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Nike Celebrates Latino Heritage Movement With ‘Los Primeros’ Pack

The word “Latino” is used in the U.S. to identify someone of Latin American heritage. For many, the word Latino is often misunderstood or misapplied to only a small section of Latin American cultures. In our latest LHM release, the broader diversity of what it means to be “Latino” is highlighted with a nod to different aspects of Latin American culture. While Latino Heritage Month is primarily a U.S. holiday, this year’s limited Nike LHM pack takes its cues from the origins of “Latino” culture, or “Los Primeros” (“The Firsts”), in its collaboration with local street artists from Latin America.

The “Los Primeros” narrative is further emphasized with the 4 sneakers chosen to make up the pack: “The Firsts” of sneaker culture with the Cortez, the Air Max 1, the Air Force 1 and the Air Jordan 1. These iconic models helped to create and define modern sneaker culture. “The Firsts” story is strengthened with the use of the OG silhouettes for each model in the LHM Los Primeros pack.

Each “Los Primeros” sneaker has a deep story that connects to the history of Latin American culture while also expressing the modern identity and influence of Latino culture today.

With this year’s pack, we seek to evolve the LHM celebration from Latin Heritage Month to Latin Heritage Movement, so this exclusive pack will be dropped one model at a time, each week from September 15- October 15 and the limited LHM pairs will also extend to Latin America.

Sizes for the LHM Los Primeros models will extend down to 4 so the whole community can get in on the celebration. Watch this release closely if you plan to cop, as pairs will be very limited.

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INTI x NIKE CORTEZ

Nike’s first track shoe, the ’72 Cortez was designed by Oregon’s legendary Track Coach and Nike Co-founder, Bill Bowerman. This track flat pioneered Nike’s success. The Nike Los Primeros Cortez features a print sublimated canvas upper with premium suede overlays and a leather heel tab that features INTI’s name. The ancient symbols and weathered treatment of this sneaker gives it the feel of an ancient artifact.

ARTIST BIO: INTI

Born is Valparaiso, Chile, INTI takes his name from the Incan sun god and the Quechua word for ‘the Sun; as homage to his Chilean roots. The origins of his work are inseparable from the cities of Chile, where expressive Latin music, chaotic cityscapes and less bureaucratic city-planning allow vibrant street art to thrive.

Although the strong sense of Latin culture can be felt in INTI’s paintings, he has become an ambassador of South American street art worldwide. His work can be seen dominating the skyline across walls in Belgium, USA, Slovakia, France, Lebanon, Spain, Germany, Poland, Norway, Turkey, Peru, Puerto Rico and, of course, Chile.

INTI’s story for the Cortez

ONE HEART

One model composed of patches and symbologies of different cultures of the America’s, united in a single design that shows us the dream of the American continent as a single territory. A design that offers a transversal view of our original cultures, outside of all the frontiers that separate us today.

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WASAFU x AIR MAX 1

Designed by Tinker Hatfield, the AM-1 was Nike’s first iconic sneaker with a revolutionary visible air bag in 1987. The Nike Los Primeros AM-1 features heavy canvas sublimated with Wasafu’s signature “Wasafism” print. The no-sew skin overlay and canvas swoosh carry the primitive Selk’nam inspired print, creating a sense of combined old-world craft with modern day innovation. The translucent rubber outsole reveals a colorful Wasafism explosion while the sock liner continues to bring together the ancient and modern day design. This contemporary design breaks away from stereotypical expectations of Latino expression and challenges the narrative of “what it means to be Latino.”

ARTIST BIO: WASAFU

Born Ignacio Espinoza, Wasafu is originally from Santiago Chile, where his murals can be found throughout the city. His passion for art developed at a young age, as he was often seen with a can of spray paint in his hands. This passion, coupled with an architectural degree from Universidad Catholica in 2012, produced what is now known as his signature design. His geometric designs are executed through a technique known as “garra” meaning the ability to paint a large area in very little time. This technique was applied to his first Nike collaboration of a Copa America mural in Santiago covering five stories in four days.

