Nike has always profited from breathing new life into its older silhouettes. People literally can’t get enough of the Dunk sneaker, and it looks like the Foamposite is making a comeback. One surprise, however, was the brand re-releasing its Clot x Nike Air Max 1 “Kiss of Death” sneaker, which first debuted 15 years ago. And, of course, DJ Khaled seems to have it before anyone else.
In 2006, when neither the word “hypebeast” nor “drip” meant anything, Nike collaborated with Clot and hip hop artist MC Yan to create the Air Max 1 Kiss of Death, in celebration of China’s first sneaker boutique, ACU. The sneaker catered to Clot founders Edison Chen and Kevin Poon's mission to bridge the East and the West by spotlighting “Chi,” the spiritual energy that flows through the human body and connects it with the universe, as well as the ancient Chinese art of pressure points.
Featuring graphics of cultural significance, the Air Max 1 Kiss of Death became a highly coveted sneaker, with brand new pairs from '06 currently reselling for over $1,300. Even today, the 15-year-old model would sell out in seconds — which is probably what Nike is hoping for with its re-release.
Major key alert — In an Instagram video, DJ Khaled confirms the sneaker’s rerelease and gives us a good look at the 2021 silhouette. The shoe seems to maintain its “Net/Deep Red/Orange Blazer” color scheme from 2006 and its suede upper with snakeskin and ostrich detailing. Instead of the original’s orange suede heel with red embroidered details, however, the new version boasts a red leather heel with orange embossed detailing.
This year’s pair also strays from the original’s outsole, which formerly depicted the outline of a human foot. The update alternatively features an icy blue outsole, with a graphic of a reflexology map of the sole’s pressure points hidden beneath it.
The Air Max 1 Kiss of Death retains its signature feature, a translucent toebox, which displays the insoles that show the pressure points of the foot. In Khaled’s video, the transparent toebox can be seen extending midfoot, to which he exclaims “these shoes ain’t regular.”
All we do is win — Nike and Clot have yet to confirm whether the Air Max 1 Kiss of Death will drop in 2021, but this video is proof enough. While it’s a total Khaled move to say he was the first to receive the upcoming release, a note shown by Khaled proves his statement. “As we near Air Max Day 2021,” the note reads, "Clot x Nike would like you to be one of the first few to be gifted the re-release of the coveted Clot x Nike Air Max 1 Kiss of Death."
Not only does this mean the collaborative shoe is actually dropping, but it gives hints as to when. Sneaker seeding usually means the shoe is launching soon, and Air Max Day 2021 falls on March 26. By the note, it seems likely the Air Max 1 would drop then, making its re-release just as commemorative as its debut. Question is, will we even be able to cop?