Hopeful shoppers traveled from far and wide for a chance to buy limited-edition Nikes on Tuesday, resulting in a scene that police in Richmond, Va., said was unlike anything they had seen in the city before.
The sought-after sneakers were vintage boutique owner Sean Wotherspoon’s corduroy-covered Air Max 1/97 hybrid, launched exclusively at Richmond’s Need Supply Co. A second release is slated for Wednesday at Undefeated in Los Angeles.
As part of the brand’s Vote Forward campaign, fans in March selected Wotherspoon’s concept from a field of 12, giving the lifelong Nike fan an opportunity to turn the Air Max design of his dreams into a reality.
The shoes, which retail for $160, have quickly become a favorite among celebrities, and even before the details of the release were announced, one pair ended up auctioned on eBay for $96,100.
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This explains why some fans traveled from New York and other locales in attempt to get their hands on the coveted sneakers, leading to a massive overnight line outside the Richmond storefront.
Around 4 a.m. EST, city police forced the store to cancel the first-come, first-served release, due to “growing safety concerns and the disruption in the surrounding area,” according to Need Supply Co. Instead, the store distributed wristbands to about 50 customers, who then were allowed to return and purchase the shoes at 10 a.m.
Despite the unruly overnight crowds, Tuesday’s release proceeded smoothly inside the store, whose decor was transformed with a retro Nike theme, with vintage Air Jordans from 1985 and classic Swoosh-branded apparel.
“I put a lot of pressure on myself because the Air Max is iconic,” Virginia native 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.’”
Need Supply Co. told Footwear News that its remaining stock of the sneakers will be sold at a later date with details announced via the store’s Instagram account. Check back soon for further details and scroll down for an exclusive look at what went down at the launch.
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