Earlier this week, we got the chance to head down to Jordan Brand‘s showroom in New York City to get a preview of what’s in store from the sneaker giant for the holiday and spring. Fans of the new CP3.VI, as well as the upcoming Melo M9 are going to be in store for a treat…
We also got a chance to sit down and chat up two of the designers. Andre Doxey gave us the 411 on Chris Paul‘s latest signature sneaker – which is already released, just not in all of these colorways including the Nitro pack’s eye-popping colorway – and Justin Taylor went into details about Carmelo Anthony‘s Melo M9, which won’t be releasing until the winter.
Check out the Q&As and photos below.
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Dime: How does the CP3.VI compare to the previous CP3.V?
Andre Doxey: Well every season we try to make sure that we’re doing something newer and better. Last year, we made the CP3.V 20 percent lighter than the previous CP3.IVs. So that’s usually the main focus, and we’ve been able to make the CP3.VI even lighter. We were able to make a huge leap from the IV to the V, and now we’ve made an even bigger leap from the V to the VI. So we’ve made the shoe a lot lighter and much of that has to do with the overall construction.
Dime: Tell me a little about the design construction and how you’ve managed to make it even lighter.
AD: Well what we have is a one-piece Hyperfuse upper. However, the Hyperfuse we use on Jordan shoes are slightly different from what you would see on a Nike shoe. Historically we’ve always shared innovations and platforms between Nike and Jordan, but how we put it together is what makes it unique for Jordan. So you see the one-piece Hyperfuse upper here, but it’s put in what we call a Dragonfly layout. The whole idea here was to make the shoe as light as possible but still have the right fit for CP3. So one of the inspiration points we had with him and ideating was the dragonfly. The dragonfly is light and fast, which is the way Chris wants to move on the court, so we drew inspiration from that on the upper. Then when you look at the midsole, you might notice that it’s inspired by the Air Jordan 13. It’s a different sole but is really similar. We took inspiration from the cheetah paw, which is the fastest land animal, and on the upper we have the dragonfly, which is the fastest insect. So we put that those two together and that’s how we came up with the design.
Dime: So when making a shoe for CP3 as opposed to ‘Melo, he asks for a lower cut fit?
AD: Yeah he does, he wants to be low to the ground and he wants to be nimble. His style of play is very much sharp cutting, change of direction, with a lot of crossovers, and starting and stopping. So it’s really about making sure he has a lot of ankle mobility. You don’t want his ankles tied up or restricted with all the movement he’s making.
Dime: What about the technology on the outsole?
AD: On the outsole, we have both longitudinal flex screws and the lateral flex screws. We’re also using the Podulon, which is a dual foam system to give him really lightweight but responsive foam. The white area you see on the bottom of the shoe highlights where the Podulon is located which goes from the heel to the toe.
Dime: Was the Podulon system in the previous CP3 models?
AD: There was Podulon in the previous models, but this time we were looking to make the shoe even lighter and Podulon is a little denser than other foams so it adds weight. We want to make the shoe as light as we can make it for CP’s game, that’s always the goal. So we were looking at the perfect balance of Podulon and where it can be most effective for him. We wanted to cut as much weight as possible, but still provide him with all the cushion and support he needs.
Dime: What details does the shoe have that you might not see at first glance?
AD: Well there’s the six hash marks on the lace lock, CP3.VI. On the lace tips we have his area codes. Another cool detail is we mark the size of each shoe on the sole because of his love for bowling. So there’s a ton of detail on the shoe. There’s an andodized patent leather which allows it to still be a stylish shoe. It’s designed for playing but when you look at the other colorways we have, you can wear some of this stuff off court too. For example, we have the Nitro pack which is kind of a step from the Jeckyl and Hyde pack we had. The shoes will release together on the same date.
Dime: Special boxing?
AD: Not sure about the boxing, we won’t do a two-shoe pack but they’ll come out on the same date. These are meant to be more of a limited release so these drop October 21st. The home and away stuff drops October 3rd and the college colors drop in the spring.
Dime: The Melo M9 looks significantly different than the previous models, what exactly did you do differently in terms of design this time around?
Justin Taylor: Well, the first thing that jumps out at you when you take a look at these is the unique fit system that we built into the shoe. It’s actually called the Dynamic Fit System. It’s just a real thin synthetic reinforced with Flywire. So it’s ultra strong yet ultra light. Now, these Flywire bands actually wrap under the foot for lateral support, and it also wraps around the back for heel and ankle support. It ties into the full-length inner booty and really gives you that supreme lockdown, so it’s 360 degrees of support all the way around just from this Flywire piece.
Dime: How did you come up with the Dynamic Fit System?
JT: It’s actually pretty interesting. ‘Melo had been in town for a good amount of time during the lockout. He was actually there with a bunch of other Nike athletes and they were doing a training camp at the Nike HQ, so we got a chance to spend a lot more time up front with him than we usually do. So we were able to bring him back down to the research lab and do a full body scan as well as a full foot scan. So we had up-to-date scans of his body and his foot. The foot scan is obviously what we’re more interested in. So that gave us an idea of what we need to put around his foot in particular. We know he has a narrow foot, but having that scan really allowed us to see where we can enhance fit for him. So that’s kind of what lead to this system.
Dime: Did ‘Melo have his own input on how he wanted the shoe to fit?
JT: Well, while he was in town we had a lot of time to talk about inspiration ideas, and he said to me he wanted his shoe to feel like Iron Man’s suit. So we got the idea that he wanted the shoe to be super sleek and lightweight. We wanted it to be tight and protective but yet still super sleek. When you look at Iron Man’s suit it’s not super bulky, it’s very fit but still allows him to have fluid movement.
Dime: So that had a lot to do with the inspiration for the fit, but what about the actual visual inspiration?
JT: After talking with ‘Melo and really brainstorming ideas, one thing he told me he was really into at the time was really high-end watches, So that’s where we drew the visual inspiration from. Particularly from watches that have what you call a tourbillon movement. If you’ve ever looked at high-end watches they have a secondary piece in the face called a tourbillon. It’s a tiny piece moving separately from the watch that’s made to keep it precisely on time. Because overtime, gravity can have an effect on how the gears move on the watch, so that little piece negates the effect of gravity on it. So when thinking about the design of the shoe, I thought that was super cool, because just like the tourbillon piece would negate the effects of gravity on a watch, in a dream world this would negate the effects of gravity for ‘Melo. So that’s kind of where the visual inspiration came from.