14 female designers reimagine iconic nike kicks
Nike's '1 Reimagined' collection turns the Air Force 1 into a minimalist platform slide, and the Air Jordan 1 into a surrealist work of wearable art. Get a first look at the trippy women's kicks, modeled by Kelsey Lu and Abra!
Imagery courtesy of Nike
The women behind Nike’s latest collection were given five weeks and the briefest of briefs: “Make some cool shit.” Today the brand unveiled the final result of the “1 Reimagined” project: 10 fresh AF takes on Nike’s iconic Air Force 1 and Air Jordan 1. The collection is the latest evidence of Nike’s commitment to female sneakerheads both on the street and behind-the-scenes. In October, the brand made 25-year-old Aleali May the second woman to collaborate with Jordan Brand, and the first ever to design a pair for dudes (after getting approval from His Airness himself). This is hardly a newfound wokeness either: Nike’s famous Swoosh symbol was designed by a woman four decades ago.
This time, Nike tapped 14 longtime design staffers: 10 designers, two material designers, and two color designers. Their reimagined kicks pay tribute to Nike’s female fans and DIY-friendly heritage. Marie Crow, Materials Design Director at Nike, told i-D that “the Air Force 1 and Air Jordan 1 are the most fantastic shoes to work on because they are blank canvases.” She’s not the only one to think so: NIKEiD has been offering customization services since 2012, while the world/internet is full of Nike diehards putting their own spin on iconic styles. Artist Alexandra Hackett, a.k.a. Mini Swoosh, is a longtime fan of the Air Force 1.
So how did the all-star female team interpret “cool shit”? The directive might be simple, but the new designs are ingenious and borderline surreal. An Air Force 1 has had the Swoosh symbol unpicked and reattached, creating a “floating” effect with the original outline still visible. Other styles feature bold platform soles or asymmetrical tongues. One has been cheekily converted into a minimalist slip-on with subtle perforation. Each sneaker was given a personality: the slide is a v. chill "sage," while the “explorer” combines reflective utility layering and on-trend elastic laces. The collection drops on February 7 at select New York City retail locations, making fashion week a success before it's even started.