Few people tagged the Nike Air Monarch as retro future on its initial drop in 2002, but four iterations and 16 years later — and classic dad status confirmed — the shoe’s influence on contemporary culture is evident.
The Nike M2K Tekno pays homage to Monarch history by mixing elements of its DNA and giving its "rightfully chunky" stance a modern edge, including being fitted on a narrower last to give the shape fresh dimension, new Swoosh executions and a thicker-than-average tongue (which features the NikeLab logo).
“There is no question that Monarch defines the look of the early 2000s, and after 16 years it has emerged as one the most iconic lines of that era,” says designer Jin Hong, who was also part of The 1 Reimagined team. “The goal in designing the M2K Techno was to maintain the Monarch's authentically bold stance while creating fresh features, thus revising what the Monarch could be for 2018."
Since debuting during John Elliott’s New York runway show, the Nike M2K Tekno has proven its new take on an old conceit has a runway all its own. “We designed the shoe for women, so it’s really refreshing to see men taking a keen interest,” notes Hong. And apart from the shoe’s aesthetic, its origin story (designed initially as a woman’s shoe and then pulled in for broader, dual-gender distribution) is too.
The M2K Tekno is available May 5 for women and launches in all sizes July 1.