It’s no coincidence that Wasafu, an OG sneakerhead, wanted to collab on the Air-Max 1 designed by his hero, Tinker Hatfield, who also began his career as an architect.   

WASAFU’s story for the AM-1

NOMAD
Migration has been an integral part of our culture for centuries. We migrate from unforgiving conditions. We migrate to opportunity and hope.

This was the spirit of the Ona, also known as the Selk’nam indigenous people of the Patagonian region of South America. They had an intimate and visual knowledge of their surroundings, representing it through ceremonial body paint, abstract patterns of red and symbols used to reflect their power.

We were then and we are now, people on foot.

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SANER x AIR FORCE 1

Designed by Bruce Kilgore, the AF-1 Basketball shoe was the first sneaker to contain Nike Air Technology. Originally released in 1982, the AF-1 was discontinued to launch the second generation, only to be brought back by prevailing consumer demand. The Nike Los Primeros AF-1 combines rich deep black suede with faux calf hair overlays containing jaguar spots. The heel contains an embroidered signature Saner mask representing the Master Jaguar and Saner’s logo can be seen on the vamp below the eye stays.

ARTIST BIO: SANER

Born as Edgar Flores, Saner was raised in Mexico City, where he had a chance to discover graffiti art which directed him toward earning a degree in graphic design from the Universidad Autonoma de Mexico. His work has been exhibited in galleries worldwide, from Mexico City and New York to Berlin, London, and Barcelona. The exposure to the massive pop art influenced him to freely wander between graffiti, graphic design, painting and drawing. Connecting illustration manners, expressionism, native art, and surrealism with street art techniques, Saner succeeded in giving a characteristic urban look to all of his pieces.

SANER’s story for the AF-1

MASTER JAGUAR

In the beginning, people strove for balance in their souls. To survive in the universe, they learned to use the power, spirit, and conscience of the animals. The pre-Hispanic cultures believed particularly in the power of the jaguar, they considered this animal a mystic with the power of survival in both life and death.

The master jaguar invites us to destroy our human masks and egos and be reborn into courage.

With this design, we return to the power of our roots to become one with the universe yet again.

When we are one with the universe, we embody the mysticism of the jaguar.

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POMB x AIR JORDAN 1

Designed by Pete Moore, the Air Jordan 1 was the first signature shoe for Michael Jordan. It was considered a breakthrough in basketball shoe design, style and colorways. Jordan was originally fined by the NBA for breaking their strict sneaker color guidelines. The Jordan Los Primeros AJ-1 celebrates color in the vibrant mural sublimated on the vamp, tongue and sock liner. Diversity of Latino skin tones are also evident in the mural, highlighting the story of Latino diversity from euro to afro Latinos and indigenous people. The saturated black suede upper carries a tonal “roots” graphic, allowing color to shine as the hero of the story.

ARTIST BIO: POMB

From São Paulo Brazil, Pomb was born Thales Fernando and graduated from the University of Brasilia with a degree in Industrial Design. He considers himself not only a graffiti artist but also a self-taught illustrator. At the young age of thirteen, his murals were already making their way throughout Brazil, and as an adult, his work has now made its mark Internationally. His work is inspired by the environment animals, and their vibrant colors. His work transcends to his larger passion around sustainability. More recently, he used recycled wood and LED lights to create a mask, He believes his inspiration and art is fluid and not limited to one rhyme or reason.

POMB’s story for the AJ-1

ROOTS

Roots is a manifestation of who we really are, our ethos. It represents our history, the richness of our culture, myths and diversity. Everything in intertwined in the roots of our essence: indigenous people, Africans, immigrants, From the beautiful and unique nature, to the concrete jungle metropolis, it all makes us who we are today.

It’s under our skin and intrinsic to our souls.

There’s a common Brazilian expression: “é tudo nosso,” that means “it’s all ours; mine and yours.” And it really is. As Latinos, even after all we’ve been through we never give up on our dreams, and still keep going without hesitation. Our strength will overcome through all the obstacles we encounter.

We are from everywhere, we are everything. É tudo nosso.