Nike first introduced the N7 collection to the public in 2009, but the program started long before then. Back in 2000, Sam McCracken urged Nike to look into creating programs to support athletics and healthy living within the tribes of the neighboring Native American communities that inhabit areas all throughout the Pacific Northwest region that the Swoosh calls home. Seven years after the wheels were set in motion, Nike took things a step further by creating a special shoe specifically design with the Native American way of life in mind. The shoe was called the Air Native N7 and was sold exclusively through tribal community centers with all proceeds going to the N7 Fund and the cross-country Native American sports and health programs it provides for.
Recognizing the opportunity to create revenue for N7 and the communities it helps on a larger scale, in 2009, Nike created a full collection of N7 footwear and apparel available to the public at retail which has since raised over $2 million for the cause. Since then, each new year has offered a new batch of all different models all inspired by and featuring elements of Native American culture. With a large native population found in the Oklahoma City area, last year the N7 program got a nice awareness boost when Kevin Durant’s fifth signature model received the N7 treatment, a successful venture that has led to this year’s follow up edition of the KD 6.
In addition to KD’s shoe, there will be another intriguing offering in the 2013 N7 collection – the Air Force 1 High – which gets a little design and material help from a very fitting partner. Pendleton Woolen Mills is another U.S. brand with deep ties in both the Pacific Northwest and with the Native American culture so it made perfect sense to team up with Nike for a special leg of this year’s N7 collection. Well known for their beautifully woven fabrics and the Native-inspired patterns that appear on many of their products, Pendleton worked with Nike to create a special blanket to be sold to benefit the American Indian College Fund.
Obviously not stopping with just the blanket, Nike then used its design to inspire a while collection of related apparel and footwear – the PWM N7 Roshe Run for women and the PWM N7 Air Force 1 High for men. The Air Force 1 Low has been used in the N7 series before, but the High makes its first appearance in notable fashion using a combination of black leather with the geometric Pendleton fabric used as the underlay and straps and a 3M Swoosh as the finishing touch. Along with the Roshe, the N7 Air Force High will release this Saturday, October 26th through Nikestore.com and select retail locations, but before they’re up for grabs for a good cause, you can get yourself more acquainted with our full gallery ahead.