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Nike Day of the Dead
The collection will make reference to the Mexican tradition – Photo: Via Sneaker News

Nike Day of the Dead

Newsroom/EL UNIVERSAL in English
Mexico City
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The collection inspired by one of Mexico's most popular traditions was released on October 25

One of Mexico’s most popular traditions is the Day of the Dead, which takes place on November 1 and 2 to remember and celebrate those who have already passed away.

For the occasion, Nike launched a limited edition of one of its most iconic silhouettes, the Cortez. Popularized by Forrest Gump, Nike Cortez will take inspiration from Mexico’s Day of the Dead, according to reliable source on sneakers, Sneaker News.



Day of the Dead x Vans

The international brand created a line inspired by the Mexican tradition
Day of the Dead x VansDay of the Dead x Vans

The “Day of the Dead” Cortez, officially called Nike Cortez El Altar, references the holiday with a mostly black shoe with some touches of orange and a white swoosh with subtle geometric and reflective decorations resembling those used in the Mexican holiday, like sugar skulls, papel picado, and imagery of the altars.

The Nike Cortez El Altar highlights some of the essential elements of Mexican altars with graphics on the insoles, "Confetti is used to represent the air, candles signify the fire that provides direction, a ceramic holds the food that illustrates earth, with details that express the water," as explained by Nike.

The Nike “Day of the Dead” collection includes other classic silhouettes like Air Force 1 Low and Air Max 95; each pair will have Mexican skull graphics on the insoles.

According to Nike, "The reflective sugar skulls pattern on the Air Force 1 is inspired by La Calaca, an instrumental part of the altars created during the holiday which denote the journey of life after death. The white represents the sugar, while colors bring to life the creative design details of the traditional offerings."

Regarding the Air Max 95 La Catrina, which is a female skeleton that represents a happy afterlife, is represented in all the shoe: the laces represent the ribs, while the sole imitates the spine and the upper, made of mesh and suede, correspond to muscle fibers.



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This collection was released on October 25 on Nike.com and is available on select Nike retailers in Mexico and the United States.

This is not the first time Nike gets inspiration from this holiday. In 2018, it released the Nike Kyrie 4 inspired by traditional Day of the Dead make up, which, in turn, was inspired by one of the most coveted sneakers, the 2006’s Día de Muertos themed Dunk SB Low, which had a combination of orange, purple, and a multicolor skeleton pattern.


Mixquic: The town of the dead

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Mixquic: The town of the deadMixquic: The town of the dead

Also, back in 2015, Nike paid homage to this Mexican tradition with another “Day of the Dead” Cortez. The sneakers were also decorated with traditional imagery from the holiday, including colorful skulls.


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