Yesterday, sneakerheads around the world celebrated Nike’s annual Air Max Day, an anniversary that commemorates the plush shoe’s origins. The first pair of Air Maxes, designed by Tinker Hatfield using the air technology that aerospace engineer Marion Franklin Rudy developed in 1977, were unveiled on March 26, 1987. While it’s been a long 32 years since the sportswear giant birthed the Air Max, the iconic silhouette is trendier than ever. Can you even go a single day without seeing at least one well-dressed person walking around in Air Max 95s or 97s?
Nike’s Air Max Day 2019 was quite ambitious—the brand announced new models, collaborations, and hosted design competitions around the world, everywhere from New York City to Paris to Seoul—but Swae Lee managed to steal the spotlight, of course. The 23-year-old Rae Sremmurd rapper showed off an especially on-trend pair of Air Max 97s on Instagram that boasted not just one, but three different animal prints: zebra, leopard, and the newly ubiquitous cow print. In his Instagram Story, Lee claimed that nobody else has that particular patterned sneaker, and it’s not hard to imagine why Nike would decide to bestow Lee with that particular honor. Who else could pull them off with quite as much swagger?