2016 was a decent year when it comes to the feel-good stuff. We got Snapchat filters that have puppy faces, Yonce’ gave us a new Grammy-nominated album that brought a whole new definition of getting even, Biebs dated more girls, we survived the millions of election commercials, and the chokers that you used to wear when you were 12 became popular again.
The year itself was laced with ups and downs and thanks to some sweet collaborations, our sneaker Wish List was continuously laced with some heat. On Day 10 of our 12 Days of Kicksmas, CNK counts down 10 of our personal favorite collabs between designers, sneaker boutiques, and the athletic brands that keep up guessing.
P.S. These are presented in no particular order, btw.
1) New Balance 580 X Wool and the Gang
First up is the New Balance X Wool and the Gang 580. New Balance as a company had such a stellar year - until that little statement. Nonetheless, the shoes they’re producing are going head to head with some of the big dogs and aesthetically they keep surprising us. It’s their ability to pack differing textures and mild tones into one shoe that keeps us on our toes waiting to see what they’ll do next and what sets them apart.
This particular collab was a big deal for us ladies because not only was the shoe itself built for us, but the Wool and the Gang was started by women. WATG is a company out of the UK that is slowly changing the game of fashion by instilling that it doesn’t need to be fast and cheap to be wearable. The touch of navy polka dots was the major addition to this 580. Subtle, but an awesome statement to set the shoe apart. Thank you New Balance.
2) Adidas NMD-R1 X Bape
Up next we have the Bape X Adidas NMD- R1. You had to know that this was in there. Two huge brands coming together for such an unbeatable collab. Japanesse design meets German engineering on a silhouette that has gained insane popularity over the course of this year. However this drop was one of the most rare in the history of the NMD. The camo that has distinguished the BAPE brand was what adorned the shoe and it was offered in two different color ways. The collaboration between two such crafted brands will ensure that this sneaker will leave its mark way past 2016.
3) Puma Creeper X Rihanna
The Puma X Rihanna Creeper is our next highlight. I’m not sure there is anything that Rihanna can’t do. She’s like King Midas but anything she touches just turns to swag. It’s crazy. This shoe was no exception. For the ‘Fenty’ collection which is her last name (if you've been under a rock or something) these shoes did anything but creep. The simple silhouette was something that I don’t think anyone expected out of a woman who likes to make a statement. However, the platform on the sneaker was something straight out of the 90’s and none of us were mad about it. In a year where Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger made a massive comeback, this creeper held its own on the trenches (get it?). This was solidified when the entire collection sold out in 35 minutes flat. Yes Ri, we neeeedeeeded you.
4) NikeLab X ACRONYM Air Presto Mid
Fourth up is the NikeLab x ACRONYM Air Presto. Back in 2015, ACRONYM was brought to the attention of sneaker heads everywhere by collabing on the Lunar Force 1. A shoe that split people 50/50 on whether to love it or hate it, there was no in bwtween. Regardless if people loved it or hated it people knew who ACRONYM was now. And no, we’re not yelling ACRONYM every time we write it. That’s just how the brand is addressed. The German outerwear/streetwear company is the design brain child of Errolosn Hugh. Hugh established a company that continuously is bridging the gap between technical advancement, science fiction, and well-structured clothing.
It was no surprise that Nike wanted to link up again for the Air Presto. Just like the Lunar Force, the shoe captured utility and grasped a modern feel but this time ACRONYM out did itself. The mid Presto that was released in 3 different color ways made statements. The shoe was advanced, yet, carried a minimalism that only ACRONYM could produce. We’re hoping 2017 opens the door to another collaboration from the house of Hugh’s.
5) Nike x Supreme Air Max 98
Back in March, we got wind of a crazy cool drop when Supreme decided to throw it’s undisputed logo on a pair of Nike Air Max 98’s. The company dropped the shoe in four color ways and made sure you could see it always by adding a reflective 3M detail. This shoe was fun because it was both Supreme, a name we see everywhere, on a shoe that we don’t get to see very often. It was like seeing an old friend who did a 180 and now has insane style. We love when Supreme teams up with anyone and we can’t wait to see what 2017 has in store.
