Riccardo Tisci believes the next big trend in fashion is honesty. The Italian designer, who has effortlessly mixed sportswear and couture throughout his career, is looking inward — remembering the things that sparked his imagination in the early years of his design.
“The future is about honesty. Everything people want seems to be honest, to be real,” Tisci explains. “People want honest clothes, honest shoes, honest everything. This is really what people look for, design-wise, color-wise and in fashion and in the way people dress.”
Tisci’s latest collaboration with Nike, the NikeLab Air Max 97 Mid x R.T., expands on this theme. In working on the Air Max 97, Tisci tackles a shoe with a great emotional pull not just for him, but for many of his countrymen as well.
“The Air Max 97 had huge influence and impact on Italian culture,” he reflects. “The Air Max 97 is an iconic, young shoe of 90s. At the time I was involved with DJs and music, and in the clubs the people leading the big waves were wearing Air Max. That period has a lot of history. It was the first meeting of sportswear and fashion.”
While Tisci acknowledges (candidly) that he’s “getting older,” the interests of his youth still impact his design. Thus, he’s given the Air Max 97 a mature twist — befitting of his ‘sportswear meets luxury’ aesthetic. He’s kept the shoe’s soul: The shape, the tooling and the length. But, he’s also not been shy about bringing in elements of himself.
“I gave it more height, because I think its much more ‘street;’ it’s typical of me,” Tisci says.
The mid-top look also reflects the designer’s longstanding interests in basketball and skateboarding. The black leather, and contrast white stitching, which gives the shoe a new structure conveys a mature sophistication.
“Its super-honest and super-classic,” concludes Tisci. “When things are very honest, they are modeled forever.”
The NikeLab Air Max 97 Mid x R.T releases March 26 at NikeLab doors and NikeLab.com