Few artists are as closely connected to sneaker culture as Takashi Murakami, and yet, somehow the artist that has worked with the likes of Pharrell Williams, Kanye West, and ComplexCon for decades has never had an official sneaker collab.
The Takashi Murakami x RTFKT x Nike Air Force 1 combines art, fashion, and blockchain technology. Yep, despite the ongoing legal battles with StockX, and the dip in the NFT market, Nike is still forging ahead.
This limited-edition shoe was designed by Japanese artist Takashi Murakami and produced by the RTFKT studio, in collaboration with Nike. Remember, Nike acquired RTFKT last year before dropping their first official sneaker in the metaverse. This shoe features Murakami's signature flower motif, which is rendered in 3D and printed onto the shoe's upper using a high-tech digital process. The shoe also features a translucent sole, which is printed with the Nike logo and Murakami's signature.
Murakami's signature colorful motifs are featured on two exclusive Nike Air Force 1 styles: the "Murakami Drip" and the "Murakami DNA." These limited edition digital collectibles, available as 4,349 copies between both styles, were recently released as non-fungible tokens (NFTs).
In addition to being Murakami’s first collaborative sneaker, what really sets this collaboration apart is the inclusion of an NFT (non-fungible token) with each pair of shoes. The NFT is a digital asset that is stored on the blockchain and represents ownership of the physical shoe. It also unlocks exclusive digital content, such as 3D renders of the shoe and other Murakami artwork.
Overall, this collaboration represents an exciting new frontier for sneaker culture, as well as for the worlds of art and technology. The integration of NFTs and blockchain technology into physical products like sneakers could have far-reaching implications for how we think about ownership, authenticity, and value in the digital age.
Unfortunately, or fortunately, depending on which side of the NFT coin you land on, in order to get your hands on a pair, you’ll need to grab them from someplace like OpenSea. Forging begins later this month and concludes on May 8th.
Are NFTs and the metaverse for you, or will you stick to real-world physical sneakers? Let us know by dropping a comment on our latest Instagram post.