Behind the Design:
atmos x Nike Air Max2 Light
Since 2001, Nike and Japanese retailer atmos have created classic, coveted sneakers, thanks to bold colour and material explorations that bridge the past and present. Last year, during a meeting in Portland, atmos' Hirofumi "Koji" Kojima and Hommyo Hidefumi were excited to learn about the revival of a vibrant 1994 runner, the Nike Air Max2 Light. They wanted to make it their most extreme collaboration yet.
Koji, Hommyo and Nike Sportswear designers created a new collection inspired by retro running gear and the intersection of various '90s subcultures. Koji, in particular, remembered a similar juxtaposition process from his youth—cutting and pasting magazine images onto his wall. The collection takes this collaged, '90s-focused approach to a jacket, trousers, a bag, a hat and two versions of the Air Max2 Light (one exclusive to atmos stores).
"The first Air Max2 Light colourway is a super-flashy and aggressive combination of colours, while the other one is a more modest, black-based colourway", says Koji, atmos' Creative Director, who helped identify 12 vintage apparel references for the shoe's patchwork. The shoe also features asymmetrical embroidery and screen-printing, pronounced stitching and a clear, plastic version of the original, jagged overlay. Laces come in orange, yellow and purple options.
"The 'Animal', 'Elephant' and 'Safari' are often remembered as [the main] atmos collaborations", says Koji. "For the atmos x Air Max2 Light, our challenge was to create the future of Air Max with different, modern designs that would surprise sneakerheads. I believe we have successfully created new impressions of Air Max, which are uniquely 'atmos' at the same time".