The concept of sneaker collaborations is certainly nothing new, but now more than ever, an established brand teaming up with an artist, musician, retailer, or athlete has become the backbone of the industry, especially when it comes to the most in-demand and valuable releases. The collaboration was already a ubiquitous aspect of the culture, but in 2018, it seems that each of the most coveted sneakers contains at least one "x" in its name.
The most popular collaborations have featured some of the most high profile names in the fashion, art, and music worlds. It now takes more than a brand teaming up with a respected boutique to move the needle. Today the most in-demand collaborations are coming from figures who capture the cultural zeitgeist, from Pharrell Williams to John Elliott.
Here are five of the hottest new partnerships that are truly greater than the sum of their parts. Each is currently in stock and ready to ship at Stadium Goods.
You definitely won't want to sleep on the latest collab from UK grime and hip-hop star Skepta, who chose the freshly retroed Air Max Deluxe for his latest project. The "Never Sleep On Tour" colorway reflects his always grinding mentality, and looks back to the VHS era with a TV-snow graphic and digital text across the upper.
Jordan Brand honored their first sponsored BMX pro rider, Nigel Sylvester, by allowing him to create his very own Air Jordan 1 High. The Jordan 1 is Sylvester's favorite shoe to ride in, and the design inspiration for his signature colorway came from the way his shoes end up scuffed and distressed after a session. Even collectors that obsess over keeping their sneakers fresh and clean were after a pair.
The final installment of the collaboration between Kith's Ronnie Fieg and LeBron James was a regal edition of the Nike LeBron 15. The luxuriously embroidered style was originally only available for friends and family of the project when the collaboration first launched in the spring of 2018. Later named the LeBron 15 Performance "Closing Ceremony," it received a surprise release via in August as a bookend to the unforgettable partnership.
The latest edition of the ultra-hyped Air Jordan 1 by Virgil Abloh, the "UNC" colorway replicates the original 1985 look that was modeled after the colors of Michael Jordan's alma mater. The result is a shoe that's definitely at the head of the class of the year's most desired releases.
World-renowned artist Parra is already responsible for some of the most legendary versions of the Air Max 1, and he added another to his resumé in 2018. The colorful prints across the upper are derived from an abstract painting by the artist of Dutch countrysides and cityscapes. The Air Max 1 also released alongside a matching edition of the Zoom Spiridon.