On July 6, 1994, a comedy-drama starring Tom Hanks would enter the film stratosphere and change the way the world thinks about shrimp forever more. That classic movie, “Forrest Gump,” turns 23 years old today. But while supporting character Bubba’s impassioned shrimp catalogue was one of the movie’s most memorable references, the pair of shoes that Forrest Gump decided to take a “little run” in across the country was quite the star on its own. Over two decades later, Nike’s retro Cortez sneaker is making a chic comeback in the new millennium.
Nike Cortez Campaign
The Cortez itself is older than the movie, with this past May marking 45 years since the traditional running sneaker’s debut in 1972. To celebrate, Nike called upon “it” model Bella Hadid to sport the shoe in a 1970s-style campaign inspired by Farrah Fawcett’s iconic skateboarding image on the the set of “Charlie’s Angels.” By utilizing one of the industry’s latest go-to girls, Nike maintained the shoe’s retro vibe while making it look cool.
Nike continued its momentum from the 45th anniversary of the shoe by rereleasing the white, red and blue colorway made famous by Forrest Gump one week later. Starting at $70 for the Women’s Classic Cortez and $80 for the Women’s Classic Cortez Nylon Premium, the shoe is available in the classic colorway along with various other choices.
Nike Classic Cortez Nylon Premium, $80; nike.com
Nike Cortez Special Releases
On June 17, the brand even teamed up with Nordstrom to hold a birthday bash for the Cortez sneaker in L.A. where the running shoe first became popular in street-style culture. Olivia Kim, Nordstrom’s vice president of creative projects, debuted the Nike Cortez Premium iD sneakers, which feature an exclusive pink accent on the midsole.
Nike also took it a step further to make the Cortez that much more relevant in this day and age. On June 1, the brand released its annual “Be True” collection in celebration of LGBT Pride Month which included the Air VaporMax, Air Zoom Pegasus 34, Flyknit Racer and the Cortez decked out with special rainbow-colored elements.
Bella Hadid x the Cortez
Outside of Nike’s endeavors to reinvent the Cortez, Hadid has also seemingly made it her duty to single-handedly bring back the style. She has been snapped wearing the sneakers repeatedly while out and about, which is unsurprising given she is the front woman for the shoe.
With the Cortez back in full swing this summer and Bella Hadid’s backing, it seems only a matter of time before the style becomes the “it” shoe. Hanks helped propel the sneaker to success in his award-winning role in “Forrest Gump,” and with the actor’s upcoming birthday on July 9, maybe he will also take part in the Cortez comeback for his own celebrations.