As part of a yearly initiative Nike will be releasing a Black History Month themed collection. According to the formal press release the designs were inspired “by an assortment of national African patterns, brought together onto modernized prints in a theme of Afro-futurism in sport.”
The set will include some of Nike’s most classic and sought after basketball models including the Lebron 15’s, Kyrie 5’s and Air Jordan 1’s. Staying in line with the celebratory theme the sneakers feature Afrocentric detailing including a very generous use of kente cloth accents and branding of applicable words such as “Equality”.
Senior Creative Director for Nike Basketball Jonathan Johnsongriffin detailed how the collection aligns with the modern athlete. “In sport, there’s a movement happening where athletes are inviting others to discover the full side of who they are, through finding their voices and improving their communities,” he says. “We wanted that movement to inspire this year’s design.”
Aside from the limited-edition shoes Nike also announced they are launching the Future Varsity program, which provides leadership training to 14 young African Americans who are creating positive change in their communities. The participants will be paired with mentors from within and outside of Nike to help advance their causes (their projects range from organizing charity basketball tournaments in Chicago to providing nutrition education to youth in New York City). Programming is set to kick off on Friday, January 18 in Atlanta, Georgia.