Throughout the last decade, we’ve seen an abundant release of sneakers, however, not all of these drops get the same level of anticipation and hype as that of collaborations. As shown by adidas Originals last year, working with the likes of Pharrell and Kanye helped to not only outsell the competition, but to consistently keep the sportswear brand in the headlines. Sometimes these collaborations feature just a subtle touch of design from rappers or celebrities, others might bring the aesthetic of retailers or fashion brands to the silhouette — regardless, these releases typically end up with an absurd asking price from the reseller, who may have waited in line for hours just to cash out on desperate sneakerheads.
Over the years, it has become apparent that the sneaker makes for a perfect canvas that any brand can leave their mark on. Whether a brand is known for amusing graphic tees, or a high fashion label that tailored menswear; allowing that entity to re-envision an sneaker model can produce some highly sought after footwear releases. To see how the aesthetic of various brands could be applied to various sneakers, we have combined a wide range of brands; combining their recent visuals with the silhouette of a sneaker giant.
Having carved a unique position for themselves in the world of footwear, Ryo Kashiwazaki’s Hender Scheme has been highly successful in combining traditional shoemaking techniques with the ethos of Japanese craftsmanship. Of course they have spent their years reconstructing existing sneakers in panels of pure raw leather for their “hommage” line, however we are interested in seeing what they could accomplish if they were to design a sneaker alongside a sportswear giants.
Sneaker Model: Adidas EQT Support ADV
For Hender Scheme’s sneaker concept, we chose the EQT Support ADV, which started out by replacing the heel counter and three stripes in its signature natual leather. Below the external panels, we would place soft, buttery suede in a tobacco-color for contrast, before reaching brown athletic mesh in the upper.
Raw denim has played a huge role in the last decade of streetwear. With 3sixteen‘s Andrew Chen and Johan Lam working hard to keep the philosophy of Americana garments alive, offering a constant rebuttal in the ongoing design dialogue between Japan and America.
Sneaker Model: Converse Jack Purcell High
Of course 3sixteen released indigo dyed Chuck Taylors as part of its 10 year anniversary, but we have grown fond of another one of their widely used materials: waxed canvas. We have seen this fabric applied to the likes of stadium jackets and backpacks, but we are interested to see how the fabric would age on-foot through the daily wear and tear of a Jack Purcell High.
Each passing season the Taiwan-based collective, Guerrilla Group, continues to impress; through in-depth narratives you would experience in a Hideo Kojima game. GG designs each garment as it would be worn by an occupant of the universe they have created around their product. Through the use of high-quality Ecoya® fabrics, these functional garments keep you fortified from the elements.
Sneaker Model: Adidas Seeulater Primeknit
For this concept, we picked out the adidas Seeulater Primeknit sneaker for its futuristic shape and functional sole unit. We placed ripstop into the upper to weatherproof the shoe, with their custom eyelets in the forefoot for breathability. As the silhouette typically has a sock liner in the ankle, we removed it to give the shoe a sleeker look, subtly completing the design with a red adidas logo.
Deeply rooted in hardcore punk music and straightedge culture, the Miami-based streetwear label has stayed true to itself since being established in 2011 by Julian Consuegra. Through utilizing graphics that depict the lifestyle of an American youth, they reference the areas of pop culture that a drug-free teen would partake in. The aesthetic over the years has been reminiscent of old lo-fi album covers from bands like Minor Threat, or Youth of Today. Using a lot of halftone photo prints, loose illustrations, and unruly lettering that evokes a feeling of strength, pride, and dignity.
Sneaker Model: Vans Old Skool
For the Stray Rats idea, we elected to go with a Vans Old Skool, without altering too much more of the shoe to keep the simplicity of a pro model Vans. Through the removal of the sewn-on stripe, we opened the space on the upper for a halftone screen print, placing various city rats behind a chain link fence. Also to be screen printed would is a colored Vans stripe, which reflects the bold colors of Miami.
With a graphic design background that includes work at DONDA, the London-based designer, GEO, utilizes his experience with digital media to create graphics that can elicit an emotional response from viewers. As he makes garments with a predominantly muted color palette, the small accents of color serve as pockets of enjoyable moments in the mundane existence of human life. As Geo continues to progress, he looks to new materials that can compliment the crisp and sterile aesthetic of his design work.
Sneaker Model: Nike Air Force 1 High Retro Summit
We went with none other than the AF1 High Retro Summit for this concept. The sneaker uses small hints of color, notably his signature yellow in the swoosh and the rest of the Nike logos around the shoe. To wrap up the design, we subtly replaced the AIR in the midsole with his own name.
A street venture helmed by LA-based duo, Cali Thornhill DeWitt and Brendan Fowler, two industry heads that have built up much industry experience over their years. Stating that the focus of this project is not strictly with clothing, but aims to document what is going on in their lives, in the now. Whether that makes the brand closer to a record label or an events agency; Some Ware has the ability to work hand-in-hand with any brand.
Sneaker Model: Vans Sk8-Hi
As Some Ware’s products are often collaborations with other entities, their product often is an amalgam of aesthetics. Mixing multiple typefaces and logos into one graphic that weaves in between solid-vector shapes and outlines. This creates an interesting contrast between the crisp vectors and their own hand-scribed logo. So for this concept, we placed the outline of Vans’ logo, with Some Ware patterned into the stripes. The color palette is a refreshing combination of colors, similar to the palette that makes up their recent releases.
A high fashion label by Korean designer, Bajowoo; 99%is makes for the perfect representation of the influence that western counter-cultures have on Asia. Even though they produce leather jackets and tailored garments, they do not stray far from the hand-drawn graphics that reflect the aesthetic of English punk rock. The ideology of the brand represents the one percent of culture that most people forget about, or care little for.
Sneaker Model: Converse All Star
For this sneaker, we decided on a leather Converse Chuck Taylor. Focusing on the theme that drives the label, we placed an all-over newsprint pattern in the upper, representing the physical parts of our culture that are fading away to the digital age. Keeping in mind that the sneaker would be scribbled on, we kept the surface free from metal studs — which are best applied personally anyways. We topped-off the leather jacket theme with a black zipper on the rear of the shoe. Lastly, we placed an embossed 99%is logo on the heel.