I went straight to Nike‘s own website to find out more information about the Sean Wotherspoon’s Nike Air Max 1/97 SW, and here is the brand’s narrative on the shoes,
For the 30th anniversary of the Air Max 1, twelve Revolutionairs were invited to design the future of Air as part of Vote Forward. The first ever Air Max designed by the community, for the community. The winner was Sean Wotherspoon, vintage store owner and lifelong Air Max fan, who brought together an Air Max 97 upper and the iconic Air Max 1 midsole and outsole. For Wotherspoon, the community is everything. That’s why he turned to his closest friends and family to create a shoe that reflects his ‘by the community, for the community’ focus. In honor of Sean’s roots in Virginia and current home in Los Angeles, limited pairs of the Air Max 1/97 SW will be available at Need Supply VA and Undefeated La Brea. The global launch will take place in March 2018.
This was also added in the description of the shoes,
As one of the world’s foremost collectors of vintage shoes and apparel, Sean Wotherspoon created the Air Max 1/97 SW for 2017’s Vote Forward competition—and won. The voter-approved design channels his passion for ’80s culture while drawing influence from vintage corduroy caps, his native Virginia and LA, and his two favorite sneakers: the Air Max 1 and the Air Max 97.
The words that resonated with me when I read the narrative were “by the community, for the community” and “vintage”. If you’ve been paying attention at all to what Nike has been all about lately,then this is not a surprise. The brand has understood the signs of the time and is adapting to it. Nike is still the top selling brand in the world but their competitors, to be more precise Adidas has gained a lot of grounds within the last couple of years and has been a thorn on Nike’s side. Adidas has been able to sell its products ( especially the NMD’s) because their campaign echoed today’s rebellious society and youth. People want their voices to be heard, they want to matter and the NMD carried the idea of free-living with it. That coupled with the most rebellious artist in the world ( Kanye West) was enough to put Nike to the test. But Nike’s response has been fantastic; they have now focused on keeping everything in house and have also realized the importance of connecting in a more intimate way with the consumer. To have the ear of a community, one must reach its most respected elders, and that’s exactly what Nike has done with the Air Max sneakers. Moreover, it’s no secret now that brands are tapping into reviving things of old and this Sean Wotherspoon’s Nike Air Max 1/97 SW embodies elements of the 80’s.
I’m more impressed with Nike for dominating the news when it comes to sneakers. They’ve completely overshadowed every brand in the month of February and preparing another storm for the month of March. If this is happening in Spring, I can’t imagine what folks in the sneaker community will experience in the Summer.
Sean Wotherspoon Nike Air Max 1/97 SW
Style#AJ4219-400, March 24