Two anniversaries collide in the Nike Air Max 97 UNDEFEATED. The kicks celebrate the 15th anniversary of UNDEFEATED, as well as the 20th anniversary of the Air Max 97, all while giving a nod to Italian fashion.

“The Air Max 97 is one of those pinnacle sneakers that changed everything when it came out. Nothing had looked like it at the time; the shape, lacing system and metallic silver gave it a more premium feel people hadn’t really seen before. Upon its release it stopped everything, it screamed future,” says UNDEFEATED co-founder Eddie Cruz.

 Nike Air Max 97 UNDEFEATED

For its collaboration, UNDEFEATED gives the Air Max 97 a luxury twist — not in material, but in direct ode to Italian fashion. Just as the shoe represents two anniversaries, the conceit works two times over. First, it pays homage to a nation that championed the silhouette from the start, and second, it nods to the intersection of high and low that’s been a staple of streetwear for generations.

 Nike Air Max 97 UNDEFEATED

“Celebrating our 15th anniversary on the 20th anniversary of the Air Max 97 felt like a natural opportunity .Why not use a model that is not only respected by our organization but also spoke of the future in its time?” says Cruz. “The design embodies Undefeated. We offer an elevated aspirational life style. Something for people to aspire to, to be driven towards and when you have it, you want people to know it.“

The Air Max 97 UNDEFEATED releases in both black and white exclusively at UNDEFEATED on September 16. A global launch of the black colorway follows on September 21.

 Nike Air Max 97 UNDEFEATED

all images courtesy of Nike