As Chi McBride alluded to in our [KATC Video Feature: MaZe Sits Down with Chi McBride], he, and Artist/Nike Designer, Mark Smith came together to design and hand-make a pair of 1 of 1 Air Force 1s inside Nike’s legendary Innovation Kitchen. Not without deep meaning and symbolism, the Chi McBride x Mark Smith x Nike Air Force 1 Air Jordan IIIs are a tribute to Chi’s relationship with Michael Jordan and his deep passion for the Air Jordan III and the Air Force 1. From the heel tab to the eyelets, the Chi McBride x Mark Smith x Nike Air Force 1 Air Jordan IIIs embody a personal story that Chi shares with the world through this one of a kind piece of sneaker history.
More After the Jump
After designing the “Fukijama” Nike Air Force 1s for HBO’s Entourage, Mark Smith felt that he would never work on another pair of Air Force 1s. After realizing Chi McBride’s authentic passion for kicks, Smith emailed Chi McBride to tell him that he understood Chi’s deep love for sneakers and the Air Force 1, understanding that Chi’s passion for kix extended beyond “looking fresh”. Due to this intense passion, Smith invited Chi to co-design and co-hand-make a 1 0f 1 Air Force 1 in Nike’s Innovation Kitchen. Realizing the amazing opportunity before him, Chi told Smith that he wished to create an Air Force 1 that symbolized his relationship with Michael Jordan that combined his love for the Air Jordan III, Chi’s favorite sneaker of all time. The product of an 8 hour process, Smith and Chi created, by hand, the Chi McBride x Mark Smith x Nike Air Force 1 Air Jordan III.
To create the Chi McBride x Mark Smith x Nike Air Force 1 Air Jordan IIIs, Mark Smith lasered an Elephant Print pattern onto a large piece of leather which Chi hand dyed with shoe polish and a tooth brush. Once the Elephant print was complete, Smith and Chi incorporated the same leather found on the upper of the Jordan III, onto the AF1s toe box and side panel.
To complete the Air Jordan III look, Smith and Chi incorporated the Black/Cement IIIs trademark three Red eyelets, Grey Tongue, and Black Cotton laces.
To extend the sneaker beyond the look of the Jordan III and into the relationship between Chi and Michael Jordan, Smith and Chi incorporated various Chi/MJ symbols including, the words “YOU&SEE” (UNC) in University Blue Patent on the left heel tab and a lasered illustration of a glowing Church on a hill (Chapel Hill) that reads Chi, in University Blue Patent on the right heel tab. To add a bit of flare to the sneakers, Chi and Smith utilized a Black Patent Swoosh with Red contrast stitching.
In addition to the exterior symbolism, Chi and Smith incorporated a varsity font number print lining that contains the years of the Bulls Championships (91,92,93,96,97,98) and Chi’s Birthday (9/23).
To complete the package and place Chi’s personal touch onto the sneaker, Smith laserd Chi’s signature onto a piece of Red Patent leather and placed it on the tongue tab of the right foot.
After creating the sneaker, Chi also helped design the matching Jordan III Leather racing jacket pictured above and worn in the [KATC Video Feature: MaZe Sits Down with Chi McBride]. With his passion for sneakers and keen sense of design, this may not be the last creation that we see from Chi McBride.
All Images: [Fubz] for KixandtheCity.com