It's a mythical pair that Nike is reintroducing these days: the Air Max BW. The Swoosh celebrates the 30th anniversary of the silhouette with the reissue of its colorway OG "Persian Violet", the opportunity for us to tell you the history of this pair anchored in the French street culture, considered as the big sister of the famous Air Max Plus nicknamed "shark.
Nike's sharp design
The Air Max BW was launched in 1991. Designed by Tinker Hatfield, it stands out from its predecessors by what its acronym implies, short for "Big Window" which symbolizes the most visible air bubble.
Featuring a combination of mesh, leather and suede, the BW also features neoprene on the collar and tongue for a cushioned look, as well as unusual color combinations for the time. The "Persian Violet", with its singular blue/purple colour, is certainly the most emblematic of the lot.
Symbol of street culture
Talk to a French sneakerhead who grew up in the 90s, and chances are the first silhouette that caught their eye was the BW. While many other Air Maxes have been more successful, the BW made its mark by being adopted by the street, the real thing.
The BW was the first pair of street shoes in France. In this respect, it is often considered as the big sister of the Shark, which will arrive only seven years later. Like the TN, it is one of those silhouettes that saw France free itself from the US, whose tastes it followed until then, allowing it to forge its own street culture.
A comeback signed "Persian Violet
Dethroned by the shark in the heart of the street, the BW saw its connotation fade and democratized thereafter. While artist Stash and rapper Skepta have made inspired collabs of it, it has always remained in the shadow of the Air Max line's flagship silhouettes.
For its 30th anniversary, Nike offers a well-deserved return. Five years after its last appearance, the OG version "Persian Violet" launches the festivities in a new edition very faithful to the original, while we expect thereafter a "Marina" colorway or a City Pack paying tribute to the city of Lyon. No doubt that the Swoosh is still keeping some under the hood.