The Illustrated History of the Air Force 1 Pt. II

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Viel Spaß mit Part II – hier geht’s zu Part I!

15-retro

16. iD & Bespoke: From 2005, the AF1 was available as an iD in the low and mid cut versions. But for many years it didn’t appear on the regular iD website, since it was available exclusively as a customizable template in the iD studios. You needed an appointment in one of only five studios around the world to try out as a designer on this icon. The first iD set went for € 90 or € 125 for the premium materials. Later on Nike came up with the “Bespoke” programme. While the iDs are always tied to requirements in material and color, the Bespoke creator is absolutely free in the design. By request, even materials that you bring yourself are applied by Nike. However, this luxury also costs $ 820 and is currently only permanently available in the Mercer Store in New York City.

17

17. 25 Years – Re-creation of a Classic: In 2007 – for the 25th anniversary – it was decided to give the timeless design of the shoe a complete overhaul. Besides a few minor changes such as the elimination of sharp edges inside, something elemental was changed: the form. The toebox is now more angular and its profile dips not as nice as before. In general, the shoe has become a little more rough around the edges and bulky. Another novelty were inturned seams so that no seams were visible on the upper. In addition to the Original Six series – in which the six gentlemen of the poster mentioned above created a shoe each – Nike had another two limited edition models handmade in Italy. There were previous “Lux” versions that were produced in Italy. But the special thing about the “Anaconda” and “Croco” was the material: The upper consisted of the real animal skins and came with 24 carat gold-plated accessories. They were sold at a price of $ 2000.

18

18. The Mayor: When talking about AF1s the “Mayor” is not to be left out. His collection of Bespoke AF1s alone is larger than many other collections as a whole. In addition to Bespokes he also owns some 1-of-1s and is on first-name basis with all major players of the sneaker scene.

19

19. The AF1 and music: In 2002, Nelly recorded the song “Air Force Ones”. This however would not remain the only song about the shoe, because for the 25th anniversary Nike got the likes of Kanye West, Nas, KRS-One and Rakim on board for the track “Classic”. There is also a song about the AF1 by the German rapper Kool Savas. Jay-Zs “40/40 Club” or “Shady Records” have their own AF1 special editions, just like Fat (now Slim) Joes “Terror Squad”. DJ Clark Kent – also an AF1 icon – created an AF1 which was freely available, appearing together with an Air Trainer and an Air Max 1 in the “112 Pack”. But the shoe is popular not only in the hip hop business, as shown by the “Head Automatica” AF1 high-top. Which, in my opinion, is the most beautiful high cut of modern times right after the “Stash”.

22

20. The 4 Class Society: The AF1 is available in four different price ranges today. Prices are rising steadily from Normal and Premium to Supreme and Lux. They differ from each other in the selection of materials, quantities, and also their availability.

21

21. The Materials: A range of materials that have been used on AF1s: patent leather, synthetic hair, Scotchlite, crocodile leather, terry, denim, silk, snake leather, nubuck, suede, fabric, clear plastic … – this list is probably endless, so let’s leave it at that.

23

22. The Collaborations: In the field of collaborations between Nike and artists, shops or other associates,there is probably no canvas which has been painted on as much as the AF1. Kaws, Krink, Bobbito Garcia, Stash, Atmos and Undefeated – to name just a few – have all brought their own creations of the AF1 to the market. The cooperation with the British store chain “JD” should be mentioned, as they brought out some special classics that have been in great demand among collectors for years now.

20

23. The Future One: The Lunar Force 1 is one of the new members of the “Family of Force” and consists of a three-layer Hyperfuse design – one for stability, one for breathability and one for durability. For the first time the midsole comes in Lunarlon material, while the Air system remains in the heel. The outsole has also been redesigned without losing its typical appearance. By the use of Hyperfuse and Lunarlon, the Lunar Force 1 weighs now only 331.96 grams instead of the 497.82 of a typical AF1.

24. The Midsoles: Until the 2000s there were a few midsoles in different colors, but they came always in only one material. Only the leather “InsideOut” midsole changed this. For the 25th anniversary of the AF1 – as in many other Nike models – the Air system was made visible through a window in the heel. By now, some AF1s also have an Air system extending over the entire sole and visible along its length. The latest midsole is the one in the Lunar Force 1. This, as already mentioned, is made of the light but cushioning Lunarlon without losing the Air system in the heel.

