Pendleton and Nike share Oregon as their corporate homes. That geographical proximity has sparked an ongoing relationship, with Nike using the label’s classic patterned textiles to create sneakers.
For 2019, the connection is active with Pendleton textiles being the driving force behind the latest collection of Nike N7 sneakers.
Nike N7 is focused on creating sneakers designs inspired by Native American and Native Canadian culture that funds athletics in those communities.
The collection includes the Air Moc N7, Air Zoom Pegasus 36 N7, Zoom Heritage N7, Air Jordan 8 Retro N7 and the Air Force 1 ’07 NZ.
The collection will launch on the 7th of November through Nike.com and select shops.
In addition to the kicks, the collection also includes the N7 x Pendleton 7 Generations.
“Self-representation, for me, is being authentic to my people and who I am,” says Nike designer Tracie Jackson, who created this season’s Nike N7 x Pendleton pattern inspired by the weavings of her great-grandmother, Phoebe Nez. Proceeds from the Nike N7 x Pendleton Seven Generations blanket, featuring Jackson’s pattern, benefit the American Indian College Fund.
Upon going blind in old age, Phoebe Nez continued to weave rugs in the Navajo tradition, teaching her young great-granddaughter Tracie Jackson how to take up the craft. The member of the Black Streaked Wood People clan of the Navajo Nation (“Tsi’naajinii”) taught Jackson that every color and shape has a purpose that can be altered by many influences, such as creation stories, the environment and individual experiences. Nez committed her designs to memory, continuing to teach Jackson as her eyesight slowly faded.
“My great-grandmother was still weaving right up until she passed at 92,” says Jackson. “My beginnings with looms, rugs and blankets all started with my grandmother. First, I learned by herding her sheep on her farm, then by carding and spinning the wool and finally working the loom. Without my great-grandmother, I wouldn’t have learned about my culture, and without my culture, I wouldn’t have been a designer. My family ties are what influence my native identity.”
Now a graphic designer at Nike, Jackson is passing along her grandmother’s legacy in the 10th anniversary of the Nike N7 collection, honoring heritage through special patterns with Pendleton.
The storm pattern used in the footwear and apparel – Nez’s favorite in her weavings – manifests most visibly in the N7 x Pendleton 7 Generations blanket, brought back in collaboration for the first time since 2013. The pattern is a narrative tapestry of Jackson’s Navajo history, which specializes in designs personal to the individual weaver. Those living in different geographical regions will experience different environments. As the weaver becomes more skilled, he or she creates original designs based on the influences of classic works, personalizing the pieces with different colors and yarns. Some designs become laterally familiar across nations.