As millennials continue to face the harsh realities of crippling student debt, fruitless dating apps, and an impending environmental crisis, nostalgia for simpler times seems more powerful than ever before. While you may not actually be able to turn back the clock, pour yourself a big bowl of Fruit Loops, and sit down for Sunday morning cartoons, you are able to buy some 90s-inspired Nikes — and that at least helps a little, right?
Olivia Kim, Nordstrom’s VP of Creative Projects, has partnered with Nike to create the latest Nordstrom-Nike collaboration: No Cover. The collection is inspired by the streetwear and high energy of New York City during the 1990s. The companies explain that their collaboration “taps into the attitude of 90s underground NYC, where self-celebration means openly being yourself.”
Naturally, this means the collection features a lot of bold colors, fashion-forward silhouettes, and exciting styles. Since Nike is first and foremost a footwear company, we’ll start by talking sneakers. Kim has reimagined five of Nike’s most popular designs for the collection — Air Force 1, Air Max 98, Air Footscape, Air Mowabb, and Air Jordan IV — each one of them drastically different from the rest.
The Air Force 1 design features fresh colors and patterns. The sneaker itself is royal blue corduroy adorned with a yellow snakeskin swoosh. If that’s not electrifying enough for you, you’ll be happy to hear that it also boasts a glow-in-the-dark sole. Kim’s Air Max 98 goes a completely different route, offering a gradient of red, green, and yellow. Its details are inspired by the Air Max 120, originally released in 1998. In her redesign of the Air Footscape, Kim references the punk attitude of the East Village with an energetic zebra pattern and a touch of pink.
The Air Mowabb’s design plays on its original function: to transition from running to hiking. With a mix of colors, textures, and patterns, this sneaker dares to be worn any way anywhere. Lastly, the Jordan IV, inspired by an earlier version nicknamed “Black Cat,” keeps color and details simple but expresses creativity via its fashion-forward materials.
In addition to the redesigns of these classic sneakers, the collection also features 16 other pieces. There is truly an impressive variety here, with everything from wrist sweatbands to a puffer coat and fanny pack. In a clever act of self love, Kim’s also included a graphic tee decorated with one of her own sneaker designs, the Air Max 98. The clothing includes a mix of contrasting colors, including lime green, royal blue, stark black, and cherry red. And whether you’re looking to work out in an attention-grabbing sports bra or throw on a Betty Boop hat for lunch with a friend, you’re sure to find something here you like.
Nike News provides insight on the intention of Kim’s work, explaining: “she loves New York streetwear from the 90s, a time when a majority of the fashion-forward styles and fresh colors were made for men and she could never find anything in her size.” For that reason, the collaboration stresses inclusivity. Just take the name for example. “No Cover” serves as a reference to the fee to enter a nightclub. Unlike those nightclubs, Kim strips away the exclusivity, allowing people any age and gender to express themselves through their stlye and taste.