Monday, September 17, 2007

Everyone knows that fashion and hip-hop are synonymous and have been for many years. The two have definitely built an unbreakable bond over the years. Music influences urban fashion and vice-versa. One fashion trend that has remained in place for several years and is currently dominating in athletic shoe sells is the infamous Nike Air Force One a.k.a AF1. I am fascinated by the whole AF1 shoe craze because when I first started wearing them back in the 1980s, it was just another Nike sneaker. Yeah, they were dope back then too, but nothing like it is now! During that time the real king of the shoe business were those Air Jordans! The Timberland brand has become a staple of the urban fashion shoe scene over the years as well, but they can’t touch those AF1s. In 2007, for every 10 people that I see walking through the mall at least 7 of them have on a pair of AF1s. If they’re not wearing them, you can best believe that they want too. Think about it, what other athletic shoe or any shoe for that matter has this type of versatility that has all age groups and nationalities of people wearing them? Personally, I like solid colored ones because they are simple in style. I don’t like a lot of crazy writing and annoying designs on my shoes, so the all white lows are perfect for me. For many, the AF1 is the all around urban shoe. It can be worn from the basketball court the city streets to the Red Carpet at the MTV Awards. I’m not trying to say that AF1s are necessary for every occasion, but I definitely understand.

Here are some interesting facts about the AF1 shoe. They were first created by a designer named Bruce Kilgore. It was the first basketball shoe to use the Nike Air technology. The name derives from the aircraft that carries the President of the United States. The first type of AF1 was produced in 1982 and discontinued in 1983. It was re-released in 1986 with the infamous Nike swoosh logo on the back and bottom of the shoe. There are over 1,700 color variations that have been produced over its history. The most popular colors are all black and all white, which just happens to be the only ones I wear. The shoes are sold by Nike retailers at about $48.50 a pair, and are then sold to the consumers for approximately $80. Damn, that sounds like a rip-off to me. Air Force Ones are NEVER sold at a discount price and any retailer found doing so is penalized by receiving lower quantities or none at all. Nike makes approximately 800 million dollars in revenue a year from the AF1 shoe line. Now, I think you can understand why Nike is one of the richest and powerful companies in the world.

Since, AF1s have become such a hot commodity over the years Nike has spiced their shoe game up by releasing several rare and limited editions of the shoe brand as well. Some of these outlandish creations can range anywhere from $150 to $400! The best part about it is that most of these shoes are never worn, but collected like a Babe Ruth rookie baseball card instead. That’s some crazy stuff right there, but if that’s your thing have at it. I would like to hear from a person who actually pays that much for a pair AF1s how all of that stuff works though just to fill my curiosity.

I have a 2 part question for all you AF1 wearers out there: How much money would you spin for a pair of AF1s, and do you think they really represent hip-hop or is this just ploy to get folks to buy shoes?



j.a.c. said...

wow. so funny. my girl just sent me this link because we both ventured out of our stilletos and bought our first pair of AF1s this past weekend. it's definitely a craze and I love it!

Skeeta said...

Good post! All I wear are AF1s, so I have about 20 pair that I rotate. The most I've paid for a pair was $120. Damn, those yellow and clear ones look sweet!

SoundNexx DJ said...

@jac - Welcome 2 the AF1! Once you join there is no getting out...LOL!

@Skeeta - U are better than me playboy! I don't any higher than $80, and even then I try to get a discount when I can...LOL!