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Why Sean Wotherspoon’s Air Max 97/1 is Important to Sneaker Culture in 2018

Sean Wotherspoon is a vintage collector and curator who started his store Round Two out of Richmond, Virginia. In Nike’s 2017 ‘Vote Forward’ campaign Sean’s Air Max 97 and Air Max 1 hybrid was chosen by the public to be produced and released on Air Max day 2018. Until now, the shoe has had a few small-scale releases in the States and has caused a frenzy amongst sneakerheads worldwide. Sean’s eye-catching Air Max 97/1 is not your everyday Air Max model and has changed the sneaker culture going forward into 2018. Here’s how.


For his Air Max, Sean combined two of his favourite and absolutely classic Nike models. The sole of the Air Max 1 released in 1987 and the first shoe to feature visible air was used with the upper of the Air Max 97. In the past, Nike has created a variety of hybrids by combining two or more models. For example, in 2006 Nike came out with the ‘One Time Only’ pack, consisting of a mixture of models with the Air Max 360 air unit and sole. However, in recent years we have not seen too many hybrids whatsoever…until now.

Of course, during the Vote Forward campaign, other designers created hybrids from all sorts of models, but Sean’s was certainly the stand out contender. Ever since his success in the competition we have seen Nike come out with a variety of different hybrids, feeding off the buzz surrounding Wotherspoon’s Air Max 97/1. One of my personal favourites is the Vapormax Plus, a sneaker consisting of the Air Max Plus (TN) and the Vapormax. I feel like Sean has really pushed the sneaker culture in this direction and brought sneaker hybrids back for 2018.


Another way in which Sean Wotherspoon’s Air Max 97/1 has changed the current sneaker culture is by diversifying the materials used on kicks. On the upper of his shoe, Sean has used corduroy in an array of colours added with a velour inner. Sean’s inspiration for the corduroy upper came from his love for vintage Nike, in particular, the corduroy Nike hats from the 80’s and 90’s. This material is one we haven’t seen Nike use for some time, probably since the collaborations with Patta on the Air Max 1 (correct me if I’m wrong!). Ever since production of Sean’s Air Max began, other brands have hopped onto the corduroy wave. For example Converse and A$AP Nast, who took inspiration from Sean on their One Star collaboration.

Furthermore, the upper of the 97/1 is made to fray and wear-in over time. In interviews, Sean has mentioned his love for old clothing and sneakers, which feel worn and full of character.

“You gain this nostalgic feeling even if you werent apart of it” – ya boy Sean

By adding this feature to his own model, he is inspiring people to wear his product almost into the ground, not just store it away in a box. 

Overall, Sean Wotherspoon’s Nike Air Max 97/1 is a refreshing change to the sneaker scene. It is important to the culture in moving things forward through innovative concepts and material usage. It is a general switch up to the trends we have seen in the past few years and its influence throughout the culture has already begun.

Sean’s Air Max 97/1 will be available worldwide on the 26th of March 2018.

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Are Nike bringing the Classics back too often?

On March 26th 2016 Nike asked us to vote in the ‘vote back’ campaign, for which Air Max model we wanted to see brought back in 2017. This was in celebration of the third annual Air Max day, with the most popular shoe seeing a retro the following year. The winner of the vote was the Air Max 1 x Atmos “Elephant”, a sneaker which originally debuted in 2007. Despite not managing to get my hands on a pair, I was happy to see Nike bringing back a ‘grail’ for most Air Max enthusiasts. However, since the re-release of the Atmos elephant’s we have seen a plethora of very rare, exclusive Nike colourway’s brought back into circulation, and I do not necessarily agree with it.


Quick disclaimer – I only disagree with the brand bring back rare, hard to find models and colourways. I have no problem with Nike retro-ing classic OG colourways and general releases. For example, Nike has recently retro-ed two of my favourite models, the Air Max 97 ‘Silver Bullet’ and the Air Jordan 3 ‘Black Cement’, and I couldn’t be more chuffed.

My reason for writing this article was due to the Air Max day 2018 releases that we are set to see in March. I’ve got to hand it to Nike, it is an incredible line-up, featuring hybrid models and coveted collaborations alike. However, included in the drop list are the Atmos x Nike Air Max 95 and Air Max 1 from the Supreme Animal Pack (dubbed the 2.0’s). To the average consumer or recent sneakerhead, these releases will probably peak their interest – hyped, hard to get popular Nike shoes. However, for the OG sneakerhead holding onto their original 2006 pair of 1’s, they may not be as pleased. The Animal Air Max 1’s are currently listed on Flight Club for $2,375 – crazy money. I feel that by Nike rereleasing some of these models it takes away from what that shoe meant back in the day and even now! It deteriorates their value.


If you’re into sneakers and pay attention to sneaker blogs and Instagram accounts, you may have noticed that more reissues, like the ones mentioned above, are coming. After 17 years, Nike is bringing back the Air Force 1 B ‘Hong Kong’, as well as the Air Force 1 Low ‘Taiwan’.

In my opinion, these shoes represent a period of time and should be left there. The brand should be looking forward, not backwards, in terms of new technologies and materials. To be fair to them, Nike has shown a lot of promise in terms of looking forward – for example, the release of the Vapormax tooling, now being used on a variety of hybrid models like the Vapormax plus and the Vapormax 97’s.

But hey, who can blame Nike for taking advantage of  a booming sneaker industry, the Swoosh raking in $32.2 billion in 2017. Especially in the Air Force 1 department, with Nike pushing the resurgence of the model (despite it never going out of fashion) at the end of 2017. Furthermore, the creps of the past may have aged. Midsole crumbling and flat air bubbles are common ageing processes for a lot of Nike models, and the reissues offer an opportunity for collectors to swipe up a pair of their favourite trainers that are actually wearable!

Let me know what you think!

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I have decided to write a blog about sneakers. I have always wanted to project my views and standpoints about the sneaker culture onto social media but didn’t know the best way to go about it, so here we are… CrepCulture.


CrepCulture will include a variety of sneaker related discussions, debates and release information, as well as including my own personal collection and favourite pairs of kicks.


In terms of creps, I lean more towards Nike. As Travis Scott once said, “Nike Boys, we don’t do three stripes” (or strikes depending on who you ask). This means the majority of what I write will be Nike orientated. However, this does not mean I will not touch on other current matters within the culture.

“Nike boys, we don’t do three stripes” – Travis

Just briefly, my favourite shoe of all time is the Nike Air Max 97 in the ‘Silver Bullet’ colourway, a very popular shoe last year with numerous retros throughout the year and even before, with a general release (GR) in Italy at the end of 2016. The 97 is a shoe which I will certainly be featuring throughout the CrepCulture blog.