NIGO, KENZO’s creative director, was in the Big Apple recently, hosting an intimate dinner with Pharrell Williams to celebrate Joopiter’s latest auction, a sale of NIGO’s legendary archival pieces.

At the private event, NIGO opted for a typical NIGO casual look: a dark denim Levi’s jacket layered over a off-white button-up shirt, tan trousers, a classic paperboy hat, and — wait, what’s that — some Nike shoes. Hey NIGO, what’cha got there? A Nike collaboration, perhaps?

From what I could see, the Nikes on NIGO’s feet presented smooth panels painted in chocolate brown, tan, white, and black shades, all atop a boot-level sole.

NIGO’s Nike shoes look almost exactly like Nike’s Air Force 3 Hi “Escape” shoes from the early 2000s, down to the exact color application. But NIGO’s pairs appear to be low-tops, judging by how his pants’ hem settled at the collar.

The Air Force 3 Hi is nothing new. But a Low? Unheard of, until NIGO, that is.

NIGO’s Nike shoe moment comes months after reports of the designer inking a deal with the Swoosh, leaving fans to believe this Air Force 3 Low is the first taste of what’s to come. However, neither Nike nor NIGO have officially announced a shoe team-up, let alone their partnership. So, for now, it’s all hearsay.

Previously, NIGO was linked to adidas, having developed many shoe collaborations with the Three-Stripes offered through NIGO’s Human Made line.

The closest Nike and NIGO got to each other was Nike’s lawsuit against NIGO’s label BAPE for trademark infringement. At the same time, NIGO hasn’t been a part of BAPE since 2013. So, not exactly a link there.

But, there’s no denying the BAPE STA sneaker’s resemblance to Nike’s Air Force 1 Low. The BAPE STA sneakers have been around since NIGO’s days with the brand (so over 20 years now). The BAPE shoe was mentioned in the Nike lawsuit.

If rumors prove true about NIGO x Nike, it’ll be kind of funny and even a little full circle, actually, because it looks like NIGO’s dipping directly into the series that started it all.

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