It’s been 20 years since Nike released the iconic Air Max 97. To celebrate the milestone anniversary, the athletic giant has introduced a second colorway of the sneaker’s bedazzled LX Swarovski edition, which it first launched this spring. The premiere Air Max 97 featured its signature 360-degree reflectivity in a silver metallic color, which was later followed by a gold version. For the shoe’s latest iteration, Nike has turned up the shine factor by bedazzling the classic silhouette with thousands of glittering Swarovski crystals.
Nike first released the black colorway of the LX Swarovski in March after NikeWomen designers visited the Swarovski headquarters in Austria. There, the designers gained access to the company’s exclusive archives and eventually landed on Swarovski’s Crystal Fabric as the new innovative material to add to the 97. The unique fabric comprises of clusters of minuscule crystals, both cut and uncut, that create a shimmering effect.
“This was such an exciting project in terms of material innovation,” said Marie Crow, material design director for Nike Women’s Sportswear. “We were looking to explore shine and durability in a new and innovative way, and we loved the juxtaposition of the Crystal Fabric’s tough sparkle to reinvent an already iconic shoe.”
The special fabric is applied via a heat fusion process and meticulously curved around the Air Max 97’s trademark wavelike lines. Just one of the luxe sneakers can feature as many as 55,690 crystals.
This partnership marks the first time Nike has utilized Swarovski crystals on a shoe. “We were delighted to partner with Nike to create this unique design,” said Markus Langes-Swarovski, a Swarovski executive board member. “The Air Max 97 is a truly iconic 360-degree silhouette that has inspired us to imagine what might happen when speed meets light.”
For fall ’17, the silver Swarovski version will be added to the sneaker range. It will be available globally beginning Sept. 7.