Nike On Air Winner Cash Ru Discusses Inspiration & Favorite Sneakers

Nike’s On Air contest has become very important for the Swoosh and its Air Max series. Both the brand and the contest’s participants have reignited the passion, chase, and creativity associated with Air Max runners and collabs. Moreover, the first winner, vintage veteran Sean Wotherspoon, might have become the hottest name in sneakers following his On Air victory and subsequent retail release.

Fast forward to this year and the newest On Air Contest has produced six winners from different cities all over the globe. Recently, we got the chance to speak with one of the winners, Cash Ru from Shanghai.

Reimagining the Air Max 97 with his city in mind, hear about his inspiration and favorite Nikes in our conversation below.

Cash on His Inspiration

Cash Ru: I majored in Industrial Design when I was in college and now I am a luxury jewelry designer.  My inspiration on my Air Max 97 SH Kaleidoscope comes from my own impression and imagination of Shanghai and the clouds. For me, the forever changing clouds are metaphors of the Nike athletes, constantly pushing boundaries and reaching limits.

Cash's sketches and prototype
Cash’s sketches and prototype

Cash on Visiting Nike HQ

Cash Ru: It’s like a dream finally coming true. Nike has been my favorite brand since I was growing up. Because of Nike, I decided to pursue my career in design. The whole process of visiting the Nike Campus was unreal because I was shocked when Nike informed me that I won the contest. Nike DNA and the museums really opened my eyes.

Nike Air Max 97 SH Kaleidoscope Samples
Nike Air Max 97 SH Kaleidoscope Samples
Cash Ru working with other designers at the Nike Headquarters
Cash Ru working with other designers at the Nike Headquarters

Cash on His Favorite Nikes

Cash Ru with Koji from Atmos at Nike Global Campus in Portland
Cash Ru in the Nike Vaporfly with Koji from Atmos at Nike Global Campus in Portland

Cash Ru: Right now, my favorite pair of sneakers would be the Nike Vapor Fly Elite because of the design aspect and the revolutionary Zoom X technology. Also, I have been a huge fan of the basketball shoes, since I loved playing basketball growing up. Kobe’s signature line is definitely my favorite and hopefully, I could design a pair of basketball shoes in the near future.

Stay tuned for more information on the release details regarding Cash Ru’s Nike Air Max 97 SH Kaleidoscope.