5 Sneaker Collabs You Need in Your Collection
The saying “two heads are better than one” has never rung more true than when it comes to sneaker collaborations. The merging of two brands, two creative minds and two aesthetics has cultivated some of the most memorable sneaker designs in recent years. But with the influx of so many new collaborations each year, a shoe needs to be truly groundbreaking or unique to hold value among sneakerheads and collectors. Here are the coolest sneaker collaborations to add to your collection, plus valuable intel on authenticity and resale value from our Sneaker & Streetwear Valuation Manager Amir Azarcon.
OFF-WHITE x Nike Air Jordan 1
Before fashion designer and DJ Virgil Abloh was appointed artistic director of Louis Vuitton’s menswear collection in 2018, he was already making waves in the fashion industry with his label OFF-WHITE’s collaboration with Nike. In a line dubbed “The Ten,” Abloh redesigned a collection of Nike’s best-selling sneakers. His take on the Air Jordan 1 was reimagined in the iconic “Chicago” red, white and black colorway, with signature OFF-WHITE design features like zip ties and the trademark AIR printed on the heel in air quotes and Helvetica font.
An unprecedented feeding frenzy saw everyone from sneaker collectors to celebrities vying for the limited-edition shoe, so no one was shocked when it was named the 2017 Shoe Of The Year by Footwear News. “This collaboration permanently altered the sneaker landscape and resale market by catapulting sneakers to the forefront of mainstream fashion consciousness and further blurring the lines between luxury and streetwear,” says Azarcon. “This original, unique rendition of a then 32-year-old sneaker was an instant hit among sneakerheads and non-sneakerheads alike. Depending on condition, pairs now fetch up to $4,500 in the secondary market.” One way to make sure your sneakers are the real deal is to inspect the font printed on the medial side of the sneakers. “It should be imperfect and almost smudged. The DIY feel is a hallmark of authentic pairs,” says Azarcon. “Other authentication tells include the triangular indentations on the insole of the sneaker.”
Complete The Look: Indulge in your logomania and show off your favorite brands by pairing your sneakers with this Burberry Harms Vintage-Graphic Sweatshirt and Supreme box logo waist bag.
Travis Scott x Nike Air Jordan 4
Fashion and hip-hop have always gone hand-in-hand, so it came as no surprise when rapper, record-label founder and fashion icon Travis Scott added another title to his list: sneaker designer. His collaboration with Nike proved just as successful as his music, with his take on the Air Jordan 4 selling out within no time and now boasting a resale value of at least double the retail price. The university blue, red and black colorway is a nod to the colors of his favorite football team, the Houston Oilers, with blue speck detailing and black mesh overlays adding a unique element to the classic Jordan silhouette. Branding includes the signature Jumpman logo on the tongue and Cactus Jack, Scott’s record label, featured on the side of the heel.
“Travis Scott’s partnership with Jordan Brand has been the most influential celebrity cosign since they collaborated on this pair of Nike Air Jordan 4s last summer,” says Azarcon. “Scott and Jordan Brand have gone on to release an Air Jordan 1 Retro High and an Air Jordan 1 Low, and both are considered to be among the most coveted and expensive pairs on the resale market this year.”
Complete The Look: Accessorize the brightly-colored kicks with a more subdued Gucci leather drawstring bag and the Royal Oak Offshore Watch by Audemars Piguet.
Nike Air Foamposite One x Supreme
There’s always hype for new sneaker releases, but the launch of the Nike Air Foamposite One x Supreme reached Black Friday levels of madness back in 2014. “These sneakers infamously caused a massive riot on Lafayette Street the day before their release and the NYPD was forced to disperse the frenzied line with pepper spray,” says Azarcon. “As a result, the sneakers were only released online and Supreme would not release another Nike collaboration in stores for another three years.” The sneakers in question are Supreme’s reimagining of the cult classic Air Foamposite One that was originally released in 1997 and made famous by basketball player Penny Hardaway. This model broke barriers between sports and fashion, transcending the basketball courts and becoming the cultural streetwear icon it is today.
Supreme’s unique take on the shoe sees a gold baroque print on the upper of each shoe. The sneakers come in a red or black colorway, with translucent rubber outersoles and the Supreme box logo on the tongue. They currently fetch up to $1,000 on the resale market. To authenticate these sneakers, Azarcon advises you to check the carbon plate on the midsole. If it is actually carbon fiber it will have a very distinct weave pattern. In addition, “look at the rigidity of the Foamposite upper itself to make sure it’s stiff but flexible when pushed in,” he says. “Examine the overall quality of the shoe for excessive glue stains, stitching and print quality and alignment.”
Complete The Look: Complement the statement shoes with an understated IWC GST Watch and Goyard Goyardine Boeing 55 weekender bag.
Sacai x Nike LDWaffle
One of the most anticipated sneaker releases of 2019 was the Sacai x Nike LDWaffle, a hybrid model that fuses two of Nike’s vintage sneakers, the LDV and the Waffle Racer. The design is essentially a layering of one model on top of the other, achieving a deconstructed look that showcases a double Swoosh and suede and mesh combination. The colorways are bright and vibrant, coming in either Varsity Blue/Varsity Red or Green Gusto/Varsity Maize combinations. “This collaboration debuted on the runway at Sacai’s SS19 Paris Fashion Week Show and further solidified the resurgence of Nike’s vintage silhouettes in the contemporary market,” says Azarcon. “Pairs are currently being sold for $400-$600 in the resale market.”
Complete The Look: For an effortlessly-cool weekend look, wear your sneakers with a fun printed shirt like this geometric button-up by Acne Studios and Gucci tinted Aviators.
Yeezy x Adidas Boost 350 V2 Static Reflective Sneakers
“Having oversaturated the market with countless Yeezy 350 colorways, Adidas shocked the sneaker world with an incredibly limited run of the Yeezy 350 V2 Reflective Static Black sneakers,” says Azarcon. At first glance, the limited edition Yeezy 350 V2 “Static Reflective” looks identical to the original “Static” shoes designed by Kanye West and Adidas, with the same grey and white colorway, flanked by transparent panels. But the real magic happens when you hit the shoes with light, revealing the reflective materials woven into the knit that make it look as though you’re wearing a sky full of stars on your feet. “Pairs are currently selling for around $2,000 in the resale market, surprising for a shoe that many considered to be on the decline,” says Azarcon.
Complete The Look: Mixing athleisure with business wear is the perfect way to make your new kicks office-appropriate. Pair them with this Burberry Khaki coat and Louis Vuitton Attaché-Class Plat briefcase for a more refined look.
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