Nike goes back to Y2K with the revival of its iconic Hello Kitty sneaker

Nearly two decades after its botched release, the Air Prestro collectible is once again in the works.

Another Y2K icon is making its way back into streetwear: Hello Kitty. The iconic Sanrio darling is getting another shot at remixing Nike’s Air Presto, reviving the elusive 2004 collaboration that never saw a wide release.

The 2004 Hello Kitty x Nike Air Presto was one of the most niche yet elusive drops of the 2000s, because, after the shoe’s buzzy press run, there was never really a drop at all. While it was intended as a limited run, with 500 pairs in four color schemes, the high-profile collaboration ended up as an extremely limited “friends and family” distribution. Rumor has it, only 12 pairs of each style ever left the factory. This isn’t a shoe that’s gained hype from absurdly high resale prices — you can’t find it on the resale market at all. Now, 17 years later, the nostalgic style has a second chance with a whole new generation of sneakerheads.


TBD — A key question mark is the design of the shoe itself; no photos of the upcoming retro have been leaked so far. While the 2004 Air Presto (pictured above) featured Hello Kitty’s classic iconography and color scheme, it's unclear whether this retro will come with an updated design. The designer involved in Nike’s first Hello Kitty collab, Steven Smith, now leads footwear design at Kanye West’s Yeezy brand with Adidas, and it's highly unlikely he’ll be crossing the rivalry line for this retro. However, since the 2004 original was never widely available, even an unchanged re-release would see plenty of hype from collectors and Hello Kitty fans alike.

Claws out — An exact release date is still under wraps, but the Nike x Hello Kitty Air Presto is expected to hit retailers by the 2021 holiday season.