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(L:  atmos x Nike Air Max 1 “Animal Pack 2.0”; R: atmos x Nike Air Max 95 “Animal Pack 2.0”)

Air Max Day 2018 will feature some amazing shoes. Be on the lookout for a wider release of sneakerhead faves Sean Wotherspoon’s Air Max 97/1, two new Off-White Vapormax designs, and the new Air Max 270. Perhaps even more exciting is the re-release of the iconic Air Max collaboration, Animal Pack, dubbed Animal Pack 2.0, between Nike and legendary Japanese sneaker and streetwear boutique, atmos.

So, how did a tiny Japanese sneaker and streetwear label in Ura-Harajuku, Tokyo, and Nike come together to reimagine the Air Max 1 and Air Max 95 to create the original “Animal Pack”, and the updated “Animal Pack 2.0”? 

Keep reading to find out. 

Iconic Air Max and the Little Sneaker Boutique

In 2000, Hommyo Hidefumi founded atmos as a sneaker and streetwear boutique selling sneakers and clothes, including its own in-house label. Around the same time, Nike was planning to celebrate the Air Max 1’s 15th anniversary in 2002 by creating a statement sneaker and they tapped atmos for the design. As a result, atmos became the first-ever company to collaborate with Nike on a sneaker, and an iconic partnership was born. Since atmos, collaborations between sneaker companies and retailers only continue to expand.  

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(L: Nike x atmos Air Max 1 “Safari”; R: Nike x atmos Air Max 1 “Elephant”)

In their design, atmos combined elements of the 1988 Air Safari with the Air Max 1 silhouette. The result, the Nike x atmos Air Max 1 “Safari,” introduced sneakerheads to atmos’ wild design aesthetic and opened the cage door for bolder animal prints to stampede in, including the 2006 Air Max 1 “Elephant.”  

The 2007 Animal Pack, and Kanye

After the “Safari” and “Elephant” designs, Nike x atmos dropped the “Animal Pack” in 2007. The redesigned Air Max 1 and the Air Max 95 included a mash-up of faux animal prints on the shoes’ upper, featuring cheetah, horse, pig, tiger, and zebra. The sneakers were highly prized upon their initial release, and a month later demand skyrocketed when Kanye West rocked the Nike x atmos Air Max 1 during the Pepsi Smash Super Bowl Concert.

Nike atmos release Animal Pack 2.0 Nike atmos release "Animal Pack 2.0"

(L: Nike x atmos Air Max 1 (2007); R: Nike x atmos Air Max 95 (2002))

Pack Updates

Fast forward 11 years and “Animal Pack 2.0” rumbles back, beginning this March 17 with a few new updates. Instead of the traditional “Animal Pack” colorways, atmos swapped black panels for the original pony pink on the uppers.

The question remains: will “Animal Pack 2.0” still be the kings of the Air Max jungle when the dust settles on Air Max Day 2018?

Additionally, be on the lookout for the call to upload your best, funniest, and/or most ridiculous Air Max story on Instagram Stories, and tag it #StockXAirMaxDay.

You know you have a story. We want you to share it.