By Lauren La Rose
THE CANADIAN PRESS
TORONTO _ “The 6” is getting its own shoe.
The nickname assigned to Toronto by hometown hip-hop star Drake has been stamped on new Nike shoes designed by Canadian Erin Cochrane.
Nike has previously released City Pack shoes celebrating other international locations like London, Paris, New York and Tokyo. The Air Max 1 “The 6” shoes mark the first time the footwear giant has released a city-specific shoe for Canada.
Many believe “The 6” is a reference to Toronto’s 416 and 647 area codes. But Nike Canada communications director Claire Rankine said the company also heard the numeric nickname is related to Toronto’s six pre-amalgamation boroughs.
“We chatted with Erin a lot about that, and I think for the sake of clarity we asked her to choose … which one stood out more in her mind,” she said.
“She really wanted to have something that was really representative of the full city … and she picked the six boroughs.”
Nike says Toronto has experienced a “cultural renaissance” spanning sports and entertainment and the company wanted to celebrate the success with a shoe “Torontonians can call their own.”
“If you look at this summer alone when we had the Pan Am Games in Toronto and all the energy around the Blue Jays, and then we had such great art exhibits that really resonated with Canadians,” said Rankine.
“It’s been an exciting time, and the timing was right to add on to that list of cities that we design City Pack shoes for.”
Rankine said the Edmonton-raised Cochrane _ who works out of Nike’s world headquarters in Portland, Ore. _ is a big fan of Toronto and the city’s sports teams. Illustrations of Toronto’s iconic CN Tower are marked on each of the sole’s heels and “The 6” is emblazoned on the inside of the tongue. A Maple Leaf design is also featured on the tongue’s exterior.
The shoes will retail for $165. They’ll be available in Canada at select Toronto-area Nike Sportswear retailers and online at nike.com on Dec. 6, and in the U.S. on Dec. 17.
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