We take a look at the ATMOS x Nike Air Max collaboration since the early noughties & one of the most talked about partnerships the Air Max world has ever seen.
ATMOS is a Japanese based sneaker and streetwear store that needs know introduction to the Air Max afiocondas of the world. Founded by Hidefumi Hommyo in 2000, ATMOS has given us some of the most talked about, the most hyped and some of the very greatest Air Max collaborations over the last 20 years. There’s something about the ATMOS stamp on a classic Air Max silhouette that will always get people talking. We take a look at the history of the ATMOS x Nike Air Max collaboration since the late noughties.
The first Air Max trainer from the Japanese sneaker store started with the highly sought after Nike Air Max 1 ATMOS Animal Print trainer back in 2007. Merging the classic Tinker Hatfield silhouette with some Serengeti inspired vibes, the exclusive ATMOS release has become one of the most collectible Air Max drops ever. Featuring furry faux leopard & zebra print uppers, if you want to bag this rare release you’re looking at upwards of £2500.
February 2013 saw the release of the Nike Air Max 1 ATMOS PRM ‘Animal Camo’ pack. With a design that has now become a classic within the sneaker industry, with an animal print upper that has been repeated in subsequent designs since. Coming in two different colourways; ‘leopard print & desert camo’ and ‘tiger camo & snake print’ which featured snakeskin embossed leather uppers.
Next up it’s the Nike Air Max 90 ATMOS ‘Duck Hunter Camo’ trainer. Originally released in November 2013, ATMOS and Nike took no time dropping another take on the Air Max 90 silhouette. Taking cues from the OG infrared colourway of the Air Max 90, the Duck Camo design on the shoe was a huge hit. The sought after Air Max sneaker was also re-released with a reversed design for Air Max Day 2020, although not officially part of an ATMOS collaboration.
When looking at the Nike Air Max 1 ATMOS ‘Elephant’ trainer, your mind might be cast to the Air Jordan 3, which featured a similar elephant leather accent on the midsole of the sneaker. The Nike Air Max 1 ‘Elephant’ trainer, which was original released in 2007, is one of the most renowned sneakers in the ATMOS x Nike collection. So much so, that in 2016 the style was the highest voted choice in the Vote Back campaign as part of Air Max day in 2016 rewarding it with a re-release that, even now, is still highly sought after.
The following year, in 2017, ATMOS and Nike released a Japan exclusive collaboration using the Nike Air Max Zero, one of the lesser known silhouettes in the Air Max line-up. The collaboration is known as the ‘NIKEiD’ Air Max Zero ATMOS ‘Safari Camo & Animal Camo’ Pack. The shoe was actually designed and customized via NIKEiD and used the previously released ‘Safari Camo’ and ‘Animal Camo’ colourways along with cement detailing on the heel from the Air Max 1 released the year before.
Air Max Day seems to be the chosen day of celebration for ATMOS and Nike to release a new collaboration. 17th March 2018 was the drop date of a second instalment of the Nike x ATMOS ‘Animal Pack’. Coming in the form of another Air Max 1 silhouette, as well as an Air Max 95 silhouette, the sneakers have an eclectic collection of animal print designs covering the upper of the shoes along with a prominent red swoosh. As well as the sneakers, the box came with a similar animal print design, guaranteed to stand out in your sneaker collection.
2018 also saw ATMOS and Nike release the ‘We Love Nike’ pack. A collection of designs that pays homage to the sneaker heads of the world. This pack consisted of the classic three silhouettes that ATMOS put their designs on: the Nike Air Max 1, the Air Max 95 and the Air Max 90. Each of the sneakers has a slightly different colourway, but the base design is the same. They used an all over print of Nike shoe boxes stacked up surrounding the middle of the upper section of the shoe. The name for the design ‘We Love Nike’ came from the idea of someone collecting Nike shoes. Coming in a deep blue colourway for the Air Max 1, a red upper on the 90’s with white accents and a snakeskin swoosh, as well as two variants of the 95’s, with a prominently grey upper, one design finished off with crimson detailing, and the other with a bright jade.
First unveiled at Complexcon 2018, the Nike Air Max 2 Light was next in line to get the ATMOS makeover. The classically colourful sneaker got an even more colourful and eye catching design with clear 90s sportswear inspirations. The upper of the shoe was covered in different coloured Nike logos with a plastic coating over the top. The collaboration celebrated the re-release of the Air Max Light 2 silhouette which was originally released in 1994.
After the success of the first and second ‘Animal Pack’ collaborations from Nike and ATMOS, they didn’t stop the Serengeti inspiration there. They initially unveiled and released their third collection the ‘Animal Pack 3.0’ as an in store exclusive release in Japan in July 2019. However, due to selling out so fast like the previous iterations of the animal design, the collection was then rereleased later that month at Complexcon Chicago. With the previous packs using multiple silhouettes in each collection, the third release focused on the Nike Air Max 1. However, unlike the previous designs, the silhouette took a more toned down look…if that’s possible. The designs were spread out over three different Air Max 1s. There’s a tiger print complete with a blue swoosh on the lateral side of the shoe, a leopard print with an orange swoosh as well as a cow print design with a green swoosh.
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