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First introduced in 1982 as the pinnacle in Basketball Performance footwear, the Nike Air Force 1 traveled from the hardwood, to local streets, to the world. In homage of the Air Force 1s initial ascent to stardom, Nike is preparing to release the I-95 series of Air Force 1s dedicated to the Local Parks, AAU Programs, and Cities of New York, Philadelphia, and Baltimore. To kick off the “I-95″ Series, Nike is set to release the “Baltimore” Series of Air Force 1s in April. The “Baltimore” Series will feature AF1s dedicated to Bawlmer Park, The Dome, two Mr. Shoes AF1s, the Four One Zero (area code), “Mob Town”, the Baltimore AAU Basketball programs, and more
Read on For More on the Nike Air Force 1 “Baltimore” Series
Nike’s tribute to the I 95 Corridor, with a collection inspired by the many legends in Baltomore, Phill and NY
“The origin of the Air Force 1 and Force is intertwined dynamically with the culture of basketball in the cities of New York, Philadelphia, and Baltimore. Because of this Nike designers have crafted a series of premium Air Force 1 products that both represents the tradition of basketball in these cities and also tells the incredible story of the AF1 journey from east coast courts to world culture. Key to the telling of this story are the legendary NYC and Philly AAU programs that helped communicate the Air Force 1 in it’s earliest phases, along with the hallowed ground of playgrounds and parks that stretch from New York’s boroughs to Baltimore’s west side. The history of the Air Force 1 bears the signature play, style, and vision of the east coast players and people who elevated the shoe to iconic status.
The exclusive Air Force 1 shoes designed for this Summer are built around the common bond of honesty. They are an honest portrayal of each city’s unique brand of basketball. Whether it’s Baltimore’s grit, New York’s flair or Philadelphia’s desire, every one of these shoes tells a story rich in the games authentic origins. These three cities, which have played an integral role in writing the history of the AF1, are now honored with sneakers that celebrate their own historical basketball tradition. Across three levels of product – Supreme, Premium and Core – Nike showcases the legacy of each city, and celebrates their contribution to the icon that is the Air Force 1.
The Summer Collection will launch this April with the Baltimore series, this May with the Philadelphia series and in June with the NY series.APRIL LAUNCH : THE BALTIMORE SERIES In Baltimore the love for the Air Force 1 took form of a groundswell of support that emerged in the early 80s and eventually spread its affection all over the world. The powerful presence of the shoe on all sides of town turned the AF1 into Baltimore’s shoe of choice, a revolutionary footwear product that spoke volumes about the city’s love for basketball and made Baltimore a key player in the subsequent resurrection of the Air Force 1 and the flourish of basketball culture. The playgrounds of Baltimore became the stage that Force gave its debut performance.
The west side Dome featured local players who gave onlookers their first glimpse of the Air Force 1.Baltimore’s most dominant athletes laced up the AF1 before stepping foot on the city’s most hallowed courts. It was these same athletes who went to Mr. Shoe and cleaned out the store of the latest models. Their insatiable demand for the sneaker cemented the shoe’s legacy and went a long way in ensuring its future. Once embedded in the heart of Baltimore’s basketball community, the Air Force 1 quickly leapt from court to culture, never leaving behind the aesthetic of Baltimore playgrounds and never forgetting the contribution of the city’s players.
To pay tribute to these pillars of the AF1 community, Nike has designed the Baltimore sneakers to symbolize these staunch supporters. The color palette is reflective of Baltimore’s environment with brick and team red referencing the city’s many brownstones, Kelly green and yellow paying homage to Cloverdale’s signature clover leaf and white, brown and red celebrating one of Mr. Shoe’s original customized AF1s. These colors pop across the premium leather uppers that feature graphic call outs, such as the FOUR ZERO ONE area code of Baltimore and MR representing Mr. Shoe. The story of Baltimore’s longstanding affiliation with the AF1 is continued on all the shoes’ insoles, which further demonstrate the bond between the Dome, Cloverdale, Mr. Shoe and the die-hard basketball fanatics that continue to take the Air Force 1 message to the streets.
Each Air Force 1 in the sERIES that represents the legacy of the court to culture story in Baltimore, Philadelphia, and New York features unique design elements. The Air Force 1 Principles of Perfection were created to continue the tradition of Nike innovation that places craftsmanship above all else and bases design on the needs and demands of athletes and consumers. The colorways of each of these Air Force 1’s was inspired by the original color stories of the AAU teams and courts that formed the foundation of Force communication. These products continue a legacy born on east coast asphalt and re-tell the story of how the love for a sport became the creation of a culture.”

Text/Images: Nike


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