Nike, Vogue collaborate on limited-edition sneaker line OK'd by Anna Wintour
- Nike and Vogue magazine Editor Anna Wintour partnered to create the Vogue x Nike AWOK Air Jordans, the first Jordan collaboration for women, per The Hollywood Reporter. Vogue will receive a portion of the sales, Vogue said in a statement on its website.
- The shoes are stamped on the tongue and sole with AWOK, which stands for "Anna Wintour Okay" — a well-known sign-off the editor writes on the final drafts of all of Vogue's print pages. Pairs of the shoes also come with an "Edited by Vogue" Nike Air tag.
- The collaboration will feature two sneakers that zip up instead of lace up. The Air Jordan 1, scheduled for release in select stores on July 21 and the Nike Snkrs app on July 22, is a retro-style high-top in red or white leather. The Air Jordan 3 SE, which will be released Sept. 7, features red or black tweed accents, an homage to Chanel tweed suits, part of Wintour's signature look. The publisher and sneaker maker teased their partnership in a video starring Wintour that's available to view below:
The Vogue collaboration appears to be part of Air Jordan parent company Nike's efforts to advertise more to women and be more inclusive of female "sneakerheads," who are typically underserved by the market. Wintour is notorious for having discerning taste — she is broadly considered to be the inspiration for Meryl Streep's high-maintenance fashion editor in the movie "The Devil Wears Prada" — and Vogue is known for providing fashion and style inspiration, which could give the sneaker line an extra air of authenticity.
The partnership is also distinctive, not just for being Air Jordan's first limited drop catered to women, but also for prominently involving a publisher. Publishers like Vogue have traditionally relied on print and online advertising revenue, along with special events, to support their business, but declining print sales and difficulties monetizing digital channels have led some to think outside the box, including through channels like e-commerce and co-branded fashion collaborations.
The mash-up could double as a marketing opportunity for Vogue in drawing in more streetwear-minded fashion followers and subscribers. Late last year, Vogue's owner, the publishing house Condé Nast, announced a series of layoffs and budget cuts, with some magazines, including Teen Vogue, seeing their publishing cycle shift.
Nike and Air Jordan's limited-edition collaborative sneaker lines are closely watched, popular with collectors and usually sell out quickly. Nike in February became the first brand to sell a product, the Air Jordan III "Tinker," directly through the popular messaging app Snapchat. The shoe sold out within 23 minutes.