So the dust has settled for another year on one of the biggest dates in the streewear and sneaker calendar: Air Max Day. Every year, the Swoosh celebrates the release of the first ever Air Max sneaker on March 26, and every year they do something special.
But this year was different: in 2017 the original Air Max turned the big 3-0 and Nike unveiled a steady stream of quality releases to celebrate. From updating key classics to bringing back old icons and releasing the certified people’s favorite, a lot went on.
This year also marked the point when Nike came a step closer to us actually walking on air with the release of the all-new VaporMax. The sneaker lived up to its hype – so much so that the COMME des GARÇONS collab already got a re-release just after the OG dropped and got shot across the community (view our round up of the best styled shots here).
Here’s our round up of everything else that went down across Highsnobiety through March for Air Max Day. To get started, here’s streetwear and sneaker grandee, Gary Warnett, in our latest Conversations podcast on the legacy and importance of Air Max.
Before VaporMax dropped, we went inside one of the most secretive buildings on the Swoosh’s Beaverton campus: the AIR Manufacturing Innovation (AMI) facility where, for 35 years, Nike has evolved and manufactured its patented AIR technology.
We then deep-dived into the story of how Nike invented its latest sneaker alongside an interactive guide to the silhouette. We took a closer look at one of the first VaporMax collabs to surface from the industrial designer and long-time Nike collaborator, Marc Newson, before German rapper Ace Tee showed us why Nike VaporMax is the future. We also got an exclusive chat with French rapper Joke about their second album, their new single, and why he’s into the VaporMax as well.
Honoring the legacy of the Air Max’s place in Europe as well as the creative vision of Tinker Hatfield, we went to three European capitals and spoke to real creatives about what it takes to realize their own creativity, how to actually do it successfully, and how to be good at it despite the odds.
In London, Evian Christ, Liv Little and GAIKA told us their story before styling the new VaporMax out on the streets; in Paris we met Applecore’s Steven Alexis, FUTUR’s Benoit Frédonie and hip-hop and production partners Ichon and Myth Syzer as they styled the Air Max 1 Ultra 2.0 in one of Paris’ monumental housing complexes; and in Berlin, DJ and producer Peggy Gou, photographer Shirin Siebert from 030 crew and tattoo artist David Frisch toured the capital and told us their stories as they wore the Air Max 90 Ultra 2.0 Flyknit.
The Air Max line is arguably the most conceptually complete sneaker line that’s ever been created. We argued the case for that as we dissected the story behind the controversial design of the first Air Max 1. We also investigated what the Air Max line means for the sneakerhead community, as well as the legacy of collaborations that the Air Max line inspired across the board. We also took at closer look at the new atmos x Nike pack of the re-released people’s favorite, the atmos Air Max 1 “Elephant” and the Air Jordan 3.
One of the hottest drops for Air Max Day this year was the re-release of the one that started it all: the Air Max 1 OG (2017) which Nike dropped in its original ‘university red’ colorway and its equally loved blue counterpart a few days later. We compared and contrasted the 2017 re-release with its 1987 original so you didn’t have to.
On the collaboration tip, another long-time partner to the Swoosh took up the challenge of a resurgent Millennium-era classic, with a luxe black and gold hi-top take on the AM97. We inspected Riccardo Tisci’s efforts and we liked it.
There was a hectic stream of live events happening around the world, from Travis Scott shutting down LA’s Air Max Day party to our own live coverage of the special Air Max party at the place that inspired it all: Paris’ Georges Pompidou center. Take a look at what went down, below, or watch a quick recap here.
Before flying over to Paris for Air Max Day, we hung out with you guys in London at size? to feel the vibes and celebrate.
Oh yeah, and we camped out with you at the Berlin release party of the new Air Max 1 “Master” at legendary sneaker store Overkill.
You can also watch all of our live unboxings for every Air Max release this year, below. Just in case you need a little bit more info…
Unboxing the Nike Air Max 1 Master
Unboxing the Riccardo Tisci x Nike Air Max 97 and more from Vans and Karhu
Unboxing the Nike Air Max 1 Ultra 2.0 LE & atmos x Nike Air Max 1 “Elephant”
Unboxing – Nike VaporMax
Highsnobiety and Nike celebrated the 30th anniversary of the Air Max 1 with an entire month of in-depth articles, personal stories and events leading up to Air Max Day 2017. Read the story behind the original Air Max 1, find out the how the VaporMax came about and find out everything you wanted to know about the new Nike Master. Finally, see our selection of the best Air Max shots to come out of all this fresh from you guys.