We go again,
The Air Force 1 is something I always wanted but didn’t know why since I was a kid. The influence black culture gave the AF1 and soon hip hop would match the shell toe in the air with Run DMC.
How I heard about the AF1 is my cousins in New York. They were about it, and said Air Force One was the flyest. At my first opportunity to shop for myself I got a black pair of AF1 with the gold trim to match my tracksuit. Was the first time I ever saw girls look at me different I was 12 years old I felt so mature then, like I discovered something for the first time, something no one else knew.
Cultural induction into Hip Hop
The reason for the feeling of greatness came years before that. Black culture in New York City was buzzing as you find terrible conditions you have people finding creative way to make it out. It’s the story of all generations, the best entrepreneurs come out of there, this is ’94 Harlem Ready to Die was about to drop, Post Alpo. A place of Go getters, hustlers, and the culture of hip hop, the most notable and cementer of the Iconic Shoe in Hip Hop was Nelly – Air Force Ones the greatest ad never paid for; The cultural currency this song held was like no other, it wasn’t just something for the streets it was now Hip Hops Sneaker and NOTHING has been able to replicate the effect of the song.
The summertime spectres/Casper’s/ Cocaine White’s. Sporting these meant you knew what you were doing you checked the weather and you knew no one would disrespect them by scoffing them; You were the man and these were a representation of such; You were brave; and you knew who you were.
These pearly criss whites were a reflection of great poise. Patent leather soon transformed into a canvas for those who would make the pair they owned individual so much so that there is an industry of people that clean customise and curate these sneakers. Retail price starting at £200 it is really lucrative for anyone that can circle the market for curating customs.
The market for custom curation is so huge that Nike was losing so much money on resell and so forth they had to become a player in the market upping the number of collaborations they do almost ten fold in the past 3/4 years since the inception of AF1 they have had major collaborators with just the curation alone of the AF1 let alone the rest of The Air series or Jordan. Nike was no longer a place that collaborated with only “elite athletes” they inject themselves further into the narrative of streetwear by creating collaborations with other fashion influencers and houses.
All this in mind there’s a whole new generation approaching the 20’s who see Nike as the most prestige brand. Not in technology but cultural influence, a different type of elite the figure that gets down to the level of youth at any age and becomes an aspirational figure.
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