500 Virginians Camp Out to Get New Vegan Nike Shoes

Police shut down the release of the popular limited-edition shoe—designed by vegan vintage store owner Sean Wotherspoon.

The release of vegan Nike shoe style Air Max 97 x Air Max 1 was cancelled this week after 500 eager sneaker fans (some of whom camped outside for several days) crowded a Nike store in Richmond, VA. The shoe—designed by local vintage store owner and vegan Sean Wotherspoon—won Nike’s inaugural Vote Forward contest, in which fans voted on styles submitted by 12 fashion influencers tasked with re-imagining Nike’s classic Air Max shoe. Wotherspoon spent several months promoting the shoes—that feature velour interior and a multi-colored corduroy exterior inspired by his love of 1980s hats—by driving a vintage Volkswagen bus painted in the same colors as his shoe style between Richmond and Los Angeles (the cities where the shoes were scheduled to debut), giving away free vegan food along the way. Media outlet Fortune revealed that an early edition of the shoes sold for $96,000 on e-commerce platform eBay—with several pairs currently priced upwards of $2,000 per pair on the bidding site. Nike will announce a new, limited release date of the vegan style on social media in the near future, while a global release is scheduled for Air Max Day (March 26).

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