Francky Bendahan is not only the head of Sneakerness Paris, he also put his own confident sense of style to use in an array of collaborations. Needless to say, he also took his chance to experiment with the countless possibilities of Air Force 1 customization.
Can you recall your first sight in the wild of the Air Force 1?
I remember it very well! I was 15 years old, still in college here in France. A guy older than me had the white mid pair mounted on some 4 wheels roller skates. I was mad jealous!
Sneakerness obviously is a household name among European sneaker heads. How do you rate the shoe’s importance for the culture, especially in France?
Actually, the Force 1 was not that big in France few years ago. For me it was really the pure NYC steez. It really represents the rise of the sneaker culture and of the sneakers game era. The American dream on feet.
What’s your personal favorite AF1?
Hard question. I would say that the KAWS collab is still on my hunting list. When it comes to colorways, the Krink is a must for me with the 3M drips, but I m a sucker for a fresh pair of white 1s.
Jewels are also a classic I really like. To conclude, I’m really a fan of the bespoke program I had the chance to experience a few times at Nike Mercer 21 back in the days.
So you already had the chance to put your own ideas into the Air Force 1. What is your favorite design element of the shoe?
The sole for sure.
Do you also have a favorite point in time of Air Force history?
I liked the time around the 20th anniversary. We also had an amazing experience here in Paris with the Force Club.
Fast forward today: How do you like the way the current generation uses the AF1 in their rotation?
The new generation takes the shoes for what they are: easy to find, easy to wear. I think it’s great that the Air Force is nowadays part of their sneaker education and I’m very happy they are pushin’ it.
Versatility is everything with this shoe, right?
I still see it as a timeless silhouette. You can’t go wrong with it, whether you dress street wear, casual, hip hop or even with a suit and tie!
Now that you heard Francky’s take, read more about the 35 year story of the Nike Air Force 1 and check out our interviews with four more AF1 fans!