25. Moses Malone: He is considered one of the most important players in making the shoe popular. He embodied the values of the AF1 in the field and therefore was part of the “Original Six” (once again: the guys in the space suits!). Incidentally, Moses Malone also was the first basketball player to make the move directly from high school to the ABA pros.

26. The Model Numbers: In addition to the aforementioned designations such as “Premium” or “Supreme”, over the years all sorts of abbreviations have come up on the box tags, among them “SC”, “B”, “NRG”, “TZ”, “VT”, “OS”, “HYP”, “LW”, “I/O”, “QK”, “07”, “08”, “LAM”, “Promo”, “VIB”, “DSM”, “infl6” and “LE”.

27. The Laser: In 2003, Nike came up with a new technology with which they etched patterns and shapes into the shoe using a laser. They did this on the Cortez, the Dunk and the AF1. In addition to regular releases there were many test samples and small series with only 10 or 20 numbered pairs, made for certain events or friends of Nike. Nowadays, some of these pairs cost more than a small car, even in worn condition.

28: Air Force 25: For the 25th anniversary of the AF1, Nike created a new performance basketball shoe which was based on the first AF1, but supposed to be at modern levels in terms of material and performance characteristics. The aim of this successor was to re-establish the AF1 on the field. Despite celebrity aid – including LeBron James – this scion did not advance to become a favorite and disappeared shortly thereafter.

29: The Tongue: It comes in a variety of lengths, shapes and materials – with a shield, winding its way up the tongue, or even sewn one-sided only. Sometimes there’s no tongue at all. But none will ever come close again to the nylon tongues of the 80s. I have only one word for that: cream!

30: The Family of Force: The AF1 is just like the guy next door – as soon as he is 30 and has settled down, he thinks of the next generation. For the 30th anniversary of the shoe there was an offspring of five. Besides the aforementioned Lunar Force 1, there are the AF1 Foamposite, the AF1 Boot, the AF1 Downtown and the AF1 Comfort, which now all belong to this “Family of Force”. All are based on the very first AF1, but were modified to satisfy diverse requirements. The AF1 Downtown for example is a more delicate version of its ancestors and sports a thinner midsole – something many people have longed for. I myself have often been asked if everything was okay with my feet because the soles of my shoes have such thick soles. With the Downtown that’s not gonna happen anymore.Read Part I of our illustrated Air Force 1 history here!

15-retro

16. iD & Bespoke: From 2005, the AF1 was available as an iD in the low and mid cut versions. But for many years it didn’t appear on the regular iD website, since it was available exclusively as a customizable template in the iD studios. You needed an appointment in one of only five studios around the world to try out as a designer on this icon. The first iD set went for € 90 or € 125 for the premium materials. Later on Nike came up with the “Bespoke” programme. While the iDs are always tied to requirements in material and color, the Bespoke creator is absolutely free in the design. By request, even materials that you bring yourself are applied by Nike. However, this luxury also costs $ 820 and is currently only permanently available in the Mercer Store in New York City.

17

17. 25 Years – Re-creation of a Classic: In 2007 – for the 25th anniversary – it was decided to give the timeless design of the shoe a complete overhaul. Besides a few minor changes such as the elimination of sharp edges inside, something elemental was changed: the form. The toebox is now more angular and its profile dips not as nice as before. In general, the shoe has become a little more rough around the edges and bulky. Another novelty were inturned seams so that no seams were visible on the upper. In addition to the Original Six series – in which the six gentlemen of the poster mentioned above created a shoe each – Nike had another two limited edition models handmade in Italy. There were previous “Lux” versions that were produced in Italy. But the special thing about the “Anaconda” and “Croco” was the material: The upper consisted of the real animal skins and came with 24 carat gold-plated accessories. They were sold at a price of $ 2000.

18

18. The Mayor: When talking about AF1s the “Mayor” is not to be left out. His collection of Bespoke AF1s alone is larger than many other collections as a whole. In addition to Bespokes he also owns some 1-of-1s and is on first-name basis with all major players of the sneaker scene.

19

19. The AF1 and music: In 2002, Nelly recorded the song “Air Force Ones”. This however would not remain the only song about the shoe, because for the 25th anniversary Nike got the likes of Kanye West, Nas, KRS-One and Rakim on board for the track “Classic”. There is also a song about the AF1 by the German rapper Kool Savas. Jay-Zs “40/40 Club” or “Shady Records” have their own AF1 special editions, just like Fat (now Slim) Joes “Terror Squad”. DJ Clark Kent – also an AF1 icon – created an AF1 which was freely available, appearing together with an Air Trainer and an Air Max 1 in the “112 Pack”. But the shoe is popular not only in the hip hop business, as shown by the “Head Automatica” AF1 high-top. Which, in my opinion, is the most beautiful high cut of modern times right after the “Stash”.

