The Air Force 1 is one of Nike’s most iconic shoes. Designed by Bruce Kilgore and named for the plane that ferries the American president, it was first produced in 1982 and fast became a streetwear classic and collector favourite.
Next week Nike is releasing 70 pairs of hand-customised Air Force 1s to the Australian public. The limited-release Blank Canvas Collective edition marks the first time the American street and sportswear brand has brought local customisation to Australia. It’s in celebration of the shoe’s 35th anniversary.
The shoes will bare the work of Sydney street artist Phibs. He has customised 35 pairs of Triple Black and 35 pairs of Triple White Air Forces 1s, 23 of which will go on sale – online – via Foot Locker on December 3 at 11am. The remaining 24 pairs – 12 in each colourway – will be available exclusively in Melbourne on December 3 at Nike’s inaugural basketball event, Battle Force Sunday. A pair costs $150.
All purchases from the Blank Canvas project will be donated to the YMCA to be invested in basketball culture and support its local basketball initiatives.
One of those is Y Streetball, a regular Tuesday basketball meet for the homeless and disadvantaged in North Melbourne.
“It’s a place where people can come and develop friendships, play some sport, get some exercise, do some stretches,” says Y Streetball co-founder Peter Abraham. “What we just wanted to create was a safe space.”