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Scarr’s Pizza Reminds Us That Air Force 1s Will Always Be NYC

By John Kim

Whether in the realm of pizza or Air Force 1s, the debate’s been put to rest. But in case you need further convincing, Scarr’s Pizza has proven without a doubt that New York City is unmatched in slices and Forces, and any argument is just a matter of second place. Scarr Pimentel founded his pizza joint in 2016 as a response to the infiltration of mediocrity caused by the shitty 99 cent kiosks and the billion-dollar delivery giants. His solution was pretty straightforward, but simplicity is rarely synonymous with ease. Their now-famous recipe started with flour milled in the basement of their shop, free of additives and unnatural chemicals for the sake of decreasing the bottom line. Topped with quality ingredients, their elite product (and cozy bar in the rear) caught the attention of locals and tourists in the know, and despite their relative infancy in the game, Scarr’s established itself as a true New York institution.
But it’s not about the food or the venue. It’s about the people behind the operation – two Uptown dudes who spent years roaming around Delancey (aka the Lower East Side) getting into situations and likely ending the night with a slice. The authenticity of Pimental and team member Audie Villot was a pivotal catalyst to their success, which organically led to the grail for all shoe junkies – a collaboration with Nike. Throughout the design process, they made sure to maintain their level of meticulousness and hard-nosed criterion while telling a story that not only honored their home city, but did right by the most iconic sneaker ever.

  • Scarr Pimental and Audie Villot Scarr’s Pizza

  • Scarr Pimental Founder of Scarr’s Pizza

  • On Foot Air Force 1 ’07 Scarr’s Pizza

  • Storefront Air Force 1 ’07 Scarr’s Pizza

I spent a lot of time at the principal’s office. I saw that flag hanging on the wall almost every day.

  Pimental on the inspiration for his shop and shoe design

For AF1 purists such as Scarr and Audie, getting the shape of the shoe down was the first step, often referring back to 2007 as the last “acceptable” form of the AF1. Then came the upper materials – a super-soft tumbled leather topped only by pony hair as the highest-grade material available for use. Even the gum sole is the true golden-yellow tint, which we must say rivals that of the Air Force 1 “Courir” from 2002. Pimental even sourced a pair of Mids from his own collection as a visual guide. The double-stacked Swoosh logo also measures one inch at the base – a detail that only true OGs can pinpoint.
With the base set, Scarr’s Pizza now moved on to the finer details to further polish their design. The shop’s logo is crisply embroidered on the heels of both shoes, with their phone number clandestinely printed at the forefoot. On the tongue is their address of 22 Orchard replacing the traditional Nike Air tongue label. The heel also replaces the brand logo and instead features the flag of New York City, which can easily be regarded as a simple hometown nod. The story goes deeper; during his youth, Scarr spent countless days in the principal’s office where a large orange, blue, and white flag was hung on the walls. It was there that he discovered that his home city had its own flag, but little did he know that it would be hugely influential to his later life.

  • NYC Flag Air Force 1 ’07 Scarr’s Pizza

  • Alternate Color-Blocking Air Force 1 ’07 Scarr’s Pizza

  • Perfect Gum Soles Air Force 1 ’07 Scarr’s Pizza

  • FREE DELIVERY!? Air Force 1 ’07 Scarr’s Pizza

  • To Scarr’s, With Love DJ Clark Kent

  • WORD IS BOND Air Force 1 ’07 Scarr’s Pizza

  • GOT PIES Air Force 1 ’07 Scarr’s Pizza

One of my close friends was buried in Air Force 1s for his funeral.

  Pimental on how AF1s are more than a cultural trend

The messaging around the shoe also speaks to their upbringing. “Word Is Bond,” a common yet powerful piece of NYC lexicon throughout the decades, is proudly embroidered on the upper lip of the heel. “Got Pies” is hidden on the undersides of each tongue. On the insoles is a tribute from Scarr’s to the city, while the other is a nod to the maestro behind this inimitable partnership – the one and only DJ Clark Kent. Nike Sportswear’s Jessica Washick, who worked with Scarr’s on this project, contributed the reflective detailing that adorns various components of the pair.
So, how does one get a pair of the Scarr’s Pizza Air Force 1? For now just a few dozen were produced, which unfortunately defines these as a hyperstrike drop for friends and family. Scarr ignored the “influencer” route and chose to dish out the limited number of pairs to his close pals, true aficionados of the AF1, and even regular customers who frequent the shop for grub. It’s no surprise that two natives of Uptown NYC delivered an Air Force 1 in its most magnificent form, all while keeping it close to the community that fueled their success. Whichever way you slice it, this is a collaboration at its finest.