Last week saw news from Virgil Abloh, a long-awaited reboot of the legendary Air Sunder Max from CDG and official unveilings for Aleali May’s next groundbreaking sneaker collaboration – looking forward, there’s been some big happenings in the scene, be it KAWS x sacai x Nike, another incredible GR pack from New Balance, or the massive collaboration between Patta and Nike on another Air Max 1.
THIS WEEK’S NEWS
PATTA X NIKE: IS THE AIR MAX 1 BACK?
Patta is king when it comes to Air Max 1 collaborations, there’s simply no argument. From the hallowed “Chlorophyll” and “Cherrywood” iterations to the even more unobtainable “Lucky Green” and “Purple Denim” pairs, the Amsterdam-based brand is due to release two colorways of Air Max 1 later this year, with rumours suggesting that we’ll see the heritage silhouette completely overhauled with polarising, distorted panelling. As well as the orange pair pictured, an “Aqua” pair is set to release in tandem.
NIKE’S BEST DUNK OF THE YEAR IS A GR?
CDG and Nike have had one of the most incredible partnerships, with classic silhouettes (think Air Mowabb, Air Carnivore, and Shox) being remixed to Rei Kawakubo’s design philosophy. Generally we see models debuted on the runway in Comme Des Garcons shows many months in advance of any release, and this time we see no difference, with the SS22 collection showcasing another heritage banger. The Nike Air Sunder Max has been modified heavily and warped into a new form, all while conserving the familiar zip fastener running up the foot. With no word on release date just yet, this is a pair to keep an eye out for – part of me wishes they kept the square armor plates on the upper though.
ADIDAS KOBE MODELS ARE BACK: WHY?
Last month, news hit that Kobe’s estate has severed ties with Nike and refused to renew a contract with the Oregon powerhouse. Now, we’re seeing adidas reboot several pairs seen on Kobe which saw play way back in the late 90’s and early 2000’s while Bean was signed to the Three Stripes during his formative years in the NBA. The highlight is undoubtedly the Kobe 1’s retro, which in 2021 is dubbed “Crazy 1”, and was Kobe’s first signature shoe. It’s an ugly, unwearable, peculiarly-designed sneaker, but absolutely one to have in the collection, or on a shelf – I don’t foresee many wearers, but a generation of Kobe fans will be eyeing these up to remember their idol. Enjoy the selection of images below from the incredible Nice Kicks Vault IG page, which never fails to amaze me.
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KAWS X SACAI X NIKE: THE WORST COLLABORATION OF THE YEAR?
Legendary artist and undisputed graffiti king KAWS is allegedly teaming up with the Swoosh and Chitose Abe’s sacai to put his mark on a collaborative Blazer Low later this year. This follows a three-way collaboration between Nike, sacai and JPG, however this one seems far more lackadaisical and effortless. The standard (and boring at this point) sacai x Nike Blazer low is presented in an eclectic color scheme, while KAWS’ hallmark “XX” logo adorns the tongue tabs and lateral midsole. This shoe isn’t good looking, and KAWS’ input could have been so much more impressive – it’s lazy collaborations like these that are killing collaboration culture for the scene as a whole.
NEW BALANCE 327 PAISLEY PACK
New Balance seemingly can’t stop creating incredible products, be it through Joe Grondin’s collaborative design team or general releases like the industry-rocking Protection Pack from last month, and the Boston brand is showing no signs of slowing up. Next up is the “Paisley Pack” which sees two colorways of the sporty, aggressive, Charlotte Lee-designed 327 featuring custom NB branded paisley throughout. This is once again, an amazing project from New Balance, with the dark pair made up of navy, burgundy and khaki tones especially pique-ing my interest.
RELEASES OF THE WEEK: 19.07.2021 – 25.07.2021
adidas takes the cake this week, with two massive projects I couldn’t really be more excited for. First up is the 2021 Spezial collection, which sees many heritage silhouettes reproduced to incredible detail in a sought-after collection. The Hoylake SPZL is especially interesting, being a classic South African runner with unique color blocking that adidas’ team painstakingly reissued through the use of an original pair in order to perfect the silhouette’s shape. The original name of the sneaker was “Adi Runner” but on reflection, the adidas team working on the Spezial ss21 collection opted to name it after the collector – and reason the project is even possible – Bobby’s hometown Hoylake.
The second exciting output from adidas comes as a collaboration with Reebok on the ZX Fury. We see the Instapump Fury in four colorways pulling inspiration from the four original ZX sneakers released way back in time, all being injected with some new life through novel material choices and textures.
As usual, Nike are also releasing a ton of good product. The legendary CLOT and Kanye West link-up is seeing a re-release on the 20th, while the newest Nike SB collaboration from FTC arrives a day later. Virgil Abloh apparently doesn’t want to go a single week without being mentioned in these weekly reviews, so he’s releasing a trifecta of colorways of his spike-laden Air Zoom Tempo NEXT% runner which is releasing as a celebration of the Tokyo Olympic Games.
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