Sean Wotherspoon is a staple in the fashion industry as the designer who created the Wotherspoon Nike Air Max 1/97. The Wotherspoon Air Max 1/97 is a highly sought after sneaker not only for its design, but for its connection to the sneaker industry and Wotherspoon himself. It was the first collaboration Wotherspoon did with Nike and resale value for the $160 sneaker has skyrocketed to over a thousand dollars in every size on StockX.
Here’s what you need to know about Sean Wotherspoon and his Air Max 1/97s:
- Helped drive sneaker resale culture;
- Cemented Wotherspoon as a icon in the sneaker industry:
- Was the first of many Wotherspoon collaboration sneakers.
Before Wotherspoon’s Air Max 1/97, he was a business owner who co-founded the popular vintage boutique store Round Two. His YouTube web series based on his boutique “Round Two The Show” took off in 2015 and Wotherspoon found himself with a ton of different major fashion brands knocking at his door.
Why is the Sean Wotherspoon Air Max 1/97 so valuable?
The Nike Air Max 1/97 VF SW ‘Sean Wotherspoon’ sneaker is so valuable and sought after by sneaker collectors because of its one-of-a-kind design, combination of two iconic Nike silhouettes, and collaboration between Nike and Wotherspoon himself. Nike rarely allows its collaborators to have as much creative control over a sneaker as they did with Wotherspoon on this pair of sneakers. It was one of the first sneakers to skyrocket to around the $1,000 price point on the resale market after only a year since it was released. This paved the way for many other Nike collaborations to do the same thing in the near future.
The most impressive feature about the sneaker is its innovative multi-layered pattern color scheme on two timeless silhouettes, the Air Max 1 and 97. This is a major reason why it immediately took off in value. The sneaker is a hybrid between the Air Max 1 and Air Max 97 and that’s where it gets its name from. The upper is an Air Max 97 style, but made with corduroy materials in a variety of different colors and the sole has the classic Air Max 1 bubble. By combining these two styles together, Wotherspoon created something entirely new.
Not only that, but this was also Wotherspoon’s first collaboration with Nike. Typically, the first time a brand like Nike collaborates with an independent artist, the outcome is more sought after by the sneaker community because it’s something new.
The Wotherspoon Air Max 1/97 was also a limited release. It’s estimated that there were less than 50,000 pairs made, which is extremely limited for a pair of sneakers.
Also, since Wotherspoon moved on from Nike, at this point it looks like there will never be a restock or anymore Wotherspoon collaborations with Nike happening ever again. The shoe was already available in a limited supply so the fact that no more pairs will ever be made is also driving the price of the sneakers up.
How has Wotherspoon become an icon in the sneaker industry
The Air Max 1/97 was Sean Wotherspoon’s gateway into a higher level as a fashion designer in the sneaker industry. He was already known for his sneaker boutique business and just for being a fashion designer, but the hype of the Air Max 1/97 collaboration elevated him to another level where he has the opportunity to work with many major retailers.
Now, Wotherspoon has collaborated with other major sports apparel companies on sneakers, participated on panels about sneakers, and has been cemented as a hyped designer and icon in the sneaker industry because of how difficult it is to get a pair of his sneakers.
What are the other collaborations Sean Wotherspoon has done?
Since parting ways with Nike, Sean Wotherspoon has collaborated with a number of other major sports retailers to produce clothing and footwear because of his original success at Nike.
Some notable brands include:
Specifically focusing on sneakers, Wotherspoon has released four different sneakers in total, one being the Nike Air Max 1/97.
The other three are:
- adidas ZX 8000 Sean Wotherspoon Superearth
- adidas Superstar Sean Wotherspoon Superearth
- ASICS Gel-Lyte III Sean Wotherspoon x atmos
All of these sneakers were created in limited numbers, but only some of them fetch a high selling amount on the resale market. Additionally, none of them have anywhere near the level of hype or demand as the original Nike Air Max 1/97.
What to look for going forward
At the end of the day, the Nike Air Max 1/97 collaboration with Sean Wotherspoon will continue to go up in price the more it ages because of its rarity, style, and uniqueness. Other Wotherspoon collaborations will remain popular because of his original Air Max collaboration with Nike, but at the time of writing this story it looks like none of his other collabs will match up with his original Nike one.
To get a pair of your Adidas to look like a Wotherspoon pair, you’ll have to learn how to customize your Adidas sneakers. Otherwise, it’ll be extremely difficult to get your hands on a pair of his shoes without paying an extra penny on the resale market.
Wotherspoon’s name will continue to turn heads and attract attention in the sneaker industry.