Getting a job at Nike — or any other sneaker company, for that matter — is a dream for many athletic footwear enthusiasts. But actually securing that gig isn't easy. Like many other successful companies, Nike is highly selective in who it chooses to place in its design roles. Carsten Franke, however, achieved this lofty goal, and he spoke to the folks at Turnschuh.tv about it.
Franke, who works in a role that creates colorways for the Western European consumer, said, "I did a study in multimedia arts and graphic design. Other people have a product design background. I think it's helpful. Then you have to create connections. Then you have to look for a job and create a nice portfolio. I was also lucky that I got an apprenticeship back in the day in the industry. Through that I could learn, show, and prove my talents through the colorways I did, through the stories I told. Now I'm here."
Franke is also from Germany and recently got to work on the Nike Air Pegasus '89 "German Reunification" sneaker, which represents the 25th anniversary of East and West Germany becoming one nation again. The sneaker uses camo prints from both the East and West German armies.
He told Highsnobiety in an interview, "I was speaking with my parents, and my father was working as a guard for the East German army back then, so at midnight on October 3, 1990, during his night shift, he and the other soldiers literally changed their uniforms," which ended up inspiring the sneaker.
This goes to prove that if your ideas are strong enough and you can properly execute them, then major footwear brands will let you live them out. It all starts with having the right background and getting your foot in the door.