Marking three decades since the launch of the original, iconic Nike Air Max, 2017 sees the next evolutionary leap: meet the Air Max 97 LX Swarovski. Back in 1997, it was the high-shine industrial finish on mountain bikes that inspired the jump to signature 360-degree reflectivity. Now, in 2017, it’s the exceptional brilliance of Swarovski crystals that’s setting the pace. More specifically, it is Swarovski’s innovative Crystal Fabric, which NikeWomen designers discovered not only fires shards of light from every angle, but also increases the shoe’s durability. Nike has already released a crystallized Black version for Spring 17—now they’re debuting sparkling Silver.
Look closely at the Crystal Fabric snaking around the shoe’s upper—the more patient among us would be able to count a staggering 50,000 tiny Swarovski crystals: it’s the miniscule size of each crystal that gives the fabric surface its refinement, while the bi-cone chaton cut allows the crystals to closely cluster in an irregular formation that increases multi-angle light refraction. The mirror-finish flash of Swarovski’s Comet Argent Light effect is the final touch.
Crystal Fabric is the outcome of years of research, and proved inspirational to the NikeWomen team on their visit to Swarovski HQ in Wattens, where they enjoyed rare access to the Swarovski Archive. “We were looking to explore shine and durability in a new and innovative way,” explains Marie Crow, Nike Material Design Director for NikeWomen Sportswear, “and we loved the juxtaposition of the Crystal Fabric’s tough sparkle to reinvent an already iconic shoe.”
Crystal Fabric has been heat-applied, without the need for stitching, which gives a brilliantly streamlined finish. This unique synthesis of speed and light is the first time Nike has used Swarovski crystals on a sneaker.
If you cannot wait to blaze a trail at the gym or on the street, your Silver Air Max 97 LX Swarovski shoes will be available globally in women’s sizing from September 7 from select retailers.