So far, 2022 is looking like one of the ‘crazy’ years for collaboration in recent memory. From the Gucci collaborated with Balenciaga to Burberry with Supreme, contenders to brands that are reprising their place in the limelight, we have created a collection of our top picks from the year so far, in no particular order.
JJJJound x Bape STA
The calm, toned-down, aesthetic of JJJJound seems to blend seamlessly with the usually eclectic style of BAPE. Simplicity with a focus on quality materials is key to this collaboration creating a timeless aesthetic.
Much like the aforementioned New Balance 990 V3, JJJJound has taken a classic silhouette and made it their own without having to use overt branding. With both brands having an almost cult following, it’s the partnerships that JJJJound is creating along with the retro resurgence of BAPE that makes this collaboration special showcasing some of the best work from both sides in recent memory.
Louis Vuitton x Nike Air force 1 ( Sothebys Auction only )
Virgil Abloh, No doubt he will forever be known as one of the greatest artists of a generation. The way in which Abloh has been able to take inspiration from old school customs and bring it to the main stage in an official manner allows us to look back at those once questionable custom designs with rose-tinted lenses.
To honor his legacy, the French label posthumously released one of his last designs, a Nike Air Force 1 made of calf leather that features LV’s Monogram and Damier patterns. Two hundred pairs were exclusively sold at a Sotheby’s auction, and a percentage of the proceeds are being donated to The Virgil Abloh “Post-Modern” Scholarship Fund, which supports the education of students of Black, African American, or African descent.
A record-breaking number for Sotheby’s, total of 25.3m raised. Almost all lots were sold for above $100,000 USD each, with the highest price at $352,800 USD for a men’s US 5 pair — 23 times higher than its $15,000 USD estimate. The lowest price was $75,600 USD for a US 6.5 shoe.
RIP VA , too soon.
Union LA and Nike don’t seem to miss when it comes to their collaborative efforts.
Releasing in three colourways, collectively known as the ‘Passport Pack’, each design is inspired by early Nike Dunk colourways that Gibbs would see in Europe and Japan. The release aims to tell the story of the founder travelling around different geographic locations and finding the early inspirations and stock for his store.
Salomon x Hidden.NY
While the collaboration between the Instagram platform and a traditional shoe brand may seem like an odd thing on paper, the two have come together seamlessly. HIDDEN NY is a digital trendsetter in the streetwear industry and Salomon continues to be one of the most popular footwear brands at the time of writing, this collaboration showcases a brand that truly cares about and understands community by working with them to create a physical product.
The HIDDEN NY x Salomon XT-4 deserves a place on the top pick sneakers of 2022.
MSCHF ‘Wavy baby’
Despite getting sued by Vans, sometimes the best and the worst part about footwear is that there are no rules in this free world. Brands can go as wild as they want and there’s a chance someone out there will hit that “add to cart” button. Rapper Tyga might just have the craziest sneaker of 2022 as he’s teamed up with MSCHF to craft the “Wavy Baby” model. It’s essentially a Vans Old Skool with exaggerated wave-like sole pieces and upper branding.
Joe Freshgoods is expanding his work portfolio with New Balance as he helmed the creative direction of its newest “Conversations Amongst Us” collection. By partnering up with Black designers on the New Balance team, he’s fashioned new styles of the 2002R and the popular 550, both of which are brought to fruition with creamy uppers and pale yellow accents to achieve a vintage aesthetic.
Air max is getting a lot love this year. Definitely must cop !
This pack known as the “Made To Be Together” set, the kicks are inspired by the Korean custom of gifting Won-Ang Ducks to newlywed couples. Representing everlasting love, Won-Ang stands for the importance of relationships between all people. The color palettes pay homage to traditional Korean colors and materials, like rich pony hair textures and soft suede, with auspicious undertones.
Supposedly released last year but delayed due to concert tragedy, now that the smoke is cleared.
Travis Scott and Nike continue to pair their sneakers and apparel together . Next on the agenda is the Cactus Jack artist’s Nike Air Max 1 ‘CACT.US CORP’ look, which will be available in ‘Brown’ and ‘Gold’ color schemes. Scott brings his signature inverted Swooshes to the table again on the side panels, fits the tongues with his new logo and the right heels with a Cactus Jack banner.
Despite already having a vast selection of incredible releases, there are still many more highly anticipated projects waiting in the wings.
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