22

20. The 4 Class Society: The AF1 is available in four different price ranges today. Prices are rising steadily from Normal and Premium to Supreme and Lux. They differ from each other in the selection of materials, quantities, and also their availability.

21

21. The Materials: A range of materials that have been used on AF1s: patent leather, synthetic hair, Scotchlite, crocodile leather, terry, denim, silk, snake leather, nubuck, suede, fabric, clear plastic … – this list is probably endless, so let’s leave it at that.

23

22. The Collaborations: In the field of collaborations between Nike and artists, shops or other associates,there is probably no canvas which has been painted on as much as the AF1. Kaws, Krink, Bobbito Garcia, Stash, Atmos and Undefeated – to name just a few – have all brought their own creations of the AF1 to the market. The cooperation with the British store chain “JD” should be mentioned, as they brought out some special classics that have been in great demand among collectors for years now.

20

23. The Future One: The Lunar Force 1 is one of the new members of the “Family of Force” and consists of a three-layer Hyperfuse design – one for stability, one for breathability and one for durability. For the first time the midsole comes in Lunarlon material, while the Air system remains in the heel. The outsole has also been redesigned without losing its typical appearance. By the use of Hyperfuse and Lunarlon, the Lunar Force 1 weighs now only 331.96 grams instead of the 497.82 of a typical AF1.

24. The Midsoles: Until the 2000s there were a few midsoles in different colors, but they came always in only one material. Only the leather “InsideOut” midsole changed this. For the 25th anniversary of the AF1 – as in many other Nike models – the Air system was made visible through a window in the heel. By now, some AF1s also have an Air system extending over the entire sole and visible along its length. The latest midsole is the one in the Lunar Force 1. This, as already mentioned, is made of the light but cushioning Lunarlon without losing the Air system in the heel.

25. Moses Malone: He is considered one of the most important players in making the shoe popular. He embodied the values of the AF1 in the field and therefore was part of the “Original Six” (once again: the guys in the space suits!). Incidentally, Moses Malone also was the first basketball player to make the move directly from high school to the ABA pros.

26. The Model Numbers: In addition to the aforementioned designations such as “Premium” or “Supreme”, over the years all sorts of abbreviations have come up on the box tags, among them “SC”, “B”, “NRG”, “TZ”, “VT”, “OS”, “HYP”, “LW”, “I/O”, “QK”, “07”, “08”, “LAM”, “Promo”, “VIB”, “DSM”, “infl6” and “LE”.

27. The Laser: In 2003, Nike came up with a new technology with which they etched patterns and shapes into the shoe using a laser. They did this on the Cortez, the Dunk and the AF1. In addition to regular releases there were many test samples and small series with only 10 or 20 numbered pairs, made for certain events or friends of Nike. Nowadays, some of these pairs cost more than a small car, even in worn condition.

28: Air Force 25: For the 25th anniversary of the AF1, Nike created a new performance basketball shoe which was based on the first AF1, but supposed to be at modern levels in terms of material and performance characteristics. The aim of this successor was to re-establish the AF1 on the field. Despite celebrity aid – including LeBron James – this scion did not advance to become a favorite and disappeared shortly thereafter.

29: The Tongue: It comes in a variety of lengths, shapes and materials – with a shield, winding its way up the tongue, or even sewn one-sided only. Sometimes there’s no tongue at all. But none will ever come close again to the nylon tongues of the 80s. I have only one word for that: cream!

30: The Family of Force: The AF1 is just like the guy next door – as soon as he is 30 and has settled down, he thinks of the next generation. For the 30th anniversary of the shoe there was an offspring of five. Besides the aforementioned Lunar Force 1, there are the AF1 Foamposite, the AF1 Boot, the AF1 Downtown and the AF1 Comfort, which now all belong to this “Family of Force”. All are based on the very first AF1, but were modified to satisfy diverse requirements. The AF1 Downtown for example is a more delicate version of its ancestors and sports a thinner midsole – something many people have longed for. I myself have often been asked if everything was okay with my feet because the soles of my shoes have such thick soles. With the Downtown that’s not gonna happen anymore.

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