Air Max Memories With Jazz Bonifacio
Air Max Day is this Thursday, so to celebrate, we looked through our Sneaker Freaker rolodex and found three of the biggest Air Max heads we knew to get them to share some of their most prized Air Maxes from their collection. Part of our Sneaker Freaker family from the earliest days, Jazz Bonifacio has seen the sneaker world evolve from both a collector’s perspective and an insider’s perspective as he now heads up the Volley Australia footwear design team. A sneakerhead through and through, JBo has collected a respectable collection of rare and unseen Air Max heat through the years. Click to arrows to check out some of his most prized sneakers from his collection for yourself!
NIKE AIR MAX 87 ‘MORNING GLORY’
Limited to 144 pairs globally, the ‘Morning Glory’ AM1s were part of the ‘Powerwall Pack’ that released under the Tier Zero banner in 2005. The upper features black perforated-nubuck underlays, embossed snakeskin mudguards, all over laser etching on the quarters, mesh tongue, micro quilted mesh linings and a bright pink midsole. Simply beautiful!
NIKE AIR MAX 95 ‘ATHENS'
These dropped back in 2004 for the Athens Summer Olympic Games. What makes this unique to all the other Olympic inspired make-ups is the clever use of colour referencing within the 95s quarter panels. Each section represents the Olympic Rings colours and the execution is at a gold medal level! While I was in Korea for a trip, I heard whispers that the shoes were releasing locally. Without the aid of a GPS or Google translate – remember this was back in 2004 – I hunted down all the sneaker stores in Busan and found a underground spot that stocked them, the rest is history!
NIKE AIR MAX 87 SAMPLE ‘WINGS & WAFFLES'
Being a sample size is a gift and a curse, I either had new kicks every week or I was always broke. Back when Nike’s Smith Street outlet in Collingwood was still around, I found myself checking the store every weekend for bargains and off-the-cuff rare pairs. The samples you find there were usually the ones that never make it into production – which, for a collector makes them even more enticing to hunt – there was even a time when the Concord Jordan 11s with the embroidered 45 dropped there, but that’s for another conversation! The ‘Wings & Waffle’ is a special make-up celebrating Moroccan runner Hicham El Guerrouj and his World Record breaking time in the 1500m, with the upper and design matching the outfit he wore when he broke the record. If you’ve seen the current market value, you will understand why my $50 purchase was one of my biggest steals ever!
NIKEID AIR MAX 90 ‘INFRAREDNESS’
Before the ‘Red October’ Yeezys, there was the ‘InfraRadness’ – an all patent leather infrared 90. Back in 2006, I had the opportunity to visit the 255 Nike Design Lab in Manhattan. Access to the space behind the frosted glass door was by appointment only, and those appointments were invites only, luckily I was able to score an invitation. Surrounded by design books, colour inspirations and materials galore, I was given an hour to work my magic. When the design consultant showed me the additional Studio 255 exclusive materials, I knew what I wanted to make; a solid, glowing Air Max 90. I’ve done my share of in-store iDs, but the NYC experience still remains uber-exclusive and one of my most memorable sneaker memories.
PATTA x NIKE AIR MAX 95 ‘PARRA’
Part of the Running Man Pack, these 95s were designed by Dutch artist Parra. The upper boasts his signature colours of black, blue, pink and white, and the special graphic insoles added to their allure. One of the most notable additions is the replacement of the Swoosh tongue branding for embroidered Parra artwork that also features in the translucent outsole.
FUTURA x LIVESTRONG x NIKEID AIR MAX 180 ‘GOLDENROD’
Uh huh, you know what is; black and yellow, black and yellow, black and yellow! These bad boys were part of the Livestrong x Futura 10/2 NIKEiD offering and the colours were inspired by the ‘Wu Tang’ Dunks. The upper consists of yellow micro suede overlays and black mesh underlays. To top it off, a seven and eight are embroidered on each heel representing my year of birth.
CLOT x NIKE AIR MAX 87 ‘KISS OF DEATH’
I love what CLOT and MC Yan did to this shoe, it is the ‘What The’ of Air Max family with the number of materials and treatments used. The unpadded liner, ostrich skin embossing, clear PVC vamps, suede uppers, perforated tabs, snakeskin tongues, printed insoles, crystal outsole with graphic underlays, embroidered nubuck….and a fancy ass box to boot! Copping kicks was easy back then, all we did was pick up the phone, get the store clerk to check the available sizes, hand over your credit card details and voila…. No campouts, no lines, no saltiness!
STASH x NIKE AIR MAX 95
Anything the New York graffiti artist Stash touches turns to gold in my eyes. His signature fifty shades of grey and blue, combined with ripstop nylon and buttery nubuck upper make this shoe an instant classic. Nuff said!