In 1997, what’s now known as the Jordan Brand — the namesake Michael Jordan subdivision of Nike Inc. — was just getting off the ground. Playing up MJ’s new role as Chief Executive Officer, the braintrust at Wieden+Kennedy came up with a series of “CEO Jordan” commercials showing Jordan dressed in business attire and personally hand inspecting shoes at halftime of Bulls games. In a now famous ad ending, Mike walks into the United Center wearing wingtips and a newspaper flashes across the screen seconds later with the bolded headline: “JORDAN SCORES 43 IN WINGTIPS!”
It only took a decade and a half later, but wholly owned Nike subsidiary Cole Haan has created a pair of new wingtip shoes using its parent company’s Lunar foam technology. The mingling of worlds has created a lightweight, well crafted dress shoe with more of the flexibility and function of a sneaker.
It’s called the Cole Haan LunarGrand and it launches in five colorways on February 10 for $248.
Your move, Mike.
Nike’s official media release:
On Friday, February 10th, the much-anticipated Cole Haan LunarGrand wingtip launches exclusively at Cole Haan SoHo. Engineered to conquer the streets of New York City, the LunarGrand is a conceptual clash of past meets future—the unique and seamless fusion of timeless design and futuristic innovation. Incorporating Nike’s innovative ultra-lightweight Lunarlon cushioning system into Cole Haan’s traditional construction techniques, the LunarGrand achieves unrivaled feel, flexibility and movement—redefining how classic dress shoes can move and function in modern urban environments.
“The LunarGrand came from our perpetual obsession with making our products better,” says Phil Russo, Cole Haan’s VP of Design. “When you understand what people are doing in their shoes today, their expectations of style and demands of functionality, you can create products that really do make a difference as people go about their everyday lives.
Through considered and specific engineering, the Cole Haan LunarGrand emerges as a unique product that challenges preconceptions of how dress shoes can adapt. “The goal of the design process was to create a wingtip to take on the streets of New York City—a shoe that utilized motion-enhancing innovations at the same time as retaining its authentic and timeless aesthetic,” said Russo.
The immediate reaction when wearing the shoe is to its lightweight and flexible motion enhancing properties. A well-fitted heel, which better secures the shoe on the foot, as well as a wider forefoot and slimmer rounded toe, allow for more natural, ergonomic foot movement. A partial lining lends a clean, deconstructed feel and keeps the shoe significantly light. Lunarlon cushioning technology in the mid-sole is encased within an outsole featuring micro-diamond tread textures and rubber toe pods to maximize traction and adaptability to unforgiving concrete streets—a competitive advantage in the city that never sleeps.
Built on a classic Cole Haan last with a leather welt detail and crafted in premium suede uppers, the LunarGrand gracefully retains its iconic wingtip silhouette. Available in five color ways, the men’s Cole Haan LunarGrand ($248) is available at Cole Haan SoHo, 128 Prince Street, New York beginning Friday, February 10th, 2012. Tel. 212 219 8240