Nike and Stüssy create stylish Air Force 1 “panda” sneakers
The history of Stüssy’s collaboration dates back to 2000, when it released two versions of the Nike Air Huarache exclusively at its flagship store in London. In contrast to today’s detailed partnerships, the brand has kept it simple; there were no logos or Stüssy design changes, just clean color schemes as envisioned by Michael Kopelman, an original member of the Stüssy tribe.
Many years and Nike models later, the streetwear brand has maintained its relationship with the Swoosh, releasing a co-branded sneaker at the start of each year. As 2022 approaches, Stüssy has prepared its own iteration on the classic Air Force 1 Mid. The leaked images show that the sneaker, like past collaborations, opts for simplicity.
Basic or minimalist? – At a glance, the shoe looks like any other Air Force 1 Mid: its Swooshes, panels, and Nike ‘Air’ branding all remain intact. Anyone who knows the partnerships with Stüssy, however, knows how to take a closer look – for the streetwear brand, it’s all in the details.
Beyond a black and white color palette, the sneaker offers a drummed leather upper, replacing the typical smooth leather of the shoe. The Stüssy branding appears on the strap and tongue label, while on the toe area the perforations have been realigned to appear as the interlocking “S” logo on the label. The same pattern is found on the heel, in the form of a dazzling double “S” charm.
If you know, you know – With minimal makeup, sneakers may not see as much of the hype as other Nike collaborations, which often gain hype thanks to celebrity endorsement. Yet Stüssy’s innovative brand – along with its history in streetwear partnerships – makes the Air Force 1 Mid a clean classic. And after the shoe’s eventual release, we’re sure Drake and Lebron will replicate pairs from the collaboration. You can’t go wrong with something simple.
The minimum Air Force 1 Mid is scheduled for early 2022; for reference, this year’s annual Nike x Stüssy collaboration launched in February. And as an official release date approaches, more details on the design of the sneaker should surface, adding a deeper meaning to the partnership. Maybe the shoe isn’t as black and white as it looks.