industry's most elusive collaborative series.

by Steve Salter
16 March 2016, 10:44am

More than a creative coming together, HTM is an on-going dialogue between Nike CEO Mark Parker, legendary Nike designer Tinker Hatfield and Japanese streetwear designer, musician and creative consultant Hiroshi Fujiwara. "I've always believed the best partnerships are formed through authentic connections. That's how HTM was formed," Parker explains in HTM On The Record. "It happened organically." Showcasing the power of collective genius, it is fuelled by Nike's culture of collaboration and helps take design to uncharted places. Existing beyond the hype hoopla that surrounds the industry, HTM has become a shape-shifting playground of possibilities in which the constantly curious trio question, create, and innovate as and when inspiration and inclination strikes. "You could compare our process to a jazz jam session — like musicians riffing and building on one another's ideas," Parker points out. "Sometimes we go in with a specific idea that one of us has been obsessing, sometimes it's more free-form." Ultimately, they have fun. "We get to break the rules," Hatfield adds. "What's not to like about that?"

Launched in 2002 with the aim "to amplify new innovations, reinterpret existing designs, and explore concepts that take the brand to new places," the debut HTM release. was a unique take on the iconic Air Force 1. What began by reworking designs rooted in the 80s soon evolved into a core R&D team that continues to push Nike forward into future frontiers. Fourteen years on and as the talent triptych unveil their thirty second release with the HTM Air Max Day, Mark Parker guides us through one of the industry's most elusive collaborative series.

What has the project taught you about yourself, Tinker, Hiroshi, your wider team and the fundamentals of good design?
This project has reinforced that, quite simply, I love doing this. It's a personal passion. I love sneakers. I love design. Having the opportunity to experiment, have some fun and create products we can share is quite special.

At Nike, we're big believers in the power of the collective. Our best work has always come from strong relationships. It started with our original, and most important collaborator, the athlete.

Relationships are also at the heart of the Nike creative process. The chemistry across our own teams is critical - we have designers, makers, engineers and scientists all working together to pour dozens of ideas into one product.

Our process is rarely a linear one. We're constantly curious. Ideas sit on the corners of a desk, maybe for years, waiting for their moment. All it takes is for the right conversation to take it somewhere new or the right tool to make it possible. The key is we stay open and flexible.

So in that way, the HTM process is emblematic of how we approach design across the company. Nike is a place where exploration is best done together.

Nike Air Force 1 HTM

The original Nike Sock Dart from 2004

 Nike HTM Flyknit Racer


Hiroshi Fujiwara
Mark Parker
Tinker Hatfield