In New York they call them “Uptowns.” Here in Chicago, you might hear them referred to as “G-Fazos.” The Nike Air Force 1 has evolved into a global streetwear staple thanks in large part to the groups that have adopted it as a symbol within their community. This season, Nike is celebrating those communities, specifically those within NYC, LA and Chicago, with three “ALL FOR 1” city-specific versions of the AF-1. Each one was created by the people, for the people, and celebrate the shoe for being a daily expression of the community.
The Chicago version was created in collaboration with Drew Henderson, owner of local barbershop No Cuts No Glory. Using Drew’s story and life’s work as inspiration, the AF-1 ALL FOR 1 – CHICAGO design maintains the classic elements of the Air Force 1 while incorporating both functional and style elements from Chicago, the barbershop setting, and the barbershop community it represents. Here’s what Drew had to say about the opportunity:
“It means so much to me to be involved with the production of a shoe that represents some of the most important things in my life: Chicago, the barbershop and the community. I’ve had a passion for cutting hair my entire life and, while I never thought to myself I’d be able to inspire a shoe, it is an honor to shine a spotlight on the city, industry and community that made me who I am and motivate me every day. I share this with all of them.”
The ALL FOR 1 – CHICAGO features a black tumbled leather upper with rolled edges, making it great for haircuts since there are no exposed seams for hair to get stuck on. Wax laces also ensure that fallen hair will not get trapped.
A pony hair heel tab was added as a premium fixture, representing the hair that barbers cut daily.
The aglet design represents the traditional barbershop pole, but the standard royal blue was replaced with light blue, a nod to the Chicago flag.
The outsole is an ice rubber that provides extra grip on the shop floor. Through the outsole there is a black and white diamond pattern that reflects classic barbershop flooring.
On the tongue, we have a graphic of the Chicago skyline that transitions into the silhouette of a comb, alluding to the way in which the barbershop is at the “root” of the city.
The top of the tongue includes a small white edge to represent the white tissue paper barbers use around customers’ necks. The inner-lining of the tongue is nylon red and white pinstripe, a nod to the classic barbershop cape used by Drew and many others. A metallic silver deubré was chosen to represent the razor blades used by barbers daily to clean up hair lines.
The final touch is a green insole, added as a symbol of Drew’s first barber chair when he first opened up his shop – an egg-white chair with green accents. Around the insert, Drew added words that represent the values most important to him, Chicago, and the barbershop community. The insert graphic of two hands together represents Chicago unity. Functionally, it also provides extra cushioning to support barbershops and hair stylists that are on their feet for long periods of time.
The Nike Air Force 1 ALL FOR 1 – CHICAGO releases on December 7th at select retailers in Chicago and on Nike.com.