Images by Kanan Shah
Sportswear juggernaut Nike has long been on the foodie scene, creatively fusing food and footwear to reflect the trends and cult favorites found in America’s culinary landscape.
Who could forget Nike’s Chicken and Waffle Dunks?
Or how about their SB Dunk Low Premiere Starbucks Edition shoes?
We’d like to think that it’ll only be a matter of (hopefully not Indian Standard) time before Nike designs Indian cuisine-inspired shoes to continue their historic streak of designing culturally relevant foodie footwear.
It was just last year that Business Insider foreshadowed Indian cuisine to be “the next best thing in America” with regional Indian foods showing up on menus of upscale restaurants, fast-casual eateries and everything in between. The proliferation and success of Indian cuisine in the USA was predicted to be the biggest trend of 2017. 2018 has so far proven that Indian cuisine continues to gain steam with no signs of slowing down which means Nike is actually late to the game. This is our gentle nudge to Nike to JUST DO IT. Here are three designs of widely popular dishes found in India that would make for great designs.
1. Nike Samosa Chutney Run-Away-from-Rishta Aunties Flex Trainer 8
We’ve designed a samosa stylized upper and toe box with a dhaniya-pudina chutney splatter effect over the body. Nike could do their signature swoosh in chutney green, not pictured here. This has been designed for high-intensity cardio, heavy training, or simply running away from rishta aunties and/or the patriarchy.
2. Nike Air Max Leadless Maggie Instant Noodle Essentials
India’s iconic snack would be a great contender as a possible Nike food shoe. We even have an idea for the Nike swoosh: a red one to emulate Maggie sauce! You won’t see Maggie dishes on any Indian restaurant menu here in the US. Still so, these instant noodles are such a vital part of Indian snack culture that’s its safe to assume they’d enjoy wicked sales amongst the global South Asian diaspora. These shoes are designed to combine “cushioned comfort with undeniable street style” with the “signature visible airbag” which in this case is stylized as noodles.
3. Converse Chuck Taylor All Star Unisex I’m Idli B**ches Low Tops
In an interview with Food & Wine, Chef Akshay Bhardwaj of New York City’s Michelin-starred Junoon suggested that South Indian cuisine is only recently enjoying recognization in the USA because “the first wave of entrepreneurial Indian immigrants were from the North, so focused on their own regional cooking techniques.” (Read the article in full here.) Idli, dosa, sambar and other regional South Indian fare is finally coming into the spotlight in the US-Indian culinary scene. Nike’s subsidiary Converse should jump on this trend with a nod to the burgeoning regional cuisine as its only going to get bigger. We designed a shoe that is comfortable and classic looking but with a trendy idli polka dot design so the masses can feel comfortable trying other Indian dishes aside from chicken tikka and naan.
For a real collection of Indian culture-inspired footwear, read Get Holi-fied with Pharrell and Adidas’ New Hu Holi Collection.