In celebration as part of the 149th Kentucky Derby, Churchill Downs and Factory8384 have come together to showcase a collection of custom Nike Air Force 1s titled “Legends of the Derby” paying homage to horse racing’s 13 historic Triple Crown winners.
All 13 pairs feature a unique look to match the silks worn by the jockey of each Triple Crown winner. Known for their use of repurposing sports apparel into reconstructed custom sneakers, Factory8384 had each pattern custom printed on premium satin exclusively for the occasion. Rebuilt upon various authentic Nike Air Force 1 soles, the satin on each is complimented with matching shades of leather on the Nike Swooshes and eyestay panels.
Details that align all of the pairs are the placement of the year won at the front of the laces, tongue tags showcasing the number each horse wore, liners made up of a rose graphic textured jacquard, and lastly, The Kentucky Derby’s horseshoe & rose logo sits upon the heel tabs.
The collection will first be on display inside the paddock at Churchill Downs beginning May 4th and throughout the festivities of the race weekend. Attendees of the Kentucky Derby will have the opportunity via silent auction to bid on their favorite design to be remade in their desired size. A portion of the proceeds will benefit The Secretariat Foundation which aims to support the Thoroughbred racing community by helping charities and organizations focused on veterinary research, horse retirement, and therapeutic equestrian programs.
At the conclusion of the race 10 pairs are expected to be kept for display in the Kentucky Derby Museum as a permanent exhibit. The remaining 3 will be auctioned off as a set by world-renowned auction house Sotheby’s at a later date.
While the design of the project celebrates the rare successes within horse racing the meaning and connection to the sport for Curtis Brown, one of Factory8384’s co-founders, makes this a deeply personal project. Brown has a personal connection to thoroughbred horse racing and wanted to honor his late father, who was a racing enthusiast.
The collection was conceptualized to preserve cherished memories spent as a family at the racetrack. In particular, a trip to the Kentucky Derby in 2015 where, with their father, Brown and his brother experienced the unique energy of the sport’s most recognizable event. They were lucky enough to see the first win of American Pharoah’s Triple Crown, which is celebrated above in the main images of the light blue and yellow colorway.