A Closer Look at the Supreme x Nike Air Max 98 TL

November 01, 2022 by Joey Birch

A Closer Look at the Supreme x Nike Air Max 98 TL

When Supreme and Nike collaborate, people, take notice. Arguably garnering as much hype as an infamous BOGO, the Swoosh and Supreme have a long history of collaborative projects. 

While previously it felt that we were treated to a Nike Supreme release once in a blue moon, nowadays we see them every other week. Recently, we’ve seen the return of the Nike Blazer Mid which was met with a mixed response, many of which wished that Supreme left their past release as just that, as well as working on the Nike Shox and Air Zoom Flight 95. 

After being rumoured earlier in the year, official images of the upcoming Air Max 98 TL have been released ahead of their release on Thursday - a day that has almost become the international ‘Supreme Day’. For Air Max fans, this is set to be an exciting prospect, but not one that hasn’t been explored before.

In 2016, it felt that Supreme was once again at the peak of its appeal. During this time, they released a four-colourway pack of the Air Max 98 which took a predominantly minimal approach with simple colour blocking and little branding. While they were more minimal, especially in comparison to other Supreme collaborations, they have remained in the pantheon of top projects from the New York-based streetwear brand. 

As the name suggests, the silhouette Supreme have decided to work on is the Air Max 98, however, it’s not the usual 98. Instead, opting for the AM 98 TL, a sneaker that has gone under the radar since its original release, the ‘98 pair has never returned to the market - until now. 

Featuring the same full-length Air Unit as with the classic AM 98s, originally debuted on the Air Max 97, the 98 TL utilises an intriguing design to the upper with a set of geographical gradient map inspired shapes intertwined with Nike branding. 

Similar to the 2016 Air Max 98 collaboration, Supreme has taken a simple approach with minimal colour blocking on the 98 TL, featuring four distinct colourways including brown, black, and white as well as a bright pink pair. Following Tremaine Emory’s appointment as the creative director at Supreme, they have been taking a far more toned-down approach to their branding across all pieces.

Supreme branding can be found on the tongue as well as being boldly scribbled on the heel in addition to the bright red Supreme box logo insole seen on many of their footwear collaborations, alongside the classic Nike Swoosh iconography positioned in the usual places. 

As with the Stüssy x Nike Air Max 2013, the upcoming Supreme x Nike Air Max 98 TL brings back a lesser-known and cared-for silhouette, catering for Air Max fans over anyone else, but also introducing the latest generation of sneakerheads to silhouettes they’re not so used to. 

As we see more brands digging into the archives to find collaborations, starting with Teddy Santis with the New Balance 550 who has seemingly inspired Nike to bring back some of their archival models such as the Mac Attack, the future of sneakers, while inspired by the past, could be seeing a new chapter. 

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