As the sneaker celebrates its 20th year, Undefeated is also commemorating a milestone with its 15th year in business. For this project, the Los Angeles-based brand gave the retro Air Max 97 running sneaker a premium makeover complete with Italian inspiration and patent leather details.
“The Air Max 97 is one of those pinnacle sneakers that changed everything when it came out,” said Eddie Cruz, co-founder of Undefeated. “Nothing had looked like it at the time; the shape, lacing system and metallic silver gave it a more premium feel people hadn’t really seen before. Upon its release it stopped everything, it screamed future.”
The Undefeated x Nike Air Max 97 is offered in two colorways: an Undefeated-exclusive white makeup, and a second black look that will be released at retailers globally. Both styles feature patent leather overlays and red and green piping that nods to the shoe’s high-fashion inspiration.
“Celebrating our 15th anniversary on the 20th anniversary of the Air Max 97 felt like a natural opportunity,” Cruz said. “Why not use a model that is not only respected by our organization but also spoke of the future in its time? The design embodies Undefeated. We offer an elevated aspirational life style. Something for people to aspire to, to be driven towards and when you have it, you want people to know it.”
Both the black and white makeups will be released exclusively from Undefeated on Saturday for $180. After the initial launch, the black style will drop on nike.com/snkrs and select Nike Sportswear retailers on Sept. 21.
Undefeated x Nike Air Max 97, $180; nike.com/snkrs
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