A Closer Look At The Kasina x Nike Air Max 1

May 12, 2022 by Joey Birch

A Closer Look At The Kasina x Nike Air Max 1

2022 marks 35 years of the Nike Air Max 1. A silhouette that kick-started one of the greatest lineages of all time. After releases from Concepts earlier in the year as well as Patta at the end of 2021, fans of the silhouette are still wondering whether we will see an OG retro.

However, the wait for the next collaboration on the legendary silhouette may not be too far out of reach with images of an upcoming project between Kasina and Nike on the 1987 sneaker emerging online. 

Originally founded by former pro skater EunHyuk Lee in 1997, Kasina is a South Korean based retailer originally founded in the country's second-largest city of Busan. While not being widely known within the UK, the retailer has been making some big movements, opening stores in the capital city Seoul - a location that the founder had always dreamed of reaching upon the brand's inception. 

Kasina x Nike Dunk Low, 2020

The latter half of 2020 saw Kasina and Nike partner up on a release of the Nike Dunk Low. Coming in two colourways, each sneaker was inspired by the journey Kasina has taken to go from its humble beginnings in Busan, to its incredible success in Seoul. 

The first colourway of the collaboration, titled ‘Neptune Green’, took its cues from the colour of the train that goes between the two cities with the second titled ‘Industrial Blue', while looking a lot like the Nike Dunk SB Low ‘Homer’ released in 2004, takes inspiration from 80s Korean transportation as a nod to the population boom in which saw increased travel on Korea’s highways between Busan and Seoul.

Thanks to the impeccable details on each pair, in addition to the premium suedes and classic colourways, the collaboration was able to put Kasina on the map for a global audience. As a result, the brand is now returning for a second collaboration. This time on the Air Max 1.

After Kasina themselves showed a brief hint at the sneaker in April following an Instagram post announcing the upcoming collaboration, a long-term friend of the brand KB Lee (@fakesickness - Instagram) showcased the first look at what could be another big win for the Korean based brand. 

Similar to the previous Nike Dunk collaboration, Kasina are utilising bold colourways with a range of various materials. Premium hairy suedes are once again seen sitting atop an off white, vintaged, midsole in a two-tone orange and maroon blend with the addition of maroon tumbled leather on the toe box and tongue, a deep blue tumbled leather on the heel and clean white leather Swoosh in the medial and lateral sides.

In conjunction with the suedes and tumbled leather details throughout the upper, a long faux hair can be seen around the foot arch and laces - a nod to the sneaker's inspiration of the Mandarin Duck seen on a hangtag that comes with the shoe. A wooden version of the Mandarin Duck is usually given as a marriage gift in Korea. 

Final details to the sneaker include a fan favourite mini Swoosh on the toe with a small flower emerging from it, ‘Kasina’ written on the tongue tabs and rose gold lace tags in addition to a translucent blue outsole and special maze patterned shoebox. 

While there is little information about the next Kasina x Nike collaboration beyond the set of images released at the time of writing this; if the collaboration is anything like the previous Dunk release, we can expect to see these receive global acclaim. 

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