On April 2, Nike Sportswear unveils its highly anticipated summer footwear collection with Liberty. As one of Nike’s most coveted collaborations, SU12 will celebrate the legacy and evolution of the brand’s innovations in running over the course of four remarkable decades of style. Women have been embracing the growing trend of vintage running footwear styles for a cool, dressed down look and this season the trend will be re-energized with running classics mixed with signature Liberty prints. 

Debuted in 1972, the Cortez was Nike’s first running shoe and the lightest to hit the track. This year marks its 40th anniversary and so the model, along with two other iconic running styles, has been transformed in a fusion with Liberty’s Lagos Laurel print. In keeping with this season’s most ubiquitous and talked about print, the design is a 21st century take on the traditional psychedelic paisley prints that form a part of Liberty’s rich heritage. First appearing in the 1940s, Lagos Laurel has now been revisited with the addition of a laurel wreath motif. 

Another major milestone for Nike was in 1987 with the introduction of the Air Max 1. This was Nike's first shoe to feature a visible air unit, making it the most cushioned running shoe of its time. Today it is a cult streetwear classic and has been given the unmistakeable Liberty treatment with the Lagos Laurel paisley print in an imperial purple hue. 

Nike continually looks to push boundaries and lead in product innovation and 2004 saw yet another revolutionary progression in sportswear design with the introduction of Nike Free technology. With an outsole featuring reverse flex grooves, the result was groundbreaking: Nike’s first shoe to mimic barefoot running. At the centre of this collection is the Nike Free 5.0 and as this is the first time that performance footwear has been introduced to this collaboration, it will be the only style available in all three colors – sport red, university gold and imperial purple. 

In May, the collection will be extended with the addition of three basketball-inspired styles – the Nike Blazer Mid, Nike Hyperclave and Nike Dunk Sky High – the brand's first silhouette to incorporate a wedge heel. Furthermore, this is the first time a capsule apparel collection that extends the heritage-running story has been introduced to accompany the footwear collection. Inspired by definitive Nike running styles, the select line incorporates subtle Lagos Laurel print highlights on a soft brushed cotton full zip AW 77 hoodie, tempo shorts and racer back tanks. The entire collection will be exclusively showcased in a bespoke Nike pop-up space in Liberty London this April, the design of which will be a creative interpretation of running and style through the decades. 

The footwear and apparel collection will be exclusive to Liberty London from April 2 with prices starting at £70 for the Nike Cortez, Nike Air Max 1 and Nike Free 5.0. Available from May 1 are the Nike Dunk Sky High, Nike Hyperclave, and Nike Blazer Mid. Outside of London, shoppers can check the Nike online store starting on May 11 to shop the collection. 

Liberty x Nike Sportswear Air Max
Liberty x Nike Sportswear Air Max