Interview conducted in in Portland, OR on May 14, 2005 for the 2008 documentary film Beautiful Losers.
From London to Tokyo, Mo’ Wax Records to Nike, hairdresser to brand heavyweight, Fraser Cooke’s inspired and fluid journey has taken him to where he is now. The Nike Global Energy Marketing Director exerts huge influence on the realms of streetwear, brand innovation, marketing and inevitably design. 1997, Cooke and streetwear pioneer Michael Koppelman opened The Hideout in London. It was perhaps the first genuine streetwear store outside of Japan. Soon after, they opened the sneaker store Foot Patrol. He has continued to grow and innovate, now holding one of the most important jobs at Nike. For over 25 years, Fraser Cooke has been at the leading edge of the merging of contemporary art and street fashion. Cooke was interviewed
Tell us about your history.
What is your official title at Nike?
In your mind how do these stories help the brand?
When did you first encounter street art?
Why were you drawn to this type of art?
Why do you think Nike is drawn to this type of art?
Tell us more about how nike collaborates with artists.
How do you think Nike benefits from these collaborations?
It’s surprising to see a more humble approach being taken within such a large corporation.
Do you think that corporations can unintentionally dilute the message of art just by supporting it?
Do you think that corporations have become the art patrons of the 21st century?
What do you think are the dangers of this type of corporate sponsorship?
Street art has its roots in anarchy, corporations are capitalist entities, where do the two meet?
Most of the artists we are focusing on, like Barry McGee, are specifically opposed to collaborating with corporations, how do you make sense of that?
Can a shoe be art?
How do you make sense of the frenzy that is around special edition consumer products?