For designer Riccardo Tisci, his upcoming collaboration with NikeLab on the Air Max 97 represents more than just a sneaker release: it's a statement. "The future is about honesty. Everything people want seems to be honest, to be real," he says. "People want honest clothes, honest shoes, honest everything. This is really what people look for, design-wise, color-wise and in fashion and in the way people dress."
It's that sense of realness that led Tisci to the once groundbreaking silhouette. "The Air Max 97 had huge influence and impact on Italian culture," he observes. "The Air Max 97 is an iconic, young shoe of '90s. At the time I was involved with DJs and music, and in the clubs the people leading the big waves were wearing Air Max. That period has a lot of history. It was the first meeting of sportswear and fashion."
Because Tisci says that he's "getting older," he gave the Air Max 97 a mature, luxurious update -- seen in the premium black leather and contrast white stitching -- while keeping the shoe's design DNA intact. The mid-top height confers a "street" attitude, evoking Tisci's longstanding interests in basketball and skateboarding.
Tisci says the shoe is an expression of honesty, and "When things are very honest, they are modeled forever." The NikeLab Air Max 97 Mid x R.T launches on Air Max Day, March 26th, at NikeLab doors and nikelab.com.
Release Date: 3/26/17 (Sunday)