Milwaukee Rooted Nike Footwear Designer Inspires Others to Follow Their Dream

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PORTLAND – A young man with Milwaukee roots is now living his dream of designing for one of the world’s biggest sports brands.

Before Andrew Little landed at Nike headquarters in Oregon, it all started with his love of drawing and his parents raising an aspiring artist.

“They put me in art classes when I was really very young,” recalls designer Andrew Little. “You know, something that I really love to do. So I stuck with it all through school through high school and while playing sports.”

Growing up, Little enjoyed basketball and golf. But his attention turned to athletic shoe design when a college recruiter visited his art class at Nicolet High School.

“She put a shoe render on the presentation board and said it was done by this student who went to CCS and he was now the design director at Jordan, and he was black and I was kind of like I’d never seen this before, ”Little said.

That moment opened up a world of possibilities that led Little to the Nike campus in Oregon.

“So I was an intern for three months and it was basically like a three-month job interview,” Little recalls. “After the three months I was happily hired.”

André Petit

Since joining the Nike team, Little has designed a number of tennis shoes that you can find online and in stores.

“I see people at the airport when I travel with my shoes on… so it’s pretty surreal – it’s pretty cool,” Little said.

And he has a few high profile fans to sport his designs.

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André Petit

“Yes, more recently Lebron [James] actually wore a pair of shoes I designed in the Game 5 final, ”Little said.

Last year Little, who was once a ball collector for the Bucks, got the chance to design his home team’s City jersey.

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André Petit

“So it’s really about the way you tell stories. How do you take elements of Milwaukee that you know people know and really, you know, explain that and explore that in a jersey for the city? So that was a huge honor. “

As our country grapples with racial injustice … Little believes that brand accountability will become more and more important.

“Nike that relies so much on the members of the communities that make them great and make their product really stand out. And so, I’m just happy to be a part of it. You know, the Nike brand,” Little said. .

Little is living his dream of a sportswear designer and he hopes he can inspire other young people to do the same.

“If you don’t recognize other people in this space, then how can you, you know, hold onto that vision,” Little said.

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