/  12.13.2021
What’s up everybody? It’s Legendary Lade and I’m back with another column of Kickin’ Facts. I wanted to take the time to highlight one of the most ubiquitous sneakers in the culture: the Air Force 1. A sneaker so famous, it needs no introduction and goes by many nicknames. “White on whites,” “Uptowns,” and “G-Fazos” are just a few that come to mind. The popular sneaker designed by Bruce Kilgore was first released in 1982 and has gone through many iterations since.
This week, I’m focusing on the Airforce 1 V2 Cream by Customs By J1. One of the best things about the Air Force 1 is how bare the design is in its natural state. This allows for any type of customization as we see here with this pair by J1. J. Watkins, a designer, who is from London, chose the Airforce 1 because it’s such a classic silhouette that’s embedded in our culture, he says. “It’s a blank canvas, that you can do so much with, and I’ve always loved it for as long as I can remember,” Watkins tells REVOLT.
But like a lot of great creations, the sneaker was spontaneous. The V2 cream’s origin story comes by way of a discarded pair given to J by his brother that he decided to bleach that didn’t turn out right. Around that same time, he ordered some rope laces for a pair of J1 kicks that he’d been working on for a different customer, he admits.
They arrived and some of them were way too big. So, he set them aside thinking he wouldn’t use them. He, later on, changed his mind and decided to use the chunky laces. Thus, the V2 was born. “I split the holes with a Stanley knife — and even broke one of them, which I sewed back together — and forced the laces through. This was super makeshift and not how I make them now,” he goes on.
While he initially thought they were cool, it wasn’t until a friend of his got so impressed by the pair that he decided to post them on Instagram. And the rest is history!
Popular Instagram curator accounts Hidden N.Y. and Lil Jupiter picked up on them and posted, broadcasting the sneakers worldwide. Within days, the designer had multiple inquiries to buy them, which led him to put even chunkier ropes on a white Air Force 1 titled the V2 Cream. Similar positive reception followed with Highsnobiety picking up on them and sharing, which started his business where he now sells different variations through his web store. What are your thoughts on these?
The Airforce 1 V2 Cream – Customs by J1 launched in November, retailing at $304, on customsbyj1.com. Customs are also available.


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