Martine Rose Nike Tracksuit and Nike Air Monarch

“It was very intentional to use the Monarch as the silhouette, being a very American shoe, and then put it with the very English silhouette of the tracksuit,” says Rose.

To give that very ordinary shoe a very extraordinary shape, Rose relied on Nike’s undisputed expertise in footwear. “Collaborations are about communication. We wanted some of the forms to spill over the base and we wanted the heel on the outfit to be further out than the sole…things we were initially told couldn’t be done,” she says. “But everyone kept on pushing and we ended up developing these new shapes and ideas.”

The shape itself follows on the same imaginative exercise as the apparel, but with more even experimentation — beginning with fitting a size 18 upper to size 9 tooling. Bringing this vision to commercial life required inventive development. Thus, Rose’s Air Monarch was built as a series of molds that were topped with stretched synthetic leather. Only one shoe has a similar construction, itself an American standard: the Nike Foamposite.

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