The Air Force 1 is getting a string of pearls for its 40th anniversary. As Nike gets more creative with one of its most popular sneakers, the latest AF1 calls on one of the most timeless gemstones of all: pearls.
Clutching pearls — While it’s not as blindingly diamond-studded as the Swarovski x Nike Air Force 1 sneaker from last year, it does have a bit of subtle blingy hardware. The sneaker is set on the classic all-white construction of the AF1, mixing in smooth and tumbled leathers on the uppers. Small pearl studs appear below the side Swooshes and again below the laces, while the sole’s toe and heel come with added studded texture. To finish it off, the tongue tags are stamped with an embossed Nike Swoosh label.
Turning up the charm — This isn’t the first time Nike has added jewelry motifs to its sneakers: Past iterations have included the Swarovski pair (and similar Cactus Plant pair), the Nike Air Force 1 '07 LX Bling, and a charm bracelet Air Force 90, among others. Other brands have dipped into the trend as well, like Adidas’ sequined ZX 6000 and Jordan Brand’s recent gold hoop Air Jordan 1.
Adding “shoe-lery” to a sneaker is a way for brands to add customization to pairs without actually warping their silhouette. In the age of TikTok, younger sneakerheads have an affinity for the details that add personalization to their favorite sneakers, and charm bracelets and jewels are striking the right nerve.
An official release date for the pearly Air Force 1s hasn’t been revealed yet, but given the prominence of all its anniversary celebrations and drops, it should be in the next few weeks. Regardless, they’re a gem — and if you don’t want them when they come out, we’ll take all of ‘em.