These sneakers are legendary for those who aren't familiar with sneaker history! Hiroshi Fujiwara of Fragment developed the peachy/pink colorway above, while Steven Smith, the "Godfather" of modern shoe design, worked on the black version. Smith's credentials include the Reebok InstaPump Fury, the Nike Zoom Air Spectrum, and Adidas' Yeezy line. According to Smith in this 2018 story on Highsnobiety, there were two more colorways planned but never made it into production.
-"The Hello Kitty Air Presto was part of a project to celebrate the character’s 30th anniversary in 2004. Initially, according to Smith, the pack was supposed to get a limited-but-available release. But ultimately only an estimated 12 pairs of each colorway made their way to friends and family of Nike and Hello Kitty maker Sanrio. “I’m not sure why they became so limited,” says Smith. “The original plan was for 500 of each style when the project was first presented to me.”
It might sound odd given Hello Kitty’s target demographic, but Smith was the ideal candidate to design the shoe. “Mark Parker [now Nike CEO, then co-president] knew how much I loved Japan and Sanrio,” he says. “I would bring in my Hello Kitty waffle iron and make everyone Hello Kitty head waffles once or twice a year just for fun. I brought my lunch every day in a Hello Kitty or Bad Badtz-Maru lunchbox. It just seemed natural that I should work on the special project for Hello Kitty’s anniversary.”-
Those rumors were shown to be false, as the first photographs of an officially-licensed 2022 collab surfaced this week, revealing a new design with a blue colorway and, cutest of all, a unique heel cup depicting Hello Kitty's face and distinctive bow.