Everyone in the sneaker community is celebrating the Chinese New Year from a different perspective, from Pharrell’s adidas BYW collab to Nike’s special iteration of the Air Max 95. However, whether intentional or not, the Swoosh also has a pair of Air Max 97s arriving soon inspired by one of, if not the biggest mascot in Chinese culture: the panda.



The core black & white colorway is balanced out throughout with an almost vortex-like swirl pattern. Of course, that’s mainly due to the shoe’s circular construction and textured upper that gives it even more dimension. The leather mudguard is a nice way to switch up the otherwise fully-textile/mesh build, and where the two colorways were placed in conjunction to one another proves that the Nike designers over in Oregon are definitely doing things right over at the headquarters. It might be the Year of the Pig, but the panda will always be a true symbol of China — word to Desiigner!

The panda-inspired Nike Air Max 97 seen here is expected to drop in the next few weeks via select retailers and Nike.com. Get a better look below: