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Air Force 1 x Supreme

Supreme has been around since the mid-90s, but it wasn’t until 2002 that the skateboarding lifestyle brand collaborated with Nike for the first time. Having just set up its own skating division known as Nike SB, this was the perfect time for the footwear innovator to get involved with such a company. Over the next decade, the two forged a strong partnership and together crafted a whole series of eye-catching skate shoes. Then, in 2012, Supreme finally decided to shift focus to a purely lifestyle sneaker. The shoe they chose for their debut non-skate collaboration was the iconic Air Force 1, and the resulting model captivated sneaker fans everywhere. Following this, the collaboration was fruitful, going on to produce dozens of memorable Nike Air Force 1 x Supreme sneakers.

The first run of designs consisted of three Air Force 1 Low models all characterised by their minimalist use of colour, fine materials and, ultimately, classic look. Each one has a gum rubber outsole and white Air-cushioned midsole with dual branding on the tongue and insole and a red tag with Supreme text behind the lateral swoosh. On the upper is where they differ as the Black edition is covered in a water-resistant fabric, the Olive a premium canvas and the Camo the same high-quality material in a stealthy graphic.

It was another two years before Supreme and Nike returned to the Air Force 1. When they did, the pair opted for the high-top version of the fan-favourite silhouette. Once again, they went with mostly monochrome colourways, preferring a simple, elegant look. Like the original set, this one was made up of three sneakers with similar features, such as a leather upper and Supreme’s trademark “World Famous” text woven through the ankle strap, but each was distinguished by its own colour combination. The Black model features the titular colour on its upper along with white swooshes and branding, the White version flips this arrangement through its white upper and black accents, while the eye-catching Red edition has a bright scarlet upper and contrasting white highlights on its sole unit, branding and swooshes. Other than this, they all have several elements in common, including the capitalised Supreme text arcing across the back of the shoe, the number 94 embroidered into the heel tab to celebrate the year the company was founded and the dual branding on the white tongue patch.

By this time, the Nike Air Force 1 x Supreme had become such a popular collection that new shoes sold out almost immediately on release. So, when Nike and Supreme brought fashion label Comme des Garçons on board for their 2017 sneaker, the fans were filled with excitement. Returning to the low-top format, the trio designed an all-white shoe with a mesmerising eye graphic printed across each ankle and heel panel in black. CDG and Supreme branding appears below the lateral swoosh and the back of the tongue patch, while the Nike Air text on the heel has been embroidered in white so that it emerges subtly behind the black eye stamped over it.

Just one year later, in 2018, the formidable trio reunited to forge another Air Force 1 x Supreme x CDG. For the colour scheme, they went with a simple but stylish black and white, this time with the former tone coating the outsole and the premium leather upper, as well as the branding on the midsole and tongue. This last feature is white from heel to toe, as are the other branding effects that reference all three companies on the heel and insole. Along with this, the standout feature is the split swoosh design, which sees the large white sidewall logos sliced through the middle by a seam that runs vertically from the collar to the midsole, giving this shoe a one-of-a-kind aesthetic.

2018 was a year for three-way partnerships as Nike brought together Supreme and the NBA to build a couple of mid-top Air Force 1s that celebrate the most successful teams of the North American basketball leagues. In familiar fashion, monochrome colourways prevail. There is a Black colourway and a White version, each with a collection of colourful team logos printed across the upper. From the Chicago Bulls to the Los Angeles Lakers and the New York Knicks, many teams are represented, while the Supreme logo can be spotted among them. This vivid red emblem reappears on the tongue patch alongside the Nike Air logo, and the word “Supreme” has been embroidered in black thread across the front of the ankle strap.

After the excitement of these collaborative sneakers, Nike and Supreme took a year off the Air Force 1, only to return to it in 2020. The Air Force 1 Supreme Box Logo features a highly stripped back design that delivers beauty in its simplicity. To create it, the brands called on the most iconic colourways from the history of the famous silhouette – the elegant white-on-white AF1 and the sleek, all-black model – resulting in two similar versions: the White colourway and the Black. Each is distinguished by the red Supreme box logo on its lateral heel and the dual branding printed onto the insole and etched into the metal lace dubrae. And for those who want to add a more dynamic look to their personal pair, they are supplied with an additional set of laces, the White’s a striking red, the Black’s the same colour as the sneaker, both filled with white Supreme text.

The timeless look of the Box Logo designs saw them become hugely popular, leading to the style being reimagined in 2021 on the Wheat colourway. Just like the other two, it incorporates a single colour across the majority of the sneaker and has the same classy branding effects. Its upper is made from luxurious nubuck and its inner is lined with an extra-soft material for additional comfort. It comes with two sets of laces, one a durable rope-style pair, the other wheat-coloured and with white Supreme text repeating along their entire length. The two brands were clearly taken with this format as they released a fourth Air Force 1 x Supreme based on the Box Logo style in 2023. Baroque Brown was the chosen colourway this time, its rich colouration combining with a refined leather upper and subtle branding to forge a remarkably stylish sneaker.

The Nike x Supreme partnership is one of the most productive and successful of all sneaker collaborations, which is epitomised in their collection of Air Force 1 designs. From the very beginning, they chose to focus on a minimalist aesthetic to craft a set of shoes with style and sophistication that keep the fans coming back for more. There are no signs of the collaboration waning as yet, so the coming years may bring even more stunning Nike Air Force 1 x Supreme sneakers from this pair of global brands.

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