Tesla Hires Nike’s ‘Back to the Future’ Sneaker Developer

September 2, 2017, 1:10 PM UTC

Tiffany Beers, longtime Senior Innovator at Nike and major force behind last year’s Nike Mag self-lacing sneakers, has left Nike to join electric automaker Tesla. Beers’ title at Tesla, at least according to her updated Linkedin profile, will be Staff Technical Program Manager.

The move was spotted by several eagle-eyed sneaker fans, including the sneaker retailer/blog Nice Kicks and NBC host Jacques Slade. Fortune has independently verified the hire.

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Beers may be only vaguely familiar to tech watchers, but she’s something of an icon among diehard sportswear afficianados. As detailed in a recent profile of Beers by Nice Kicks, she played a major role in the design of Kanye West’s Air Yeezy, which took rerofuturistic design cues from the 1980s.

Beers then became a driving force behind the Nike Mag, a limited-release shoe that brought to life the self-lacing sneakers from the sci-fi movie Back to the Future II. She was also technical lead on the Nike HyperAdapt 1.0, which made similar technology more widely available (although only slightly – the shoe originally retailed for $720).

Beers and her team envisioned the HyperAdapt as a step towards a world where, in her words, a sneaker “changes as the athlete changes.” That willingness to think big will likely make her a good fit at Tesla. And though her new title doesn’t suggest a design role, her long-running affinity for bright lights and an ’80s aesthetic might also exert a welcome influence. While technologically radical, Tesla’s vehicles have so far tended toward an understated, even starkly minimalist appearance.

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