Japanese Subcultures, Ravers, Virtual Globetrotters: Kukinis were the generational sneakers of the 2000s.
After 22 years, the Millennium Bug’s sneaker-symbol is finally back.
The Air Kukini is a memorable sneaker – released in 2000 – which represents one of Nike’s most progressive creations at the time, as well as the perfect synthesis of the Y2K aesthetic.
This Slip-On trainer was part of the Alpha Project pack: an ambitious program that combines marketing, design and experimentation, and aspires to be the result of the “Golden Era” of sports footwear created up to that time, with an eye toward future design.
The Alpha Project is conceived as the culmination of the Nike team’s creative and technological research, which began a few years earlier in 1997 with the Spiridon, Talaria, and Foamposite; culminating with the release of the Air Kukini, the Air Presto, and the Air Shox.
These models lay the groundwork for the technological revolution of the footwear industry, forever.
Nike Kukini is the Zeitgeist of the early Millennium; a historical moment filled with hopes and dreams for the future – once the threat of the Millennium Bug is averted.
New technologies are making their rapid entry into everyday life; people are discovering the pleasure of communicating over the Internet without limits of space and time. In this context, the Kukini finds fertile ground among the new virtual globetrotters, nomadic clubbers and ravers who follow techno music caravans around Europe, Japanese subcultures.