The Air Force 1 (or AF1 or AF-1) was never originally called the Air Force. Bruce Kilgore designed the shoe. The name is a reference to Air Force One, the plane that carries the POTUS. Nike Air Force 1s were originally considered the favoured shoe of inner-city youth, especially in Harlem, New York; hence the nickname "Uptowns".
The Air Force 1 was produced in 1982 and discontinued in 1984. It was re-released in 1986 with the modern italic Nike logo with the iconic Swoosh on the bottom on the back of the shoe. Little has changed to the Air Force One since its creation in 1982, although the original stitching on the side panels is no longer present in modern versions of the shoe. Since then, over 1,700 colour variations have been produced.