Nike launched the latest collection of its Jordan line at the first of this year’s Paris Fashion Weeks on June 21 through 23, 2019. satis&fy had a formative hand in shaping the showcase’s success in a former hotel in the heart of the city. With architecture befitting the event, elaborate special builds and a winning strategy to tackle a daunting logistics challenge, the production company turned the erstwhile inn into a worthy House of Jumpman.
Basketball is sure to figure prominently in any collection named after Michael ’Air’ Jordan, so the first sight to greet visitors at the venue – a backyard basketball court – has hardly a surprising design choice. However, this 160 square-meter playing field was no ordinary court. Doubling as the gateway to the Nike experience, if curved like a skateboarders’ half-pipe, one end rising high over the parquet-look vinyl flooring. Installed at the lofty end at a 90-degree angle, the ultralight backboard with a rigid net appeared to defy gravity.
Richly appointed with head-turning design features, the backyard was the event’s hotspot. It provided the backdrop for interviews with basketball luminaries and the setting for presentations, parties and Dealer Day, with satis&fy furnishing the equipment for each occasion.
An eye-catching, bowl-like installation ushered visitors into the building via a 1.4-meter wide corridor that bisected curved rows of white basketballs rising from a height of 50 centimeters to 3 meters. Even the color of the garden path’s gravel got a makeover to provide a better contrast to the artwork.
Imaginative interior design
The ground floor of the House of Jumpman featured a replica of an experimental laboratory with backlit floors and walls. Industrial-size bolts of fabric on rolls lined the walls, with more fabric draping the ceilings. A ground-floor installation featuring a parachute with vinyl appliques and graphics was a fetching last-minute addition. The crew had just 24 hours to procure the white parachute required for this ad-hoc design change.
There was much to discover in the first-floor rooms. Faux concrete cubes served as displays. The new Paris St. Germain jerseys were the centerpiece of a tapered wood structure covered with artificial turf at its narrow end. A dozen monoliths presenting Jordan line shoes vied for attention with apparel racks and much more.
The second floor, converted into the venue’s backstage area, afforded the celebrity athletes a measure of privacy in its greenrooms.
This set was remarkable not only for the unique installations and customs builds. The satis@fy crew also equipped rooms with the gear needed for one-on-one interviews, built shelves, rolled out coat racks, furnished the café and much more. The well-designed lighting conjured an elegant, museum-like ambiance in the House of Jumpman.
Snug schedule, precision planning, plenty of peoplepower
There was no time to dally with just three and a half days to build this elaborate set. The crew kept its end of the bargain, wrapping up its preparations on schedule, thanks in no small part to the meticulous logistics. An ingenious deployment plan timed the delivery of premium-quality materials to this sensitive venue in parcels of just the right size for swift setup. Orchestrating the comings and goings of more than a dozen 15-ton trucks brimming with equipment was a masterclass in logistics. The crew unloaded the vehicles in the cramped quarters of a narrow one-way street and hauled the crates up to the higher floors by hand. The lack of storage areas on site posed another tricky problem.
As many as 60 people, supervised by two project managers and one technical manager, labored on site every day, pooling their diverse skills to set up the equipment. Despite difficulties sourcing some of the more scarce materials, with a concerted effort and painstaking planning, satis&fy’s exhibit construction team found a way to produce all the special builds.
The venue certainly kept the set builders busy at the House of Jumpman, but there also was plenty of work to do for satis&fy’s lighting and sound crews.
With major events such as the FIFIA Women’s World Cup, the Fête de la Musique and a host of other happenings underway in Paris, local hired hands and lodgings were in short supply. Even so, the can-do crew ensured the event went smoothly and tore the set down in a day and a half. After all, satis&fy’s large labor force has the flexibility and gumption to ride out long daily commutes for the greater good.
We would like to thank Nike France, Nike USA and the Nike design team for working with us on site.
Copyright photos: Fizzy Mag