Posts tagged ‘Mark Parker’

Tiffany Beers’ Decade-Long Project Could Change Sneakers Forever

Last year, Wired ran a story about Nike CEO Mark Parker ’77 and one of his most ambitious projects: The HyperAdapt 1.0, a self-lacing sneaker inspired by Marty McFly’s shoes in Back to the Future II. As it turns out, Parker wasn’t the only Penn Stater who played a major role in the development of these shoes.

In a recent profile, The New York Times deemed Tiffany Beers ’02 Behrend, the HyperAdapt 1.0’s lead engineer and product manager, the “mad scientist” behind the sneaker. Beers was personally selected to take on the project by famed Nike designer Tinker Hatfield in 2005. While she considered it a side project for nearly a decade, Beers’ hand was forced in 2014, when Hatfield announced to the world that the shoe would be ready by the following year. (The HyperAdapt 1.0 was eventually released in 2016.)

In addition to the nostalgia factor with these shoes, Beers hopes they serve a practical purpose for people who spend “20 or 30 minutes a day putting on and taking off their shoes” because they struggle to bend over and tie laces.

Bill DiFilippo, online editor

July 25, 2017 at 4:27 pm 1 comment

Inside Our January/February 2017 Issue

jf17_cover_blogLook for a welcome pop of color inside your mailboxes soon: You won’t be able to miss the striking aracari named Beatrice gracing the cover of our Jan./Feb. issue. This toucan is just one of the magnificent models featured in “Critter Close-Ups.” Michael Faix, a wildlife photographer and staffer at the National Aviary in Pittsburgh, shares his pictures and the stories behind them starting on p. 42.

In “Learning in the Dirt” (p. 24), Dana DiFilippo ’92 discovers the Penn State students who are managing their own working farm on campus. (It turns out that they’re learning as much about themselves as they are about growing food.) Also in the issue, we take a look at the profound legacy of the Craighead family, which includes two leading conservationists and a bestselling author, in “Three of a Kind.”

We also asked readers for memories of getting mail at college and received dozens of great responses. Whether it was a sweet surprise, like mom’s baked-from-scratch cookies, or a love letter in a long-distance relationship—we learned that, years after opening these envelopes and packages, they still remain some of your most special deliveries. Start reading the letters on p. 32.

More from the issue: a profile on Kaia, the adorable golden retriever puppy who is making her mark as a full-time employee at Hershey; a story about Nike CEO Mark Parker ’77; and a recap of the amazing season for the 2016 Nittany Lion football team.

What do you think about the new issue? Let us know by commenting below or emailing us at

Amy Downey, senior editor

December 20, 2016 at 12:49 pm 4 comments

Mark Parker’s Dream Sneakers Become a Reality

Photo via Nike

Photo via Nike

Nike CEO Mark Parker ’77 is featured in the cover story for this month’s edition of Wired. It looks at one of Nike’s most innovative shoes ever: the self-lacing HyperAdapt 1.0, which loosen and tighten by pressing a button and will come out later this year. This concept stems from Marty McFly’s iconic sneakers in Back to the Future II.

Wired tells the backstory of Parker and his role as one of the designers of the shoe, an idea sparked in 1988 after a meeting with the film’s director. The creation of a self-lacing sneaker for the movie led to nearly 30 years of work to turn it a real shoe, which will be released on November 28. In that time, Parker has risen from a Nike designer to the company’s president and CEO; in June, he was announced as the successor to Phil Knight as Nike board chair.

You can take a look at those shoes right here. This issue of Wired has another cool tie to Penn State, as the cover, pictured below, was photographed by Dan Saelinger ’01.

Bill DiFilippo, online editor

October 6, 2016 at 1:47 pm 1 comment

Mark Parker Has the Coolest Office Ever

Nike CEO Mark Parker ’77 got his start designing sneakers, and it appears that even while climbing the corporate ladder at the global footwear giant, he never lost his artistic sense. We stumbled across this collection of photos from Parker’s office, and man, does this guy have a thing for collecting interesting designs. Take a few minutes to scroll through. It’s a trip.

Ryan Jones, senior editor

May 26, 2011 at 8:55 am 1 comment

Nike CEO Mark Parker on Sneaker Trends and Selling Tiger

The Wall Street Journal has an interesting Q&A this week with Mark Parker ’77, president and CEO of shoe and apparel giant Nike. Some of it is a bit dry for non-marketing types, but there’s compelling stuff about Tiger Woods, the Swoosh endorser whose comeback from scandal included a controversial (and not particularly well received) Nike commercial. Another cool tidbit: When he’s not overseeing the business operations of one of the world’s biggest companies, Parker still finds time to dabble in shoe design.

Ryan Jones, senior editor

May 12, 2010 at 5:01 pm Leave a comment

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