6) Adidas Consortium X Naked CPH
Naked CPH X Adidas Consortium teamed up for the Waves pack releasing a Samba and an Ultra Boost. This release just launched today but we’re stoked and think you should be too. If you’ve been keeping up with the 12 days of Kicksmas you’ll remember that Naked CPH is an incredible shoe store out of Copenhagen that focuses on delivering the goods directly to us girls. The aesthetic of the store itself is enough, I would live inside of it if I could. This collaboration was made ten times more appealing with a visual aid that consists of a look book that’s all shot underwater. The Ultra Boost looks like something a mermaid would wear (if she could…) and the makeover on the Samba gives it a feminine tone that the 65 year old shoe (go Adidas!) usually lacks. Like I said, this is fresh off the press and it won’t be available to other retailers other than Naked until the 23rd of December. So, ask grandma for money and let’s keep our fingers crossed that we have some shopping access.
7) Reebok Classic X Melody Ehsani Question
At the beginning of December Melody Ehsani hit us with an answer to the 20 year old Question. The sneaker that is. Twenty years ago Allen Iverson and Reebok teamed up to produce the ‘Question’ a shoe that exploded because of AI's penchant for fast breaks, broken ankles and, of course, his nickname.
Fast forward to 2016 and we’re happy to see that indeed the Question can be re interpreted. Ehsani who is an LA based jewelry designer jumped into the world of shoe design and gave us a definite answer to the Questions often hard to soften silhouette. Miss Melody did such a fantastic job of bringing this shoe back to life. A one of a kind peach colorway with the words ‘Hold My Own’ stitched on the tongue completely set it apart and bring Reebok back into the ring when it comes to us ladies. The shoe itself had more of a femme vibe that was backed by Iverson’s wife and daughters that Ehsani both drew inspiration from as well as utilized in producing promotion for the shoes. It was basically a statement that said "behind every great man, in great shoes is an even better woman in better shoes, obvi." We’re paraphrasing there. Here's tp hoping that Ehsani’s talents are utilized in for an epic Reebok retro again because it’s clear that this lady shouldn’t just stick to jewelry.
8) Adidas NMD 'Hu' X Pharrell
Giving back and rockin kicks? We dig it. Who's behind it? Pharrell. Shocking huh? Not so much. The man supplies the world with happiness whether it’s through his music, humanitarian work, or innovative and relentlessly creative design. So when the news of the Pharrell X Adidas NMD ‘Hu’ collection dropped we weren’t entirely surprised. Excited? Absolutely. Surprised? Again, not so much. Mr. Williams wanted to use his ability to design while shedding light on different cultures of the world.
The concept of philanthropic entrepreneurship is one that CNK is all about so we’re hoping that this collab sets the tone and trend for many more to come.
9) Vans Sk8-Hi X Naked CPH
It’s human nature to be naked right? Maybe that’s why we like them so much. Naked that is. Because another one of their collabs is on this list. When the Copenhagen located store decided to team up with Vans for a take on the classic Sk8-Hi we were excited. It’s when they decided to drop them in a woven leather texture in two incredibly girly colorways that we lost it. Girls love pastels and Naked didn’t disappoint. There were only 100 pairs of the Sk8-Hi’s that were released. So if you got one, you were a lucky duck. Maybe that’s why we’re so into it. Always wanting things we can’t have (eye roll). Naked just does an excellent job of grasping a gorgeous sneaker with feminine accents. They know what the ladies like. We’re looking forward to the Naked collabs of the future and maybe, just maybe, they’ll have the audacity to open some doors in the US.
10) NikeLab Vapor Max X Comme Des Garçonne
We’re going to close out the countdown with a collaboration that was unveiled on the runways of Paris for SS17. Comme des Garcons is Japanese label, that sounds crazy French but regardless makes beautiful clothing. The brand, known for it's heart-themed collabs with Converse teamed up with Nike Lab for a take on the Vapor Max. They brought a crazy futuristic feel to these shoes and guess what? You don’t even need to tie them. It’s exciting when such names team up because it bridges the gap that people think exists between high fashion and street wear. This Vapor Max is beautifully modern and the flyknit upper allows familiarity with a base that’s slightly unique, yet pleasing to the eye. It’s no doubt that they will do both names justice.
Although some of these collabs are no longer available, the holiday season is a great time to delve in and see what collabs you can give as gifts. In the sneaker world collaborations are exciting. It’s two people who you know and love (maybe one you’re only slightly acquainted with) coming together to make something exclusive and beautiful.
Thank you for letting CNK give you the deats on all this years collaborations! We can’t wait to fill you in next year!
Happy Kicksmas and see you on day 9 ;)