Since 1982, marking the introduction of Air technology to basketball, the Air Force 1 has served as a blank canvas for self-expression inspiring artists, musicians and creative communities worldwide. To celebrate one of Nike’s most recognizable silhouettes and its timeless white/white and black/black designs, Nike invited a curated group of creatives to reimagine and customize the iconic sneaker.
In South Africa, Nike invited local artists Danielle Clough, aka Fiance Knowles, and Nokana “Dodo” Mojapelo, to use the AF-1 as a blank canvas to express their creative prowess.
Danielle is a multitalented photographer, designer and embroiderer, world-renowned for creating incredible artworks with her needle and thread. Her new take on this traditional craft evokes a sense of nostalgia and old world charm with a revived relevance to high fashion.
Her one-of-a-kind “Summer Salad” Nike triple white AF-1s feature a variety of rich summer fruits intricately embroidered in splashes of bright colours, perfect for sunny South African days – whether it’s on the court or out on the street.
Nokana’s customised triple-black “STAFF ONLY” AF-1s are inspired by the concept of creating stylish, workable and appealing shoes for construction workers. “I wanted to make a shoe for the community, and at the same time raise awareness and appreciation for the people who build our infrastructure and ensure it’s safe – they deserve to be praised,” he explains.
Going back to the start of the design process, Nokana describes the emotional challenge he faced. “It made me revisit my 10-year old self who wanted a pair of Nike AF1s so badly, but couldn’t afford them at the time. Now, I not only own a few pairs, but I’m part of this great opportunity with Nike to express myself. That’s a beautiful moment for me.”
With an acute understanding of how basketball has influenced streetwear and vice versa since the 90’s, and Nokana’s personal love for Nike AF1s, his exclusive designs expresses the artistic capabilities of the shoe by emphasising style, awareness, appreciation and history.
To own a bespoke pair of Nike Blank Canvas AF-1s head to https://www.shelflife.co.za/nike-bid, where the sneakers will be available via an online auction:
– Summer Salad by Fiance Knowles will be auctioned on Monday, 27 November 2017
– Staff Only by Nokana “Dodo” Mojapelo will be auctioned on Saturday, 2 December 2017
All proceeds from the auction will go towards the upkeep of the newly refurbished Zoo Lake courts where Nike is hosting the 3-on-3 Battle Force Challenge on 25 November and 2 December. The courts feature a brand new design created by local artists Faatimah Mohamed-Luke and Karabo Moletsane – another first for the sports brand in South Africa.
Follow the conversation on Twitter @NSWZA using the hashtag #BattleForceJHB.