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One of my favourite sneakers of all time are Ben Drury’s “Hold Tight” version of the Nike Air Max 1 which was inspired by pirate radio culture and his love of London city.  So, I’m really excited to see that he has worked with Nike once more on a pair of limited edition sneakers, based on the UK’s capital city – the “Silent Listener” Air Max 90 Current.  Taking inspiration from London at night and his passion for walking in the countryside the sneaker features a dark, almost nocturnal colourway with hiking style laces and D-ring lace loops.

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This project grew out of Drury’s last collaboration with Nike, a limited edition version of the Air Max 90 to celebrate the launch of Dizzee Rascal’s last album, this being a much more personal counterpoint to the more commercial project based on his artwork for the rapper’s album.   The duality in the aesthetic an the purpose of the shoes reflects his own personal feelings –  urban yet rural.  Drury explains it best in his own words:

“The partnership came about to celebrate a long term three way collaboration between myself, Dizzee and Nike Sportswear, kind of joining the dots. However, as it developed, Dizzee’s shoe, which I co-created, became more about his album (Tongue n’ Cheek), which was totally where he was at that time. I channeled that in the same way I work with him when I design his sleeves.  His Air Max 90 became the “Tongue n’ Cheek”, mine became the “Silent Listener”. It was designed as a counterpoint to Dizzee’s Air Max 90. Walk with me. Traversing the city. I walk in London like I walk on Dartmoor. Using waypoints, landmarks, and local knowledge. The city as a landscape. Distances shrink with the right footwear.”

Sadly they are super limited.  Issued today there are only 125 pairs available from 1948 in Paris.

Thanks to Dazed & Confused for the info