In August 2016, just before a powerful tropical cyclone hit Tokyo, John Elliott met with Fraser Cooke, Nike’s Global Brand Energy Product Lead, at a cafe in Japan’s busy capital. At the time, the American sportswear designer had already collaborated with Nike on the LeBron Soldier Xs, which were released later that year. But Elliott had hopes of retooling another personal favorite: the NikeLab Vandal High.
“I told him I really wanted to work on the Vandal and how much that [sneaker] represented my personal style,” he says. “Fraser immediately was like, ‘Let’s do it. I love the Vandal.’” Elliott pauses, his eyes widening with excitement as if he’s back in that exact moment. He’s still amazed that Cooke, who has orchestrated some of the company’s most successful campaigns and collaborations, was on board. “I was like, ‘Really? OK.’”
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