After two decades, the entire HUF x Nike Air Max 1 Collection has finally arrived.

Image Via Nick Llanton / Hypebeast 

HUF's creative director, Romeo Tanghal, explains how the duo committed the three-pair project to the "true enthusiasts."

In 2004, HUF embarked on its inaugural collaboration with Nike, a partnership that emerged just two years after HUF established its footprint as a San Francisco-based retail haven celebrated for its discerning curation of elusive brands and active involvement within the local skateboarding community. Spearheaded by HUF founder Keith Hufnagel, the collaboration found its genesis in the customization of the Air Max 1, a shoe that held profound personal significance for Hufnagel and served as a wellspring of inspiration for his subsequent signature skate models like the DVS HUF 4.

The resulting HUF x Nike Air Max 1 collection captivated sneaker enthusiasts nationwide by artfully blending the atmospheric grays of San Francisco's ubiquitous fog and the rugged concrete textures emblematic of its urban landscape with HUF's signature hue, "Pear Green." Reflecting on the era, current HUF creative director Romeo Tanghal reminisces about the awe-inspiring moment as a New Jersey-based teenager witnessing a brand from the West Coast making waves in New York City's storied sneaker scene.

However, it wasn't solely the iconic "Pear Green" rendition that garnered enduring admiration from collectors over the years. Ardent fans avidly sought after the "Brilliant Orange" and "Pink Pow" colorways, both initially conceived as samples before the final selection of the green variant. The former paid homage to the city's beloved San Francisco Giants, while the latter served as a playful experimentation with a vibrant pop of color.

After two decades and relentless appeals from fervent Air Max collectors, all three coveted pairs are primed for a triumphant reissue. Beyond merely addressing overwhelming demand, Tanghal eagerly anticipates introducing this storied narrative to a new generation of sneaker aficionados while also fulfilling the long-held desire to make the previously unreleased "unicorn shoes" accessible to all.

Yet, faithfully resurrecting the designs proved to be a formidable challenge, necessitating meticulous attention to detail. Tanghal recounts the painstaking process, revealing that the team even resorted to procuring an original pair from eBay for reference. The restoration efforts were further complicated by the scarcity of the orange and pink pairs, with only a handful believed to exist, although one dedicated collector boasts ownership of both. Tanghal fondly recalls Hufnagel's laid-back approach, sharing how he would readily part with the samples if a passionate collector expressed genuine interest.

With all three colorways meticulously recreated to perfection, the HUF team infused a subtle twist into the sneakers: co-branding, a detail that was off-limits in the original 2004 release. Embracing the opportunity for creative expression, they adorned the shoes with a combination of HUF's vintage logo alongside the iconic Swoosh, a distinctive touch that imbues the footwear with a sense of personalization.

Beyond the sneakers themselves, the team meticulously crafted a comprehensive experience, from the packaging to the inclusion of a unique pendant, paying homage to Bones, Keith Hufnagel's beloved Chihuahua and an emblematic fixture of the original HUF store. Tanghal underscores the significance of these nuanced details, which serve as a poignant tribute to the pioneering role the store played in shaping sneaker culture in San Francisco.

No aspect was overlooked, with even the tissue paper inside the shoe box featuring nostalgic imagery of the original HUF store lineup, a touching portrait of Bones, and an iconic snapshot capturing Lance Mountain, clad in his bee costume, alongside Bones and Hufnagel. Bones' presence permeates every facet of the project, commemorated with a special silver pendant included with each pair and even assuming the role of spokesperson, featuring prominently in the campaign video and on the "HUFTalk" forum‚ÄĒa virtual platform conceived by the brand to engage with its audience.

The accompanying video, shot entirely from Hufnagel's furry companion's perspective, offers a whimsical journey through Bones' world, replete with subtle nods to HUF's rich heritage, including references to Lance Mountain's iconic bee costume and Bones' penchant for lounging in shoe boxes.

Excitingly, Tanghal hints at another forthcoming release‚ÄĒa rare, numbered F&F-exclusive pair that promises to pay homage to HUF's illustrious legacy and its enduring collaboration with Nike. With details still shrouded in secrecy, Tanghal suggests that this pair will incorporate references to both the coveted F&F version of the OG "Pear Green" and the iconic 2007 Air Max 1 "Hufquake," hinting at a convergence of past and present within this highly anticipated release.

As the long-awaited release date draws near, Tanghal reflects on the immense anticipation surrounding the collection, acknowledging the flood of inquiries and eager messages from fans eagerly awaiting its arrival. With palpable excitement, he expresses gratitude for the opportunity to fulfill the collective yearning and share this storied journey with sneaker enthusiasts worldwide.

Scheduled for release beginning June 15 via HUF, with subsequent availability through Nike SNKRS and select retailers, the HUF x Nike Air Max 1 collection promises to be a poignant celebration of heritage, creativity, and unwavering dedication, reaffirming its enduring legacy in the annals of sneaker culture.

 

Image Via Huf

 

Image Via Nick Llanton / Hypebeast 

 

Image Via Nick Llanton / Hypebeast 

 

Image Via Nick Llanton / Hypebeast 

 

Image Via Nick Llanton / Hypebeast 

 

Image Via Nick Llanton / Hypebeast 

 

Image Via Nick Llanton / Hypebeast 

Disclaimer: We aim to provide the latest updates in the fashion world. However, Hype Vault cannot verify the reliability of any unauthorized leaks or rumors unless this information comes directly by the brands themselves.


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