IT TAKES TWO (SOMETIMES THREE)
Although the top players in the sneaker space spend time and resources on developing new products from within their internal teams, almost all of them have turned to collaborators at some point in their history.NIKE. Inc., adidas, New Balance, Reebok and others have done it, and perhaps more so within the last four years.
These brands unquestionably “keep the lights on” with mainline iterations of the New Balance 992, Nike Air Max 95 and Reebok Kamikaze II, but they rely on special, often limited projects to reenergize certain models or acquire general attention for themselves. Despite how the public perceives a given collaboration, joint-projects have become a regular part of the sneaker equation, no longer the exception to the rule. And while some partnerships have traversed the line between “refreshing” and “overdone” ever so finely, others have ostensibly abandoned any regard for what made collaborations magical before the internet truly took off.
On Thursday, June 24th, Virgil Abloh unveiled handfuls of a three-way collaboration between Louis Vuitton, Off-White and NIKE, Inc. The canvas?: The Nike Air Force 1. Although it’s perfectly logical for one of the brand’s most influential collaborators to rework an iconic silhouette as its 40th anniversary inches closer, the outcome quickly drew criticism for resembling bootlegs and customs that’ve been ridiculed in past decades; being gaudy; and for relying on previously-seen motifs. Did anyone need this collection (which reportedly includes 21 pairs)? No. Will it sell out? Yes. Scarcity comes into play, but if there was ever a time for the consumer to draw the line on what they’d spend their money on, Abloh’s latest effort proffers the perfect opportunity to do so. Travis Scott‘s Cactus Jack x Dior sneaker collaboration – which has already been labeled as “lazy” and “uninspired” – also provides an opportunity to shake sneaker producers awake.
Playing “gate-keeper” to collaborations comes off as narrow-minded, but at the rate things are going, how long will it be until sneakers feature more logos than design details à la NASCAR vehicle? When resources come together, amazing, previously-out-of-the-question products can be the outcome. But when a shoe’s design seems to play a secondary or tertiary role to co-branding placement and price, it’s perfectly reasonable to question the state of collaborations.
Louis Vuitton x Nike Air Force 1s Premiere In Paris
Yes, they’re real.
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Travis Scott’s Cactus Jack x Dior Sneaker Collaboration Revealed
Unquestionably inspired by skate shoes of yesteryear.
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First Look At The Air Jordan 4 “Red Thunder”
It’s looking like an expensive holiday season.
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An All-Black Undefeated Dunk Is Revealed As Part Of “Dunk vs. AF-1” Pack
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33 Pairs Of Custom adidas Forums Inspired By Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s Lakers Jersey Release For Charity
Blasts from the past.
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UNDERCOVER Unveils Nike Air Force 1 Collaboration For Spring/Summer 2022
A Low made into a Mid.
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The Power Rangers And Reebok Morph Five Sneakers
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The Nike Air Max 95 “Comet” Returns With Japanese Influence
We hope a regular retro is on the way.
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