Functionality in Fashion, Footwear and Streetwear, while its not a trend, is something which can tend to come and go in terms of the importance placed on it by the consumer. Recent trends in outdoor inspired clothing and footwear tend to lead back to the need for functionality. but its not just outdoor apparel and brands which place a heavy emphasis on technological advancement. Sportswear and Footwear history stems purely from this phenomenom. Slam X Hype isn’t were you’d normally find news of an upcoming Football(Soccer) shoe, but I thought this was of particular interest, even if its just to highlight the fact that people are still working towards to future. Featured in the latest issue of Wallpaper Magazine is a new football shoe by Nike, the Mercurial SL, made of Carbon Fibre this shoe is lighter and more durable than any shoe before it. Only 2000 pairs will be released in December and will cost a staggering GBP400! Read the Wallpaper article below :
"Designers, even those in the pay of the big brands with plenty riding on the outcome, occasionally get to ask themselves: ‘If you could take money, time and manufacturing considerations out of the equation, what would you do?’ Sometimes this makes for useless indulgence, sometimes pay dirt is hit. When the designers and technologists at Nike Sports Research Lab at Nike HQ in Portland, Oregon, were allowed untrammelled creativity, they took carbon fibre, a brittle element made fl exible, breathable and responsive, and used it to weave a football boot – the world’s lightest, and so potentially fastest, football boot. This, in the long term, could mean a lot of pay dirt. Weighing in at just 180g, the Nike Mercurial SL will soon become the most coveted pair of footie boots on the planet. Only 2,000 pairs will be released this December, at a price of €400.Of course, more could follow.Andy Caine, design director of global football footwear at Nike, compares the project to the production of a concept car, an exercise in testing the limits of technologies and materials. ‘We created the football boot without boundaries or design limitations. It wasn’t originally designed to bring to the market. But because it turned out to be such an amazing boot, it lead us to the controversial question at Nike of whether to commercialise a concept boot or keep it for its original purpose of driving innovation and new ideas.’ Fittingly, given football’s global stretch, the Mercurial SL’s production required intercontinental co-operation.
The boot was designed in the United States, plates were bonded in Germany, then moulded in Korea and the upper was crafted in Italy. ‘When you design something without limits, you can work with the very best craftsmen to bring a project like this to life. We chose each partner for its expertise. The Mercurial SL features the best, but only what’s needed for performance,’ says Caine. The aesthetics of the Mercurial SL were, therefore, dictated by function. Mostly. The boots are black because carbon fi bre is black. (Once upon a time all football boots were black, but, of course, this is no longer the case. Though coloured boots still look silly.) The electric-pink swoosh, however, is pure irreverence. ‘It invites the onlooker to come closer and appreciate the beauty of the creation,’ says Caine. Perhaps. Whatever the rationale, the pink swoosh will first be sported by Chelsea forward Didier Drogba, who inspired the shoe. ‘This boot is not for every player,’ says Caine. ‘It’s for the fastest.’"