UPDATE: Following reports that OVO Mark had given us our first look at an upcoming Drake x Nike Air Force 1 collaboration, it has come to Highsnobiety’s attention that the sneakers in question are, in fact, not a collab between Drizzy and the Swoosh. The below article has been updated to reflect that.
The internet lit up earlier this week when Mark Robinson, aka OVO Mark, a close friend of Drake’s, shared a shot of co-branded OVO x Nike Air Force 1. Rumors swirled that this was our first look at an upcoming Drake x Nike collab that would be part of the rapper’s “NOCTA” sublabel.
Turns out, that the sneakers in question are not part of Drake’s official partnership with Nike, but a pair of custom sneakers made for OVO Mark and Drake’s inner circle by Lorenzo Federici aka @lorenz.og. The color designer shared this information on LinkedIn and talked exclusively with Highsnobiety about making the sneakers for OVO Mark last year.
“The shoes that went viral are the AF1.OG *NIGHTOWL*, a colorway made exclusively for OVOmark,” Lorenzo explains. “I originally made 4 individual pairs, and two went to Mark. He wears his all the time and continues to show love.
The sneakers are hand-dyed purple and feature OG and OVO stitching on the heel underneath the Nike Air branding. “This colorway is loosely inspired by the Air Force 1 co.jp ‘Linen’,” continues Lorenzo. “The technique I use in most of my work is using a mixture of dyes to create different color hues and fades. I use NikeBYYou base shoes as the shoe is much more premium than a standard AF1, and it allows me to add slightly more detailing. I also use a laser machine to etch on my logo.”
The sneaker was believed to be part of Drake’s official Nike collab because rumors emerged earlier last year that there would be a co-branded Air Force 1 coming. So far, no concrete information exists outside of early mockups and vague release dates.
We can now say with certainty, however, that the pair worn by OVO Mark is not a Drake x Nike collaboration, and that there might be more unofficial OVO AF1s coming. “I am cooking up more heat for my friends out in Toronto as we speak, this collaboration wasn't a one-off and we should be seeing more .OG on their feet soon,” says Lorenzo.
As always, stay tuned for more information as we get it.
To stay updated on everything happening in the sneaker world, follow @highsnobietysneakers on Instagram, check out the best sneakers to add to your rotation this week, and sign up to our newsletter for the latest sneaker news sent straight to your inbox.