Welcome to the jungle; Pt. 1

UNLESS you’ve been under a rock for the last week, you’ll have noticed that size?’s multiple social media accounts have started to promote a world exclusive collaboration with Nike, in the form of their infamous safari print. First impressions of the Air Max 95 scream size? based on the colour palette alone. But, where did they find the inspiration for this collaboration?

Size?, historically, were once well known for their archive of high-profile and sought after capsules in cohesion with Nike. For example, artist Dave White has been a key figure in proceedings on a number of occasions; quite literally making the silhouette in question his own.

There was also the ‘Teal Pack’, which consisted of an Air Max 93 and Huarache LE; an ‘Urban Safari’ (coincidence?) pack consisting of two Air Max Light, two 180 and finally a duo of Roshe Run. Although the silhouettes involved in this pack contrasted hugely, size? carried neon green and luminous pink through each couple — and of course that ostrich-esque safari print has to be involved. That’s just a given at this stage.

95 1

Size? also released an ‘Easter Pack’ in 2013 — once again taking the Air Max Light under their wing, dressing the two pairs in a mix of pastel blue and purple, as well as grey and classic white mesh. Since this release, the Light hasn’t seen the light of day as regularly as the 1, or 95, yet it remains a favourite amongst sneakerheads.

Back to the 2018 collection, Mr Tinker Hatfield introduced the Air Safari back in 1987. For those that know their history, this was the same year Tinker released the Air Max 1, or 87, and the world welcomed visible air units into their lives. Being an ex-architect, the inspiration for this safari material must have originated from an artist, a magnificent structure or even a natural phenomena? Not quite — think more along the lines of homeware… sofas. Tinker took inspiration from a luxury sofa shop, where he ended up being kicked out of. For what reason? We don’t know. But we have Hatfield’s naturally attentive nature to praise for one of the most recognisable patterns to grace a sneaker.

am95 3

Taking complete inspiration from the Air Safari’s ‘carrot’ colour scheme, size? clad the sneaker’s ‘ribs’ in an array of bright orange layers and subtle grey sandwich segments — very similar to the original pair from where a template was drawn. Instead of a white midsole as seen on the Safari, this pair features a jet black unit encapsulating an orange bubble; helping what is otherwise an all-black sole to stand out. It’s the same colour-blocking along the tongue that sets this pair apart; once again an all black lacing system with carrot orange loops to break up what could have been a bland eyes-down view.

To finish, small details were not missed. For example, the leather tongue, orange and grey airmax tongue branding, and an insole lathered in even more safari decal and the word ‘SAFARI’ to round-off a collaboration that may mark the revival of size? regularly collaborating on special projects with Nike.

What will be next to the cards? Have these dampened your appetite?

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