The Illustrated History of the Nike Air Force 1 - Part 2 | Grailify
The Illustrated History of the Nike Air Force 1 - Part 2

The Illustrated History of the Nike Air Force 1 - Part 2

16. iD & Bespoke: From 2005, the AF1 was available as an iD in Low and Mid Cut versions. For many years, however, it did not appear on the regular iD website, as it was only available as a customisable template in the iD studios. You needed an appointment at one of only five studios worldwide to try your hand at designing this icon. The first iD set cost 90€ or 125€ for the premium materials. Later, Nike developed the "Bespoke" programme. While the iDs are always bound to specifications in material and colour, the Bespoke creator is absolutely free in the design. If desired, Nike will even use materials that you bring yourself. However, this luxury also costs 820 dollars and is currently only permanently available at the Mercer Store in New York City.

17. 25 years - New edition of a classic: In 2007 - for the 25th anniversary - it was decided to give the timeless design of the shoe a general overhaul. Apart from some minor changes, such as the elimination of the sharp edges on the inside, something elementary was changed: the shape. The toe box is now more angular and the profile no longer slopes as nicely as before. In general, the shoe has become a little more angular and bulky. Another innovation is the inverted seams, so that no more seams are visible on the upper. In addition to the "Original Six" series - in which the six men in the above-mentioned poster each designed a shoe - Nike had two more models handmade in Italy in limited editions. There were already "Lux" versions produced in Italy before. What made the "Anaconda" and "Croco" special, however, was the material: the uppers were made of real animal skins and came with 24-carat gold-plated accessories. They were sold at a price of $ 2000.

18. The Mayor: When you talk about AF1s, you can't miss the "Mayor". His collection of Bespoke AF1s alone is bigger than many other collections combined. In addition to the Bespokes, he also owns a few 1-of-1s and is on a first-name basis with all the important players in the sneaker scene.

19. The AF1 and music: In 2002, Nelly recorded the song "Air Force Ones". However, this was not to remain the only song about the shoe, because for the 25th anniversary Nike brought in greats like Kanye West, Nas, KRS-One and Rakim for the track "Classic". There is also a song about the AF1 by German rapper Kool Savas. Jay-Z's "40/40 Club" or "Shady Records" have their own AF1 special editions, as does Fat (now Slim) Joe's "Terror Squad". DJ Clark Kent - also an AF1 icon - created a freely available AF1 that appeared in the "112 Pack" together with an Air Sneaker and an Air Max 1. But the shoe is not only popular in the hip-hop business, as the "Head Automatica" AF1 high-top shows. Which, in my opinion, is the most beautiful high cut of the modern era after the "Stash".

20. The 4-class society: The AF1 is now available in four different price categories. The prices increase steadily from Normal and Premium to Supreme and Lux. They differ in the choice of materials, quantities and also availability.

21. The materials: A range of materials used for the AF1: Patent leather, synthetic hair, Scotchlite, crocodile leather, terry cloth, denim, silk, snakeskin, nubuck, suede, fabric, clear plastic ... - this list is probably endless, so we'll leave it at that.

22. The collaborations: In the field of collaborations between Nike and artists, shops or other partners, there is probably no canvas that has been painted as often as the AF1. Kaws, Krink, Bobbito Garcia, Stash, Atmos and Undefeated - to name a few - have all launched their own creations of the AF1. Worth mentioning is the collaboration with the British shop chain "JD", which has released some special classics that have been in high demand among collectors for years.

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 construction - one for stability, one for breathability and one for durability. The midsole is made of Lunarlon material for the first time, while the Air system remains in the heel. The outsole has also been redesigned without losing its typical look. By using Hyperfuse and Lunarlon, the Lunar Force 1 weighs only 331.96 grams instead of the 497.82 of a typical AF1.
24. Midsoles:
Until the 2000s, there were a few midsoles in different colours, but always only in one material. Only the leather "InsideOut" midsole changed this. For the 25th anniversary of the AF1, the Air System was made visible through a window in the heel - as with many other Nike models. Meanwhile, some AF1s also have an Air system that extends across the entire sole and is visible along its entire length. The latest midsole is that of the Lunar Force 1, which, as already mentioned, is made of the lightweight but cushioning Lunarlon without losing the Air system in the heel.

25. Moses Malone: He is considered one of the most important players who popularised the shoe. He embodied the values of AF1 on the field and thus belonged to the "Original Six" (once again: the guys in the spacesuits!). Incidentally, Moses Malone was also the first basketball player to go straight from high school to the ABA pros.

26. The model numbers: Besides the already mentioned designations such as "Premium" or "Supreme", all kinds of abbreviations appeared on the box tags over the years, including "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 developed a new technology that etched patterns and shapes into the shoe with a laser. This was done on the Cortez, the Dunk and the AF1. In addition to the regular releases, there were many test samples and small series with only 10 or 20 numbered pairs made for specific 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 designed a new performance basketball shoe that was based on the first AF1 but would be up to date in terms of materials and performance characteristics. The goal of this successor was to re-establish the AF1 on the court. Despite prominent support - among others by LeBron James - this offshoot did not become a favourite and disappeared shortly afterwards.

29. The tongue: It comes in different lengths, shapes and materials - with a shield, snaking up the tongue or even only sewn on one side. Sometimes there is no tongue at all. But none come close to the nylon tongues of the 80s anymore.

30. The Force family: The AF1 is like the guy next door - as soon as he's 30 and settled in, he's thinking about the next generation. For the shoe's 30th anniversary, there was an offspring of five. In addition to the aforementioned Lunar Force 1, there's the AF1 Foamposite, the AF1 Boot, the AF1 Downtown and the AF1 Comfort, all of which are now part of this "Family of Force". All are based on the very first AF1, but have been modified to meet different requirements. The AF1 Downtown, for example, is a more delicate version of its ancestor and has a thinner midsole - something many have asked for. I myself have often been asked if there is nothing wrong with my feet because the soles of my shoes are so thick. With the Downtown, that will no longer happen.

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