UPDATE (February 24, 2021): The Whitaker Group has pushed back the release date of its exclusive
“I’m sure there are people who are disappointed we are moving this launch, but that disappointment can’t match how Black and Brown people in Houston are coping without power, food and water – in the midst of a year-long pandemic,” says Whitaker Group owner James Whitner. “Our team in Houston is deeply affected as well. This is bigger than sneakers and fashion, this is about showing up where it’s most needed.”
ORIGINAL STORY (February 19, 2021): After Social Status revealed the Whitaker Group‘s exclusive Nike Waffle One by way of an Instagram post, the James Whitner-helmed retail outfit has now announced an official release date for its latest project and shared the inspiration behind its design. Looking all the way back to Nike co-founder Bill Bowerman‘s days of attempting to make rubber running shoe soles in his wife’s waffle iron, this Waffle One simultaneously salutes the humble genesis of Nike, Inc. and Bowerman’s neverending curiosity.
Conceptualized by Frank Cooke — a notable footwear designer who’s had stints at Wish ATL, Jordan Brand and others — the Whitaker Waffle One supplies a mixture of modern materials and aged detailing. Uppers are made from ultra-fine mesh, underlaid with synthetic support structures and overlaid by classic suede mudguards, eyestays and heel pieces. A rusty hue is present across most of the upper, most notably on the laces, and black midfoot Swooshes are made of cracked leather.
On the rear, two-piece heel clips add structure and support while down below EVA foam midsoles offer more aged detailing with a yellowed tint. Final hits of branding are served by small Swooshes on the heel and tongue alike, with a true-to-the-original waffle-patterned black rubber outsole completing the look. Outside of the shoe itself, the box gets in on the inspiration with custom comic-printed tissue paper that shows a stylized version of Bowerman’s waffle creation process.
The Whitaker Group’s exclusive Nike Waffle One is set to release via Social Status and A.P.B. on February 26, is priced at $120 USD and is limited to 500 individually numbered pairs. The Whitaker Group will also host a interactive digital event on February 23.