It’s hard to believe that it has been 20 years since the launch of one of Nike’s most beloved Air Max models, the Air Max 97. To celebrate the 20th anniversary of one of the most iconic silhouettes from their archives, Nike Toronto teamed up with artists from FM Founders to create an exhibit called Site 97. FoundMissing is a group of Canadian creators that produce some amazing content for brands, and for Nike’s Site 97, four members were selected to work on this project: Nicole Charles, Dahae Song, Trevor Wheatley, and Dilly Manahan.
The installation celebrates the launch of the Air Max 97 Ultra ’17, an update to the original model which features a rebuilt upper and sole with lighter materials. The main art work in the middle of the space by Dilly (@deaddilly) & Trevor (@treverferever) draws inspiration from the design of the original Air Max 97, which was inspired by industrial designs, specifically the Japanese bullet trains. It shows how the original design has come full circle in 2017 with the Ultra ’17, as it features modern updates to the original model and no drastic changes in the silhouette. This cycle is embodied by the circular conveyer belt that is located in the centre of the space, displaying the transition of the Air Max 97 from the original to the Ultra ’17, as well as the two mirrors on each side of it that is in a constant 360 degree motion.
The other two artists, Nicole (@nicoledcharles) and Dahae (@songdahae), display their individual works in front of Dilly and Trevor’s to round out the space. Nicole’s artwork draws inspiration from the eight colourways of the Air Max 97 Ultra ’17, and her abstract renditions are seen through a collection of layered acrylic slides. Dahae’s artwork features the same acrylic slides, but instead of it being viewed as a layered piece, you are able to move the slides around to view the different layers of single stroke motions that are inspired by the flow of the Air Max 97 silhouette.
A big thank you to our Nike Toronto family & FM Founders for the hospitality and for having us at their wonderful space. It is amazing to see when a group of local creatives is able to team up with a brand like Nike to bring their ideas to life, and Site 97 symbolized that harmonious relationship. Thank you to Dilly, Trevor, Nicole, and Dahae for allowing us to see the Air Max 97 through their perspectives!