The Nike Air Force 1 is arguably the most iconic sneaker the Swoosh has ever produced. And with the basketball shoe-turned-lifestyle staple’s 35th anniversary here, designers — including the legendary Don “Don C” Crawley — are weighing in on what makes it special.
Speaking with Footwear News, Crawley shared what elements of the shoe he would never change on a collab. While he said nothing was off limits, he would be hesitant in making any changes to the Air Force 1 sole.
“You could still mess with it. You could use a different material or creatively want to leather it or something,” the designer explained. “I would do a leather wrapping to make it a little more luxe, but the more I think about it, the foundation is the sole, you’ve got to stay with the rubber and ‘Air.’”
Don C — who stated his favorite Air Force 1s of all-time include the “Linen,” “Escape” and “Snakeskin” iterations, admitted younger sneaker fans are inspiring him to loosen up on design restrictions.
“The younger generation helps me feel more comfortable to be free and just be creative,” Crawley said. “And no idea is a bad idea, because even if it is a bad idea it will spark a good idea.”
Several Air Force 1 Low colorways are coming soon, including a line inspired by the NBA, boasting Nike-branded laces, the league’s logo on the heels and “AF-1” labels on the tongues and heels.
The NBA iterations of the shoe arrive on Thursday and retail for $100. They can be purchased via the brand’s SNKRS app.
Crawley’s Just Don label will release its college basketball short collaboration with Jordan Brand at several renowned boutique retailers including Kith, Concepts and Undefeated on Saturday. The teams featured on the shorts include UNC, Michigan and Marquette. (An iteration not affiliated with any team, “Flight,” will also release Saturday.)
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