In celebration of 2013 as the Year of the Snake on the Chinese lunar calendar, Nike introduces a Nike Basketball and Nike Sportswear collection of Chinese zodiac footwear inspired by Kobe Bryant and the Year of the Snake respectively. Ever since Nike unveiled its Year of the Horse collection in 2002, fans have eagerly anticipated new collections based on the Chinese lunar calendar concept. This year marks Nike’s 12th such release and completes a full cycle of the Chinese zodiac.

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The Year of the Snake collection includes the KOBE 8 SYSTEM, which draws inspiration from Bryant’s unparalleled on-court skills and his “Black Mamba” on-court alter ego. The Nike Sportswear designs feature signature colors of black, purple, red, and gold with snakeskin-inspired patterns. 2013 corresponds to two characters — 癸巳 (“Gui Si”) — in the Chinese sexagenary cycle (a cycle of sixty terms used for recording days or years). The Chinese seal pattern composed of a snake and the two characters 癸巳 (“Gui Si”) incorporates the serpentine shape into an embroidered seal making this collection particularly unique.

NIKE AIR FORCE 1 CMFT
To celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Nike Air Force 1, Nike releases the Nike Air Force 1 CMFT, a new member of the Family of Force and a top pick for the Year of the Snake. The Nike Air Force 1 CMFT boasts the exact iconic profile of the original Nike Air Force 1 but is enhanced using modern innovations. By incorporating a slip-in Lunarlon cushioning midsole and Nike Air unit in the heel, the Nike Air Force 1 CMFT is the ultimate in functionality and comfort. The Year of the Snake version of the Nike Air Force 1 CMFT is mainly red, an auspicious color in China, and features gold and red stitches on the Nike Swoosh, purple lining and outsole, and red snake print leather. The product exudes quality and style. Details including a snake eye deubré and a tongue made of softer breathable material with a seal pattern of the two characters “癸巳” fit the Year of the Snake motif.

NIKE AIR FORCE 1 HI CMFT
The Nike Air Force 1 high-top silhouette has been one of the most iconic basketball sneakers of the last 30 years — so the Year of the Snake collection wouldn’t be complete without one. The sleek, seductive shoe is mostly black with the toe and sides made of python print leather. The classic ankle strap design provides extra support around the ankles and presents a visual consistency with previous Nike AF1 collections. The seal pattern of the two characters “癸巳” on the heel echoes the Chinese motif. The Nike Swoosh in red and purple snake print is perhaps the most eye-catching feature of the shoe while a concealed Lunarlon drop-in midsole offers the ultimate in high performance comfort.


NIKE AIR FORCE 1 FOAMPOSITE
The Nike FOAMPOSITE’s one-piece upper represents the highest achievement in shoemaking because its production requires a metal casting mold. In 2011, Nike first applied FOAMPOSITE technology using a metal casting mold to form the classic Nike Air Force 1 upper resulting in yet another fresh interpretation. For the Year of the Snake, the 2013 Nike Air Force 1 FOAMPOSITE is mainly black with a snake print to echo the Black Mamba motif. The polish gives it a premium look. The Nike Air heel significantly enhances cushioning.


NIKE ZOOM HUARACHE 2K4
Released in 2004, NIKE ZOOM HUARACHE 2K4 combines timeless design and innovative technology. Nike Zoom Air provides impact protection, reduces weight significantly, and provides comfort with elastic inner soles. The upper features classic elements such as an ankle strap, a Nike Swoosh on the side and the Huarache signature hollow-out design at the ankle. It has a transitional role in the evolution of modern basketball shoes. The 2013 model uses red snake print leather and gold stitches at the toe and heel as symbols of good luck for the Chinese New Year. The purple-lined Nike Swoosh and the seal pattern of the characters “癸巳(Gui Si)” on the tongue highlight the Chinese zodiac sign.


NIKE DESTROYER JACKET
The casual, stylish Nike Destroyer Jacket is a symbol of personal glory. Nike has added some popular elements to the leather sleeve baseball jacket inspired by Kobe’s personal style. Snake scale patterns are etched on the classic leather sleeves. The stitch free zipper is simple and elegant with the words “YEAR OF THE BLACK MAMBA” embroidered on the wind-proof strip. A special lining material keeps the body warm. The rowan-knit collar and cuff enhances comfort. On the back of the jacket is the Chinese character “智”, which means wisdom. On the right lapel are Chinese characters representing the Year of the Snake such as “癸巳 (Gui Si)” and “天龙地蟒 (Tian Long Di Mang).” It is a perfect mesh of Kobe Bryant’s Black Mamba style and Nike’s iconic jacket.

Nike’s 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 “智 (Zhi)”. The Year of the Snake professional basketball collection also includes Kobe’s training jerseys, jackets, sweatshirts and T-shirts.

Source: Nike, Inc.