Lunar New Year has fast become one of Nike’s biggest global dates with a large portion of its market share and revenue generated in mainland China ($5.43 billion U.S. dollars of estimated revenue in 2023, according to Statista). For sneakerheads, however, it’s been a date to mark on the calendar for the boundary-pushing designs that seem to be created for this exclusive date and market.
The Nike Air Foamposite One ‘Tianjin’ remains one of the best Lunar New Year sneakers of all time, but this year’s release is taking things up a notch for the Year of the Dragon.
Set to be released on February 14th on SNKRS in China exclusively, the Year of the Dragon Air Force 1 is a work of art and it costs a pretty penny at 2599 RMB or $560 AUD ($365 USD).
Thanks to @shanghaisole and @brandon1an we have early images of the sneaker that showcases a regal gold silk material on the upper with a stitched and layered flower pattern overlay. Notably, the silk pattern carries down the midsole to the cream outsole where the sneaker makes no changes to the AF1 Air unit.
While official details are scarce, this appears to be the same silk material used on the Clot x Fragment Design x Nike Dunk Low from March last year in celebration of the Hong Kong streetwear boutique’s 20th anniversary.
The finishing touches are luxurious and gaudy with a gold-stitched dragon on the left shoe and a phoenix on the right. When paired together these mythical characters represent love, happiness, prosperity and power. You’ll also find the Chinese character for ‘harmony’ stitched on the tongue tag, heel, lace tips, and dubrae.
The ‘Year of the Dragon’ Nike Air Force 1 will arrive in a special red box on February 14th on the SNKRS app in China exclusively. Retail pricing is set at 2599 RMB or $560 AUD ($365 USD) which is roughly three times the price of a basic white AF1 in Australia. Unfortunately, if you want to get your hands on these sneakers overseas expect to pay upwards of $1,000 AUD on the secondary market.
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