Nic Galway Details His Creative Process

In case you missed it, NiceKicks‘ Creative Director, Nick DePaula caught up with adidas Originals’ VP of Global Design, Nic Galway to discuss their latest NMD release.
I’ll start by being completely honest and say that the NMD’s aren’t my personal favorite of adi’s recent releases, the sole unit is just a little too blocky and Lego like for me personally. That being said, I have massive respect for Nic and the whole adidas team, they’ve really brought adidas forward in the past few years, all while staying true to the brands rich heritage.
I haven’t copied and pasted the entire interview (you can see the full interview here), but what I have done is take out a very interesting section that I thought was personally quite interesting. In it, Nic details his penchant for actually making things, as opposed to getting stuck in sketching. I can personally attest that I used to also get stuck in sketching, but after recieving many, many sample that just didnt’t quite translate from sketch to 3D, I often now just try to get a sample mocked up asap. Being able to touch and feel your idea from every angle is often the best way to make alterations, as opposed to trying to think in 2D and trying to get everything spot on, first try (which I can pretty much guarantee you, won’t happen).

Here’s a snippet from the article –



NDP: What’s your sketch process like? So much of your sneakers are wearable and you seem to design with on-foot style as such a premium. Do you draw toe downs first, or have a certain order that you design?

NG: I actually don’t sketch. [laughs] I mean, I do occasionally, but only thumbnails. I make things. I always start with fabrics, materials, tape – whatever – and I make things.

I make the sneakers myself, and they’re not perfect, but it’s a study. Then that really informs the silhouettes. If you just draw, you get stuck in side views or top views.

NDP: And not everything that’s rendered will always translate to 3D too, as we often see in footwear.

NG: Exactly. You can cheat with sketches too. When you make things, you can’t cheat. When you make things, you start with one idea, and then it evolves. You start to see new opportunities, and you’ll see in most of my work, that it’s very silhouette based. There’s a place for sketching, but I really just like to bring all of these things together. You see that more and more in our studio now, and I’d love to see that rub off on new generations of designers.

NDP: That’s an awesome approach to hear you walk me through. Aurelien Longo is a designer under you that I’ve noticed has really created some great silhouettes in that style as well. I love the Qasa II slip-ons that he did.

NG: Definitely, and he’s a great guy and great designer.



Mr. Bailey

Product Designer + Footwear Architect | Founder of @ConceptKicks |

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  • Jake “in da” Torres - 4 years ago

    Too bulky for me. It was an easy pass.