Streetwear lovers in Korea will definitely be familiar with the Kasina, one of Korea’s largest streetwear concept stores. First opened in Busan in 1997 by former pro skateboarder EunHyuk Lee, they carry a variety of brands and seek to introduce international brands and global culture into the Korean market. Not only does the company bring in brands, but they also work on collaboration form time to time, most notably of late with Nike. Ox Street takes a look at Kasina's recent Air Max 1 releases and does a quick recap of their highly sought-after Kasina x Dunk Low.
The latest collaboration between Kasina and Nike tells the cross-cultural story of the Korean sneaker community in a two-pack sneaker lineup known as the “Made To Be Together” set. The Kasina x Air Max 1 SP are inspired by the Korean custom of gifting a pair of Won-Ang Ducks made of carved wood to newlywed couples to represent everlasting love and good fortune. Through these very special sneakers, the collaborators wish to remind us of the importance of all relationships between people.
The shape of the carved ducks resembles that of the Air Max 1, hence the choice of this iconic silhouette fits perfectly. The sneakers feature a pair of ducks embroidered on the heel and are also found printed on the insoles. The Nike Air Max 1 x Kasina also pays homage to traditional Korean colors and materials, through the use of materials like pony hair textures and soft suede.
Both colorways are inspired by the colorful feathers commonly found on ducks, with the more warm-toned ‘Orange’ color found on the males, and the cool-toned ‘Grey’ drawn from the female. The ‘Orange’ features a maroon leather toe box and tongue, with an orange suede toe cap, teal pony hair on the quarter panels accented by a darker blue on the forefoot and heel, finishing with an off-white leather Swoosh, suede collar, and midsoles.
For those who prefer more muted colors, the ‘Grey’ iteration comes with soft grey mudguards, a dark navy upper coupled with darker grey quarter panels. A flower on a mini Swoosh is a nice touch found on the toe of both colorways, alongside Kasina branded wooden dubraes and tongue tags. The Kasina x Air Max 1 SP was released on Kasina's site on the 4th of June and on SNKRS on the 8th of June at the retail price of $160 USD.
The Kasina x Air Max 1 was not the first collab between the two brands, they follow on the heels of the now legendary Kasina x Dunk Low ‘Road Sign’ and ‘80s Bus’. Both colorways reference the spirit of travel through Korea, as Busan, where the brand is based - is South Korea’s second-largest city and connects many others to the country’s capital Seoul.
Kasina x Dunk Low ‘Road Sign’ mimics the color of signages that line the Gyeongbu Expressway, the main highway between Busan and Seoul. Drawing parallels between the history of sneakers and Korea, when the Dunks was introduced in the mid-’80s, Seoul experienced a population boom that resulted in more travels across Korea’s highways. The upper is made up of off-white leather and Neptune Green suede overlays, paired with a grey suede Swoosh. ‘Busan’ and ‘Seoul’ are written on the left and right navy blue heel tabs.
The Kasina x Dunk Low ‘80s Bus’ as its name suggests, draws inspiration from the ‘80s Korean public transport vehicle. It mirrors the look and feel of the vintage buses in a two-tone color scheme of cream colored leather base with navy blue suede overlays. A dark tan suede Swoosh and red mini-Swoosh on the forefoot adds pops of colors to these kicks. A unique hangtag that reimagines the steering wheel completes the entire look.
Kasina’s branding is found on the lateral heel and tongue tag. The shoes come packaged with custom tissue prints inspired by roadsigns in line with the concept. The Kasina x Dunk Low is extremely rare and hard to cop as the ‘Road Sign’ was released on September 2020 exclusively at Kasina, while the ‘80s Bus’ dropped in September 2020 at Kasina and Nike SNKRS in Asia. Each pair was set with a retail price tag of $120 USD, but are currently going for a much higher price in the secondary market due to its exclusive rarity and collectibility and references to Korean culture.
If you were still on the fence about whether to cop the Kasina x Air Max 1 SP, looking at how the resale prices went up by almost 10 times for the legendary Kasina x Dunk Low should be more than enough to convince you to consider copping a pair before the prices potentially inch upwards in the future. Either way, the Kasina Air Max 1 SP are also a unique pair with an interesting story by themselves. Team Ox Street says its a cop, get them or the extremely rare Kasina x Dunk Low on our platform today.