Con el comienzo del nuevo siglo, Nike decidió ofrecer a algunas tiendas seleccionadas referentes en el sector a nivel internacional la oportunidad de re-imaginar alguna de sus siluetas más reconocidas. Así fue como la tienda japonesa atmos lanzó en el 2002 las celebradas Air Max 1 “Safari” y “Viotech” a la que siguió más tarde en el 2007 la “Elephant Print”.
Coincidiendo con el 30 Aniversario de la primera Air Max y la reedición de la atmos “Elephant Print”, Nike y Jordan han decidido unir fuerzas para lanzar un pack de edición limitada que celebra la conexión entre las creaciones de Hirofumi Kojima (Director Creativo de atmos) y la Air Jordan III, su modelo preferido de la línea. En el citado pack la Air Max 1 incorpora el logo del Jumpman en la suela exterior y la Air Jordan III cambia su genuino elephant print por un safari print en lo que supone un doble homenaje al pionero modelo de 1987, (integrante del rompedor “Air Pack”) y la aclamada Air Max 1 “Safari” atmos del 2002.
A continuación unas reflexiones de Hirofumi Kojima acerca de donde hunden las raíces sus colaboraciones y su parecer acerca de la situación actual del sector.
What does the AM1 mean to you? What does it represent for design and for sneaker culture?
Air Max series mean a lot to me, as they are the reason for me to become interested in sneakers. Among all, Air Max1 is a commemorative shoe as the 1st of Air Max series. I believe AM1 is a historical piece and an indispensable part of the legend for both atmos and sneaker culture.
What does Air Max (as a technology and a platform) mean to you?
I expect Air Max series to continue to evolve, and to come up with exciting products.
How did you approach the collaboration in 2007, what was the impetus for the color scheme?
I remember talking with the people in Nike Japan, who were involved in the project, about creating something crazy and stupid that would give impact to the market. We happened to find a pair of vintage Nike kids shoe with zebra print, and we decided to create shoes with animal prints under the concept of zoo.
Why elephant print? Why connect the AM1, even if subtly, to the Jordan legacy and its design language?
I grew up watching Michael Jordan and my first Nike (Jordan) was Air Jordan 1 Chicago made in 1994. The Air Jordan III is my personal favorite, which was the first one to use elephant pattern on a shoe. Air Max 1 Elephant was one of 3 shoes made under the concept of zoo, which was inspired by elephants swimming in the zoo.
Is there anything you thought of about the design was complete you wish had been included?
I believed it was perfect! But if I should expect more, I would like the jade-colored swoosh in premium leather rather than in patent leather.
Why do you think this atmos AM1 has continued to excite fans?
As with all Air Max x atmos series products, I believe the reason for the big success was the use of color and material that we skillfully selected from the perspective of fashion and sneakerheads to modify the original Air Max, which had been just a running shoe. We were ahead of time as such a product was still scarce in the market. It was before internet became popular, and the products were offered exclusively in Japan through a project called “co.jp”, to further drive the desire of fanatic sneakerheads around the world.
These days, most brands are selling the same things around the world and there is no longer a treasure hunt like excitement in the market. I understand it is inefficient, but we would like to carry exclusive local model like “co.jp” once again to drive excitement, all the more Tokyo 2020 is approaching.
What was your reaction when the shoe was selected by fans as the one to bring back for 2017?
Of course it was a great pleasure and the greatest honor for a person whose job is about sneakers. To be honest, I did not realize the significance of the event at first, but a lot of celebratory remarks from the staff and my friends made me realize it.