Slam Jam x Travis Scott’s Nike Air Max 270 “Cactus Trails” – Illustrated by WOC

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Nike initiated Travis Scott into their collaborative partnership by handing over the blueprints for some of the most legendary shoes in the brand’s history. Since 2018, the Houston-born rapper and longtime Jordan acolyte has made a name for himself in the world of sneakers with eccentric takes on iconic silhouettes—Jordan 1s, 4s and 6s, Air Force 1s and an SB Dunk Low, among others. Armed with this iron-clad marketing tactic—wed styles with extensive collab histories and built-in collector bases with one of the most popular musicians of the moment—each of these releases sold out quickly and demanded substantial markups on secondary retail platforms. Scott’s creative toolbox deployed subtle conceptual gestures (take the backwards swoosh on his Jordan 1 Retro High) alongside more outlandish, and divisive, interventions such as the corduroy and denim-encased zipper installed atop the laces of last year’s Air Force 1 Lows.

His latest foray, however,—the Air Max 270 Cactus Trails—subs an almost paradoxically different kind of sneaker into a tried and true recipe. The Air Max 270 React was released less than a year ago, and the ENG just last month, both offspring of 2018’s Air Max 270—a lifestyle shoe that takes cues from the Air Max 93 and 180 and boasts the largest air heel to date. Among the most ubiquitous sneakers of the past two years, this is a shoe as mass as they come.

 

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Words by Isabel Flower
Illustrations by Woc