Nike and Martine Rose’s Air Monarch 4 is going to see a wider launch on January 12th, a drop that follows a very limited drop of the pink colorway distributed through Craigslist and limited to London.
The shoe’s most distinguishing feature by far is a series of lumps on the upper, inspired by fitting a large-sized upper onto a smaller-sized midsole. For the upcoming launch, the shoe will be offered in three colorways: black (AT3147-001), white/metallic silver/midnight navy (AT3147-100) and medium soft pink (AT3157-600).
In addition to the lumpy upper, the shoes are causing a lot of controversy because of the $250 pricetag, a record-breaking pricetag for a Monarch, which is distributed to a wide array of retailers and can be purchased for $65.
While sneaker pricing is always controversial, the fact that an outside designer is involved adds on to the cost of the shoe, as does related photo shoots and marketing related efforts. As well, Nike had to create an entirely new last/shoe mold, which is very costly and also adds on to the price tag.
As for the lumps, while weird, one could argue they’re a cool, artful addition. Fashion and art often intersect, through sneakers, perhaps because of their performance-based origins, have generally been left out of artful takes.
Rose’s distorted Monarch isn’t the first art-for-art’s-sake sneaker design, but rather is part of a rising interest in playing withe the concept of a sneaker silhouette as a platform for an artful statement rather than a strictly functional item. Perhaps the newest aspect of Rose’s shoe is Nike’s willingness to partake in its creation. Known for its allegiance to performance above all else, it’s kind of cool that Nike as of late has been literally stepping out and shown a greater willingness to experiment and intersect with art. Such efforts might hurt the souls of sneaker purists, but at the same time they connect Nike with a fresh creative perspective and just as importantly for Nike, an expanded customer base.
Nike and Martine Rose’s Air Monarch will launch on SNKRS and select retailers on Saturday, January 12, 2018 at 1o:00 AM.
Check out all three colorways below.