First sight of the Air Max 2013 inspired dusting off a long-forgotten pressing of So Solid's 2001 album They Don't Know, rewinding "21 Seconds" 25 times and spending a frantic two hours scouring eBay for a pair of printed Moschino denim.
Fuck, already lost James Tirado.
The Air Max series, unlike other "classics," doesn't filter into the menswear universe as fluidly as, say, the current vogue for Jordans. Tinker Hatfield's AM1 gets some shine (though nobody will care when you drop a pointless "did you know these were inspired by the Pompidou Center?"). The obvious 95 does too. But, unheralded models (not just those that have gained a two-digit suffix) in the lineage remain shelved. In an era in which when so many champion their version of "high/low," too few are prepared to go properly street and wear sneakers without a heavy Tumblr co-sign.
As my friend Gary Warnett says, "Drug dealers have done more for running shoes at trend level than any runner ever will." Debatable, but I'll say this for certain: Drug dealers have done more for running shoes at trend level than any moron with a blog full of stolen images.
We're talking about breaking trends, not recycling status quo bits and bobs and adding "personal flare." We're talking about dressing like MONEY, not a complete fucking pussy. We're talking street classics.
We could talk tech: The Air Max 2013 is the series' most flexible model. It's also super light (thanks, Hyperfuse!). Obviously, the visible air unit remains one of Nike's most relevant innovations. And talk about tech, we will. But, not because the ride is relevant to what makes the Air Max 2013 a classic. Instead, the visibility of the tech gives voice to the cost of the shoe, which gives power to the wearer who can basically walk around proud sporting a proper "FUCK YOU" to 1987 and a high-five to progress.
In 1995, the Air Max of that year hit British roads at a cost of 110 GBPs. Naturally, it took the nickname "110". In '97, the cost was 120 Quid. Same deal. Nobody wore them to look like hard working folks. They wore them to stunt.
The bold "AIR MAX" graphic of the 2013 is an acceptable throwback. The attitude, thankfully, is throwback too. A hard-nosed, two-fingers up that suggests a bit of aggression against a weak time where Mumford & Sons win awards of any kind and kids hide behind a marketer's vision of timelessness. These are classics like a BW or a TN—shoes with street legacy, not manufactured hype.
These are sneakers that are about innovation in attitude—the newest, most expensive, brashest, with no fucks given about a backstory. These are shoes that are the antithesis of current trends and, for that reason alone, are fucking perfect.