In 1984, two years after its introduction, Nike wasn’t planning to continue production of the now iconic Air Force 1 basketball shoe. But the city of Baltimore banded together and refused to let the shoe go away. On the 35th anniversary of the Air Force 1, Wieden+Kennedy has created a campaign to celebrate Baltimore’s love of the AF1 by showing the city some love in return.
Nike partnered with local retailer Downtown Locker Room and Baltimore community organization, Jubilee Arts, on a Baltimore youth arts program for the campaign which features the art of Ed Piskor. Piskor is an alternatives comics artist who created a comic book that told the AF1 story and the city that saved it. This story was then hand-painted on the bricks of the original Cinderella Shoe Store. In addition, commemorative plaques will appear at Downtown Locker Room, alongside where Cinderella Shoes and Charley Rudo Sports formerly existed, places that helped save the shoe.
Celebrating the spirit of the city, Nike has released the Nike Special Field Air Force 1 Mid 'For Baltimore,' which pays homage with Baltimore detailing a custom-embroidered strap, an ’84 hangtag and comic-inspired insoles. The shoes come in a box illustrated by Piskor.
Baltimore's outdoor benches were also recreated and placed throughout the city reminding the City of Baltimore that they saved the AF1. To wrap it all up, the city of Baltimore was celebrated with a block party at Cinderella Shoes.
The Nike SF AF-1 Mid 'For Baltimore' is available at Downtown Locker Room in Mondawmin Mall and on Monument Street in Baltimore.