After 2016’s take on the Air Max BW, London-based grime artist Skepta has once again teamed up with Nike on a collaborative sneaker. The Air Max 97 Sk sees Skepta reimagine the 97 silhouette, with a color palette inspired by a recent visit to the Moroccan town of Essouira — the same trip that influenced the visuals for his debut Mains collection earlier this year. Explaining the role Morocco played, Skepta said that “I found Morocco, and it was perfect. Everything I wanted to feel about peace, I found it there.” Another influence on the 97 Sk is the 1999 Air Tuned Max, which was the first shoe Skepta ever saved up to buy. “I wanted to bring its magic to the 97,” he says, “the magic that first made me fall in love with Air Max.”
Details on the sneaker include braided embroidery along the tongue and heel, which is a tribute to the embellished sportswear Skepta saw in Morocco, an insole print inspired by traditional Moroccan patterns, and an original Sk logo, which is a reference to the Air Max TN logo and comes in the shape of a UK electrical plug. This logo was plastered around London over the weekend to tease the as-yet-unannounced collaboration.
Skepta also explained why he was so keen to work with Air Max, and what the sneaker meant to him: “I have been wearing Air Max for so long, since I was 7 playing around in the estate; Air Max is from when we were running the streets, it was comfortable to wear in London, whether you were going out to a club or kicking a ball in the streets.”
The Air Max 97 Sk is set to drop via the Nike+ SNEAKERS app, the brand’s web store, and select retailers on September 2.