"I wanted as many opinions as possible. I tried to bring together people who represent different types of sneakerheads, collectors, consumers, and styles," Wotherspoon, co-owner of buy and sell boutique Round Two, said of the team he called upon to help brainstorm ideas early in the Vote Forward process. Familiar names like Ben Baller and Franalations came on board to pitch ideas, and the group eventually settled on the multicolor look that's become a celebrity favorite in recent months.
Wotherspoon says he was met with some resistance over the sneaker's now-signature pastel palette. "Even though the group told me that pastel colors were too Easter-ey, I really wanted to utilize them, starting with the more muted yellow on top," the Round Two owner said.
As for the sneaker's fusion of two popular Air Max designs, Wotherspoon says it was inspired by his favorite styles from the franchise: "The Air Max 97 has always been one of my favorite shoes. I love the 360 sole and gradient possibilities for the upper. It made sense to pair it with the Air Max 1 sole and the bubble of the ‘Infrared’ Air Max 90."
The Sean Wotherspoon x Nike Air Max 1/97 VF releases from Nike SNKRS on Monday, March 26 for $160, but many retailers are launching the collaboration Saturday, March 24.
See how the sneakers came to be with insight from the team of creatives who made it happen below.