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Purple Rain Moonwalker: Nike Kobe 9 Elite Low Hyper Grape

Courtesy of Nike | featuring the Nike Kobe 9 Elite Low Hyper Grape

Kobe Bryant demands provocative design innovation. Aesthetics aside, his appetite for the most revolutionary footwear technologies, materials and fit have fueled a special connection with Nike designer Eric Avar.  The two have pushed the limits for a decade, with their vision coming full circle with the KOBE 9 Elite Low and special muses inspiring each colorway.

Reverting to a higher cut for the first time since the KOBE 3 in 2007, Bryant’s ninth shoe challenged convention when it launched last December.  The KOBE 9 Elite Low version debuts in new colorways beginning July 12, with innovation and inspiration that will change summer basketball.

(Note: This is a clear homage to Prince’s “Purple Rain” and Michael Jackson‘s “Moonwalker” eras. BMF Kicks & Sportswear Editorial LOVES this.)

DESIGN GENESIS

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The KOBE 9 Elite Low is Bryant’s most innovative shoe to-date, featuring three leading technologies: Flyknit, Flywire and Lunarlon.  Flyknit provides a lightweight, breathable solution for a summer basketball shoe that performs equally well indoors or outdoors.

“Nike Flyknit acts as a super skin, giving athletes articulated strength similar to the engineering of a spider web – tension and strength just where they’re needed,” said Eric Avar, Nike VP of Innovation.

Flyknit and Flywire technologies are a one-two punch, leading to a dynamic fit for intricate, on-court footwork.  Eliminating bulk and distraction was a focus for Avar with disciplined design in a low cut with no distractions.

PURPOSEFUL

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Flyknit technology introduces a new way to create a shoe upper out of what is essentially yarns. It drastically reduces waste from the upper with a low cut and efficient production process compared to traditional methods.

INSPIRATION

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The KOBE 9 Elite Low brings Bryant’s muses to life.  The artistry of music and its ability to move and inspire people has always intrigued the athlete.  From classical to pop, he has appreciation for multiple genres.

The KOBE 9 Elite Low Hyper Grape is linked to music and its ability to transcend the decades, with artists, songs and dance moves that stand the test of time.  The purple upper pays homage to pop music and includes a moon surface graphic on the outsole.

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