The Nike Air Force 1 is a constant. Reliable, timeless, dare we say it legendary. Since its launch in ’82, the shoe has gone from strict basketball equipment in the US to a global street style staple. The how and why is held by the people who, generation after generation, adopted it and loved it, each with their own introduction points and reasons.
AJ TRACEY, 23, RAPPER, LADBROKE GROVE
In the late ‘90s the Air Force 1 had a strict underground following in London, because, unlike today the sneaker wasn’t embraced by fashion, nor did celebrities, footballers or musicians celebrate it. Instead there was an organic street embrace that was defined by a particular way of styling the shoe. But the early 2000’s played a pivotal role to London’s Air Force 1 connection. JD Sports, which first stocked the AF1 in ’89, began offering limited-edition exclusive colorways, which gained a cult following almost as powerful as the mythical CO.JP varieties from Japan.
JADON SANCHO, 17, FOOTBALLER, KENNINGTON
But skip through to modern day and despite the hyped collaborations and limited runs, the shoe’s organic, underground buzz still abounds in London by the silhouette’s simple appeal captured the attention of successive generations, who want to be apart of the Air Force 1 story, each with their own tale of how they came to fall for the sneaker loved by many before them.
Read the stories of four contemporary Londoners, AJ Tracey, Little Simz, Jadon Sancho and Leah Williamson who’ve shared their respective take on the sneakerheads favourite, the Air Force 1.