004 – Ileang Lee of Nike – Magic Feet

Footwear material development at Nike…

Ileang Lee (bio), Material Developer, NSW Running, Global Footwear Materials for Nike, joins hosts Stephanie Benedetto, Rob Sanchez, and Samanta Cortes on location at ThoughtWorks.

A 3 year plan, flyknit, and Air Force 1

Lee discusses developing materials for tan entire category, working with 150+ models, planning Nike’s 3-year game plan in advance, Nike’s target to become a $50 Billion company by 2020, the innovation and developing of materials, the strict testing for materials for use at Nike, developing materials that sustain the aesthetics of the shoe, testing out to the future, and Nike’s advanced product creation center. Flyknit as an amazing piece of material with no wastage but expensive to produce knitted to shape, and improves performance due to lightweight, the magic of “flying” in footwear, and how everyone should look out for the Air Force 1’s.

Being Australian, sustainable materials, and the Making app

Being Australian and working as Senior Product Development Project Manager at Stoll America. What matters most in speed to market, what Lee will be looking at when at material shows, reusable and recyclable materials, bringing back heritage models, how midsoles are reusable and recycled, what the dream is with fabrics, breathability considerations with fibers, moving toward development to shape to minimize wastage, what designers should be thinking of when entering foot market, and Sneakerheads. How materials are steered by consumers vs. how much consumer desire steered by developer of shoes. Leather growth, mushroom growth, bio and degradable materials being used in shoes, sustainable leather, chemical polymers, dyes without water, and bottles spun into threads. Nike making sure of proper work environment in international sourcing or manufacturing, cost engineers, and the app “Making” from Nike.

Training, waterfalls and favorites

A segment of “Remnants” offers personal questions covering training her father’s staff and serving customers as a child, chasing waterfalls, and favorite footwear.

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