Following its somewhat surprising leak a couple of weeks back, Riccardo Tisci has sat down with Nike for a spot of real talk on his upcoming Air Max '97 Mid R.T. sneaker and what the AM '97 model means to him.

As we wrote in this article, the Air Max '97 has always held a special place in the hearts of Italian sneakerheads, and so it's no surprise that Tisci's words are tinged with emotion as he looks back at its influence. Firstly touching on its impact amongst the youth and clubbing culture, the ex-Givenchy creative director then divulges his thought process behind the new, elevated design. Find some of our choice highlights from the piece below.

On how the shoe impacted Italian Youth Culture:

The Air Max 97 had a huge influence and impact on Italian culture. [It's] an iconic, young shoe of 90s. At the time I was involved with DJs and music, and in the clubs people leading the big waves were wearing Air Max. That period has a lot of history. It was the first meeting of sportswear and fashion.

On how "honesty" inspired the design:

The future is about honesty. Everything people want seems to be honest, to be real. People want honest clothes, honest shoes, honest everything. This is really what people look for, design-wise, color-wise and in fashion and in the way people dress.

On the sneaker's shape and elevated height:

I gave it more height because I think it's much more ‘street;’ it's typical of me.

To read the article in full, head on over to Nike.

In related news, the Spring '17 NikeLab x UNDERCOVER GYAKUSOU range has arrived.

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