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Nike used a lot of old sneakers to build out its innovative new Soho store


Nikelab store in Soho
NikeLab in Soho. Its sustainable design features echo the performance elements built into its products. (Photo: Nike)

The Mercer Street Nike store was closed for renovations until last Thursday, June 12, when it opened as part of the brand’s new NikeLab concept, along with similar stores in London, Paris, Milan, Shanghai and Hong Kong, and an online boutique. Now Nike’s posh new Soho store showcases the brand’s premier collections and innovations.

The concept, created by designer and Tim Rupp and materials engineer Arthur Huang, plays with sustainability in a whole new way. “The idea is to reuse as much as possible,” says Huang, who turned recycled water bottles into benches and put lots of old sneakers from Nike’s Grind program to use as blocks that make up the register counter and shelves.

And each element of the carefully assembled store is built for performance, like a bench that bends like the vertebrae in a spine, or tables that, when reconfigured, become shelving (talk about agility).

In terms of inventory, NikeLab is not your typical retail store. It’s an oft-changing (and very sparse) curated selection of capsule collections, creative collaborations, and technical innovations, like the soccer-inspired Nike Free Mercurial Superfly by HTM, currently featured for the World Cup.

In other words, this is not the place to swing by for some basic black running capris. But it could be your go-to place for a pair of super-cool, limited-collection kicks to rock with your yoga pants at brunch. —Lisa Elaine Held

NikeLab, 21 Mercer St, between Canal and Grand, Soho, www.nike.com