Nike is planning to revisit the special edition Hello Kitty version of its Air Presto shoe from 2004, sources familiar with the brand’s upcoming releases tell Complex. Exactly when the new version of the Hello Kitty x Nike Air Presto will arrive is uncertain—it has reportedly already suffered a delay—but it could be in stores as soon as the holiday season.
No images of the upcoming shoe have leaked yet, and the one pictured above is an original from 2004. Whether Nike will reissue one of the first colorways or update the design for the new collaboration is unclear.
The Hello Kitty x Nike shoes are something of a unicorn for collectors, having never received a full retail release during their original run. What was originally planned as a run of 500 pairs for four different colorways eventually dwindled down to a limited, friends-and-family only distribution that had a rumored 12 pairs of each style going out.
Longtime footwear designer Steven Smith, who currently leads footwear design at Kanye West’s Yeezy brand with Adidas, was working at Nike when the original Hello Kitty Prestos came out and was involved in their creation.
In an interview on the Complex Sneakers Podcast in June, Smith described his role in the shoes’ making, explaining that former Nike CEO Mark Parker asked him to work on the project because he knew him to be a follower of Japanese culture.
“I think we sampled seven of them,” Smith said, “and then Sanrio picked, like, four or five that they went through with. And they were supposed to make 500 I think of each of the different styles, and it turned out that it didn’t work out that way, that they only did somewhere between 10 and 24 pairs of each style.”
The designer says he kept sample versions that Nike never ended up fully producing and still has all of the graphics files he used to help design the shoes.
That 2004 version of the Hello Kitty x Nike Air Presto was intended to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the iconic Sanrio character.
Smith, who hasn’t worked at Nike since 2009, said in the Complex Sneakers Podcast interview from June that he hadn’t heard about the possibility of the shoe coming back.
Sign up for the Complex Newsletter for breaking news, events, and unique stories.