Two anniversaries collide in the Air Max 97 OG / UNDFTD. The venerable retailer turned brand is 15, while Nike’s Air Max 97 is, of course, 20. In celebration, the two parties combine forces for an Air Max model that neatly ties together a shared, future-focused ethos. “The Air Max 97 is one of those pinnacle sneakers that changed everything when it came out. Nothing had looked like it at the time; the shape, lacing system and metallic silver gave it a more premium feel people hadn't really seen before. Upon its release it stopped everything, it screamed future,” says UNDFTD co-founder Eddie Cruz.
For its collaboration, UNDFTD gives the Air Max 97 a luxury twist — not in material, but in direct ode to Italian fashion. Just as the shoe represents two anniversaries, the conceit works two times over. First, it pays homage to a nation that championed the silhouette from the start, and second it nods to the intersection of high and low that’s been staple of streetwear for generations. “Celebrating our 15th anniversary on the 20th anniversary of the Air Max 97 felt like a natural opportunity .Why not use a model that is not only respected by our organization but also spoke of the future in its time?” says Cruz. “The design embodies Undefeated. We offer an elevated aspirational life style. Something for people to aspire to, to be driven towards and when you have it, you want people to know it.“ The Air Max 97 OG / UNDFTD releases in both black and white exclusively at UNDFTD on September 16. A global launch of the black colorway follows on September 21.