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AF1 Ready for Takeoff

Riccardo Tisci and co. celebrate his Nike + R.T. Air Force 1 collection

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Riccardo Tisci and Marina Abramovic   
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"Naked. In a bathtub. With pride," said Ladyfag. "At school. Or going out," said Harry Brant. "With leggings. And a big sweater," said Jamie Bochert. Nike celebrated its capsule collection by Riccardo Tisci last night with a party at 151 Wooster, the pop-up space where the shoes will go on sale this weekend. Q-Tip was on the decks and Team Tisci was busy comparing how they plan to wear their Nike R.T.s. "It means everything to see people actually wearing the shoes on the street because I came from the street," Tisci told Style.com. "Since my childhood, I know what it's like when you love something and you can't reach it financially. That's why this is such a beautiful project."

The designer recalled his first Nike's, a pair of blue-and-white Air Force 1's. That memory informed the collaboration: "I chose to do an R.T. Air Force 1 because it's a classic shape with so much history. I did an all-white or all-black base, with a mask of graphic, pop colors over it. People know me for my dark side, but I do also have a happy side, celebration side, pop side."

Dark or happy, Tisci isn't shy about his influence. When asked why he thought sneakers were such a big part of the fashion conversation right now, he said, "It's because of me. Last year [when] we announced Nike + R.T.s, the fashion world went voom. It's the first time in history that a couturier is doing a project talking to the world of the streets, the young generation. Now that I'm working with Nike, it opened so many minds in fashion. And some big designers—I don't want to mention names—admitted that I opened their eyes."

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