The shoes were designed by Sean Wotherspoon, co-owner of the bicoastal buy/sell boutique Round Two and winner of Nike’s 2017 Vote Forward competition in March.
Inspired by his love for retro Nike products and the vintage items Round Two specializes in, Wotherspoon’s design combines the sole of the first-ever Air Max sneaker, 1987’s Air Max 1, with the upper of the Air Max 97, which is celebrating its 20th anniversary.
Rather than simply re-create a classic colorway, Wotherspoon and a group of friends got together this year to brainstorm ideas for the contest. The result was a multicolor spin on the Air Max 97’s upper that replaced the model’s original mesh and synthetic construction with an all-corduroy build — a nod to one of Wotherspoon’s favorite materials, which was once a staple of Nike products but has been scarcely used in recent years.
“I put a lot of pressure on myself because the Air Max is iconic,” Wotherspoon told Footwear News in March, prior to winning the contest. “Personally, I consider myself an Air Max enthusiast, so I put the pressure on myself, like: ‘Man, you better not disappoint yourself.’”
The design is packed with details, including raw corduroy edges that are designed to fray with wear, denim heel tabs with references to Round Two’s Los Angeles and Virginia doors, interchangeable Velcro patches and velour liners.
Ahead of the official release, pairs have already started popping up on the aftermarket, where one is currently listed on eBay with a high bid of $91,700 with just under 24 hours remaining.
If you’re not willing to drop nearly $100K on a pair of sneakers, there will be another chance to get this style in the near future. Wotherspoon’s design will be officially unveiled at ComplexCon in Long Beach, Calif., this weekend, followed by limited launches in Los Angeles and Virginia this month. A global launch will take place in March 2018 for Nike’s fourth annual Air Max Day celebration.
@oglukemook took this picture months ago. If it was up to me, I would have posted it that day. This was the first complete sample Nike sent to me of my Air Max 97/1’s. ✌🏼Limited releases in VA and LA next month! Air Max Day in March will be the global release. I did everything I could to make Nike produce as many as possible and make them available to every part of the world. Just know, I did my best! MORE AIR
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