When it comes to the ongoing evolution of the Nike Air Max, everybody has their favorite edition of the classic that introduced Visible Air in 1987. But as it turns out, even entire countries can have their favorite Air Max – and in fashion-forward Italy, that model is the “silver bullet” Air Max 97.
Whether it’s the bling factor of the shiny surface, the Total Max full-window cushioning, the ventilation or the streamlined silhouette, Italy went nuts over the shoe upon its 1997 release, and bestowed the loving nickname “La Silver” on the Air Max 97. Recent re-runs like SlamJam’s epic camo rendition are proof of the ongoing love for the shoe among Italian sneakerheads.
Now, with the shoe’s 20th anniversary just around the corner, Nike is returning the love with a couple of Italy-exclusive celebrations under the motto FUTURE FORWARD. October already saw a country-limited reissue – featuring tricolore Italian flag detailing – of the shoe originally designed by Christian Tresser and inspired by high-speed Japanese bullet trains.
Today marks a party in Milan to reintroduce the “La Silver” at Silver Factory at 7PM. And on Friday, December 2, 2016, the Nike Air Max 97 returns to stores across Italy.
Nike also brought in cultural icons and tastemakers from across Italy to reminisce about the shoe and its impact on graffiti, hip-hop and fashion. Here’s what they had to say:
“As a graffiti writer it was cool because you could get a photo taken of yourself with a flash in front of a piece in a tunnel and you’d be all covered up but there was a crazy glare coming from your shoes. They made you feel like you were doing some space age stuff when you went out at night.”
– Sha Ribeiro, Photographer
“I can remember that you had kids turning up wearing AM97s for both the hip-hop and the hardcore nights. As an observer from the decks I thought that the AM97s were much better suited to the hardcore scene where everybody had a very clean look, was very aerodynamic, with their shaved heads and 180 + BPM music and their whole cult of synthetic velocity.”
– Riccardo Balli, DJ
Can’t make it to Italy for the exclusive release? The Air Max 97 will hit retailers across the rest of Europe on December 14 while we are also keeping an ear out for rumors of a U.S. release in Spring ’17.
And while you’re here: If you’re into eyewear, make sure to check out our new post about the best aviator glasses and sunglasses!