It might not have as much prestige on this side of the Atlantic Ocean as it does over in America, but Nike’s Air Force 1 is finally beginning to make a mark over in the UK and at Mainline Menswear you will find the shoe’s latest adaptations.
Originally designed back in 1982 by Bruce Kilgore, the Air Force 1 is Nike’s best selling shoe of all time having sold millions every single year barring a small hiatus from 1983-86, just a year after its release. Air Force 1 was the first silhouette by the sportswear giants to feature their famous Air technology and the comfort this allowed made it the most-sought after shoe in the NBA for basketball’s top stars.
Their innovative shoe not only caught people’s attention for it technological features, it looked stunning and it soon became a regular feature of everyday fashion. It has been released in in low, mid and high top guises since then and they have become a true footwear aficionado’s favourite having been made in over 2000 different colourways- the increased demand is likely to mean that number will only grow in the coming years too.
Did you know? The name Air Force One is a reference to the American President’s famous aircraft of the same name.
It was their sport-infused and retro appeal which helped them become known as “uptowns” back in 90’s America, making reference to the urban inner-city youths who championed the footwear on the streets for the first time. It wasn’t until the shoe became associated with the world of rap music in the 1990’s and 2000’s that the shoe reached a wider fashion audience when stars like Jay Z and Nelly began to sport the design on a regular basis- Nelly even wrote a song about them. Their endorsement of the shoe helped it gain recognition overseas and it is- arguably- their influence that has made the Air Force 1 the phenomenal success it is today.
In its original and most common form the shoe is either a solid black or white in colour; either of which can easily be applied to a number of outfit choices.
Over the years Air Force 1 has shown it is not exclusive to any type or categories of fashion. As well as being a gritty piece of streetwear clothing its high-end status continues to grow having had collaborations with a number of successful designers such as Riccardo Tisci of Givenchy. AF-1 is comfortable in any setting and having moved from the basketball court, to the street, then the catwalk- stars such as Kanye West and Robert Downey Jnr have even given the iconic shoe a run out on the red carpet as part of a smart ensemble which shows the extent of its iconic status.
The clean appearance and resolute, chunky style of AF-1 is particularly on trend right now as many people are searching for that bold monochrome look mixing black and occasionally white. The Nike Air Force One is also a strong part of the retro, sports luxe trend which continues to grow in popularity from season to season, experimenting vivaciously with colour in much the same way that designers of the Air Force 1 have done with their revered sneaker.
Right now there are three brand new designs available in the Air Force 1, for which their colours all reflect the current colder season. The brand new deep burgundy version is a limited edition release from the recent “Work” pack, taking inspiration from rugged industrial boots to create a new concept, shying away from the shoe’s sporting heritage and being released in a low top style for an exclusive number of retailers. Added to this you can find a white leather collectors edition version of the shoe as well as the popular solid black design.