NIKE AIR MAX 1 'CITY PACK'
When it was released in 1987, the Air Max 1 was the most advanced running shoe of its time. Inspired by the revolutionary inside-out aesthetic of Paris’ Centre Pompidou, the AM1 is an impressive collaboration of architecture and shoe design that birthed the now-iconic visible Nike Air cushioning.
And while the vaunted silhouette may no longer be at the forefront of running technology, it has retained its reputation as an iconic piece of design, spanning over three decades since it was first conceived by Tinker Hatfield, the designer who has blessed the sneaker world with a host of historic athletic shoes including the Air Jordan 3 through Air Jordan 15, and who continues to push the boundaries of design with his contributions to Flyknit technology.
Spring 2020 sees Nike releasing a brand new Europe-only City Pack dedicated to London and Amsterdam, two cities that boast both their own distinct and influential Air Max cultures. The two designs display contrasting colour schemes – the cold, grey tones of London’s sky are juxtaposed with Amsterdam’s warm red brickwork – whilst each city’s historic central waterway is paid homage in the form of embroidery on the back heel.
The Dutch capital is as renowned for its architecture as it is for its spirit of freedom and sense of debauchery, most obviously embodied by its infamous Red Light district, and its relaxed attitude towards drugs way before the legalization we now see taking affect across the world. Some of the all-time greatest Air Max 1’s were birthed in Amsterdam, including the ‘Albert Heign’ by Parra, Patta’s 2009 ‘Chlorophyll’ release, and the ‘Cherrywood’, a collaboration between both heavy-hitters.
Despite its perpetually grey skies, London remains one of the greatest cities in the world for culture. Its history of immigration and the ensuing melting pot of nationalities have led to some of the vibrant music and subcultures in history, from acid house to jungle to grime, alongside punk and the pioneering fashions on King’s Road. The Air Max is tied to London on a cultural level, both as a signifier of street credibility and a reminder of exclusionary door policies that called for “no hats, no hoods, and no air bubble trainers”.
The City Pack is comprised of two shoes, each with a unique colourway and subtle, innovative references to the cities they seek to eulogise in these exclusive sneakers. Using an innovative collection of rich, premium materials such as durable mesh, corduroy, hairy suede, and heavy leather, both shoes build on the Air Max 1’s classic design origins and sports aesthetic for an updated and modern take on this iconic and timeless model.
The ‘London’ sneaker channels the city’s kinetic energy, and its varied mix of subcultures and style tribes, paying quiet homage to its instantly recognisable architecture through embroidery on the side and heel panels. A sharp triangle, a perfect circle, and a topaz squiggle allude to The Shard, the London Eye, and the River Thames that runs through the heart of the city respectively, creating an abstractly interpreted trio of symbolism. The colourway – alternating shades of smoke greys with subtle pops of teal – further nods to the inherent juxtapositions of the city, a grey concrete canvas brought to life by its vibrant counterculture, whilst also referencing its often overcast skies and concrete, brutalist buildings.
The 'Amsterdam' sneaker - the pack’s other release - boasts the same level of craftmanship and attention to detail. Inspired by the charming canals, bridges, and iconic brick buildings that come to mind when talking about the Dutch City of Sin. Wrapped in dusty reds, soft browns and peach hues with pops of khaki, the Amsterdam Air Max 1’s muted colourway is complimented perfectly by the luxurious and tactile materials used in the shoe’s design. Suede, heavy tumbled leather, and nubuck acknowledge the city’s brown cafes, brick buildings, and pebbled roads, with the contrasting dark green swoosh a nod to the colour of the traditional canal house doors and window frames. Just as the heel of the ‘London’ shoe is embroidered with the River Thames, the back panel here sees a map of Amsterdam’s well-known canals stitched in as part of the design. The attention to detail continues on the lateral side panels, which see the city’s famous XXX coat of arms lifted from the Amsterdam flag and embroidered onto the shoe in a pop-colour red on the soft upper – perhaps as homage to the city’s most famous district.
The Nike Air Max 1 ‘City Pack’ will be available to purchase through SEVENSTORE Launches.