By Eileen Cartter
Travis Scott is resuming his blockbuster Nike partnership with a new riff on the Air Trainer 1, plus a capsule collection of apparel, which he released in a relatively surprise drop on his website this afternoon. This latest collection, initially scheduled for release last December, but was indefinitely postponed after the 2021 Astroworld Festival, where ten people died from injuries sustained in a massive crowd crush during Scott’s headlining performance.
The Air Trainer 1s, listed on the website as available only by raffle, are available in two colorways, “Grey Haze” and “Chocolate,” in earthy materials like mesh, nubuck, and a ruddy corduroy. Seemingly inspired by hiking shoes, the high-top designs have retro-outdoorsy elements like patterned nylon straps and rounded cord laces, plus zippered pockets and a removable protective flap. They both sport backwards swooshes, a signature of Scott’s previous Nike shoes.
Inspired by outdoors gear and “the workwear seen in Texas,” the apparel selection includes rain jackets, hiking pants, and fleece pullovers, several of which feature pockets designed to block signals going to and from a cell phone. (While the collection was likely designed in advance of the Astroworld tragedy, the service-blocking technology strikes a macabre note, considering many concertgoers experienced lost cell service during the festival last November.)
In early 2020, Yu-Ming Wu, chief marketing officer of the sneaker resale platform Stadium Goods, told GQ that “Travis Scott is arguably the biggest sneaker collaborator,” matched only in hype and sales by the late designer Virgil Abloh—who, like Scott, began working with Nike in 2017. Since partnering with the sportswear giant, Scott became a sought-after serial collaborator, but in the weeks and months after Astroworld, many of those partners, including Nike, Dior, McDonald’s, Epic Games’s Fortnite, and the Parsons School of Design, opted to either terminate or suspend any ongoing projects with the rapper. In December, beverage giant Anheuser-Busch announced that it would discontinue Cacti, Scott’s line of hard seltzers, which had only hit stores in March earlier that year.
In addition to revisiting his brand deals, Scott has made a return to performing in recent months at private events, including a pre-Oscars party in March and a Coachella afterparty in April. He also made a return to the red carpet at the Billboard Music Awards last weekend alongside his partner, Kylie Jenner, and their 4-year-old daughter, Stormi. He’s slated to headline a music festival in Santiago, Chile in November 2022, though Variety reports he may also perform at other major festivals this summer, presumably also in the U.S.