Nike Lends Levi’s Its 'By You' Platform to Produce (More) Denim Sneakers

Following the success of Levi’s x Jordan Brand in 2018, the denim maker and Nike team up again to reimagine another iconic sneaker.

America’s most significant contribution to the ever-evolving global fashion industry has undeniably been its invention of denim. When working-class Americans needed heavy-duty pants around the time of the California Gold Rush, tailor Jacob Davis and Levi Strauss produced the first pair of denim bottoms in 1873. They called them blue jeans.

Levi’s has been an insurmountable denim brand ever since. Weathering the ebbs and flows of the fashion world—and denim’s on-again off-again popularity as a wardrobe staple—the American label has never faltered. An adjacent success story, as equally cemented in sportswear as the lauded Levi’s, is that of Nike. The revelatory Oregon-based company is the pinnacle of sneaker design and launches numerous commercial triumphs. Of Nike's most adored styles, the transcendent Air Force 1 looms larger than the rest. As perhaps the most ubiquitous Nike sneaker of the past 40 years, the Air Force 1’s cultural importance since its inception in 1982 remains unrivaled.

It’s both the radical advent of denim and the historical panache of the Air Force 1 that solidifies this upcoming Levi’s x Nike Air Force 1 collection as one to watch. Not often do two influential companies align to honor their most noted creations. To amplify the union even further, Nike’s “By You” customization platform (or, in this instance, Levi’s By You) plays the middle man, allowing fans to alter the look and feel of the Air Force 1 High and Air Force 1 Low with custom denim washes, leather, corduroy and sherpa combinations. 

This initiative follows the monumental release of the Levi’s x Air Jordan 4 in 2018, a creative lighting of a torch that continues to flame this summer. “Our 2018 Nike Jordan collaboration became a viral customization hit, with people dying, bleaching and distressing the denim-clad Jordans. So customization was top of mind when we got together with Nike again,” expressed Jonathan Cheung, Levi's senior vice president of design innovation. “Nike By You feels like the perfect creative project—we worked with the Nike creative team to create a menu of ingredients. Two iconic brands, customized by you.”

Earlier this month, Levi’s By You produced a similar version of another time-honored Nike design: the Air Max 90. Here, though, the design language of the Air Force 1 is emboldened by Levi’s logos printed on “shrink-to-fit 501” denim in mid-wash indigo and overdyed pink, topped with the Nike swoosh. Each iteration is symbolic of the cultural birth of each company’s hero product: the iconic blue jean and the timelessness of the Air Force 1. 

Starting August 26, the Levi’s By You x Nike Air Force 1 Low and Nike Air Force 1 High will be available at select global Levi’s retail locations, listed here:

Levi’s Berlin

Levi’s London (Regent Street)

Levi’s New York (Soho)

Levi’s Paris (Champs Elysees)

Levi’s San Francisco (Market Street)

Levi’s Shanghai

Levi’s Tokyo (Harajuku)

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