On the Chinese lunar calendar, 2013 is the Year of the Snake, and to celebrate, Nike is introducing a Nike Basketball and Nike Sportswear collection of Chinese zodiac footwear inspired by Kobe Bryant and the previously mentioned Year of the Snake.
While Bryant and his Kobe 8 System is part of the Nike Basketball focus of the collection, the Nike Sportswear designs heavily feature the colors black, purple, red and gold in their snakeskin patterns. The collection also features a seal of a snake and two specific Chinese characters.
As far as the shoes, the Nike Air Force 1 CMFT sports the exact profile of the long-beloved sneaker, and is updated with modern technology. The shoe is mainly made up of red snake print leather, and a slip-in Lunarlon cushioning midsole as well as heel support with the Nike Air unit. There is also the Nike Air Force 1 Hi CMFT, a shoe that’s made up of python print leather on the toe and sides. There’s also the Nike Swoosh in red and purple snake print.
The Nike Air Force 1 Foamposite incorporates some of the signature performance technology into a sneaker that’s meant to pay homage to the Black Mamba with all-black snake print.
Then, there’s the Nike Zoom Huarache 2K4, one of the most beloved basketball sneakers ever. This version still has the ankle strap, the Nike Swoosh and the ankle’s Huarache signature hollow-out design, but also sports – as good luck for the Chinese New Year – red snake print leather and gold stitching at the toe and heel.
There are also three version of the Kobe 8 System featured in this collection: an on-court shoe that has a red snake skin pattern meant to symbolize danger and the destructive power of Kobe’s speed. The off-court version is made of red suede while the final version is the ultimate “Black Mamba” shoe. It’s all-black snake skin.
The collection also features a Nike Destroyer Jacket. Taking some cue’s from Kobe’s own personal style, this jacket has scaled leather sleeves reminiscent of a snake, and a stitch free zipper includes the words “YEAR OF THE BLACK MAMBA.” There are also Chinese characters found on the back and on the right lapel. Finally, the 2013 Year of the Snake Sportswear Collection also includes men’s and women’s hoodies, and t-shirts featuring Kobe’s Black Mamba personal logo and the Chinese character “æ™º (Zhi).” The Year of the Snake professional basketball collection also includes Kobe’s training gear.