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The Skepta Air Max 97 Collab is Inspired by Morocco, and the 1999 Air Tuned Max

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After Rita Ora said Dizzee Rascal brought U.K. grime and sneaker culture overseas on Sneaker Shopping last week, it’s only right that British-Nigerian grime artist, rapper, and movie director Skepta now has his own Air Max 97.

After traveling from London to Marrakesh, Morocco’s “Jewel of the South,” and Essaouira, a coastal Moroccan city, Skepta began to formulate the color palette for his latest Air Max collab.

“I am blessed to have been able to travel the world doing what I do. After touring so much, I was looking for some peace,” said Skepta in a statement. “I found Morocco, and it was perfect. Everything I wanted to feel about peace, I found it there. I like the architecture, the pastel colors, the taxis, the way that you could just go into a small little souq, open a door and it brings you into a big, massive, beautiful new world that you never would have expected.”

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The casual and practical clothing donned in Morocco, for Skepta, echoed styles from Nigeria. Thus, when designing the Air Max 97 Sk, Skepta and his team drew from the colors they had seen on their travels — and the palette of the 1999 Air Tuned Max. It was the first shoe Skepta ever saved up money to buy, and it’s what started his love for the Air Max line.

1999 Nike air Tuned max

Like the Air Tuned Max (pictured above), the Air Max 97 Sk utilizes an iridescent, polyurethane-coated, copper and rose gold leather upper. Black sandwich mesh, inspired by the Moroccan patterns Skepta saw during his travels, and an HF weld Swoosh logo sculpt the rest of the upper. According to Nike, the braided embroidery on the tongue and heel references embellished sportswear Skepta saw Moroccan locals wearing.

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Skepta’s Nike Air Max 97 Sk sits atop Nike Ultra tooling that reduces the original shoe’s weight, flaunts the model’s iconic lines in a single-layer upper, uses new Air-Sole PSI levels, and features a softer foam for the midsole. Moreover, the Air unit is yellow, a nod to the 1999 Air Tuned Max.

“Air Max is museum-worthy,” said Skepta in a statement. “They’re worthy of standing next to other pieces of art. That’s why it’s more than just a shoe. And it’s always been that for me. When looking at this 97, I just wanted to feel the way I did when I was a child. And we got there. It’s perfect.”

The Nike Air Max 97 Sk will launch globally on September 2 via Nike+ SNKRS, Nike.com, and select retailers. No price has been announced.

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Source: Nike

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