Hailing from Tokyo, Japan, what some call the global epicenter of sneaker collecting, atmos has had a long standing relationship with Nike. Working on their first collaboration back in 2001, one of atmos most revered collaborations was the elephant print and jade accented Air Max 1 released in 2007.

Nearly ten years later, the design would go on to win Nike’s Vote Back campaign during Air Max Day 2016 for a return as part of this year’s Air Max Day celebration. Thanks to the collective voice of the community, the Air Max 1 atmos elephant was voted back amongst 100 other Air Max icons. But, how did the “Chosen 1” come to life? How did it become so iconic and revered by many?

For atmos’ Creative Director, the inspiration was simple and straight forward. Coupling elephant print with vibrant jade accents, the combo was born from the atmos team’s love for the Air Jordan III and this idea of an elephant showering in the wild. Adding to the idea’s organic appeal, bringing elephant print to an Air Max was something Koji had longed to do before ever working on the 2007 collaboration.

Now a decade later, the design is back on shelves thanks to the countless votes from all over the globe, complete with all the classic elements, and most importantly, a stamp of approval from the legendary atmos team that made it all possible.


The Air Max 1 atmos elephant will be released in South Africa this coming weekend on Nike.com and select stores.