It’s safe to say that there hasn’t been a shortage of successful sneaker collaborations in 2021.
Throughout the year, big brands like Nike, New Balance, Vans and others have called on the hottest designers and retailers including A Ma Maniere, Joe Freshgoods and Salehe Bembury to reinvent their classic silhouettes. . The hits also included shoes with atypical collaborators, such as Reebok with Eames and Fila with Sprite.
Below, out of order, are 19 of the best sneaker collaborations and collaborators of 2021.
A Ma Maniere x Jordan brand
Another banner from James Whitner’s group The Whitaker, A Ma Maniere, was behind the year’s most beloved collaboration: a new version of the Air Jordan 3. The collaboration, which arrived in March, is a premium take on the iconic basketball. shoe created in homage to the strength and resilience of black women.
Joe Freshgoods x New Balance
Joe Freshgoods, one of the best shoe storytellers, delivered another hit with New Balance in September. For his latest effort, “Outside Clothes” 990v3, he told the story of the impact being outside had on his creative process.
Eames x Reebok
Paying homage to famous architects and designers Charles and Ray Eames, Reebok delivered the “Monotone Pack”, consisting of Revisited Club C sneakers. The two-shoe collection, executed in all-black and all-white colourways, arrived this month.
Brand Aleali May x Jordan
Aleali May, the first woman to collaborate with Jordan Brand women’s shoes and clothing, delivered a new collection in April, inspired by her time on the training team at Inglewood High School in California. The range has been highlighted with a new Air Jordan 1 Zoom Comfort look. May would deliver an equally compelling iteration of the Air Jordan 14 in August, dressed in a light sand hue with marbled jade green throughout.
Social status x Nike
The Whitaker group is behind some of the most significant collaborations of the year, including the Nike Dunks Social Status x “Free Lunch”, consisting of two styles released in September. The looks were inspired by the impact of free summer meal programs in underserved communities and were delivered in “Chocolate Milk” and “Strawberry Milk” colourways.
Kith for Nike Air Force 1
Ronnie Fieg opened Kith stores in Paris and Hawaii this year with great fanfare, and with each release, a special edition Nike Air Force 1 inspired by the region. The Paris and Hawaii-themed looks were released exclusively in each new location in February and August, respectively.
Salehe Bembury x New Balance
Salehe Bembury, FN Designer of the Year in 2020, has delivered success after success again in 2021, including a pair of looks with New Balance. In June, Bembury and New Balance delivered the 2002R “Water Be the Guide”, inspired by the designer’s trip to Havasu Falls, located in the Grand Canyon in Arizona. This month the two teamed up for two colorways of the 574 “Yourt”, highlighted by an oversized midsole and a whistle on the heel.
Aimé Léon Dore x New Balance
Aimé Leon Dore founder Teddy Santis, who will assume the role of Creative Director at New Balance Made in USA next year, has helped make the brand’s 550 shoe one of the most sought-after shoes in the world. ‘year. While the online versions of New Balance were popular, it was Aimé’s collaborations delivered with subtle pops of subdued color that stood out the most.
Billie Eilish x Jordan Brand
Although Jordan Brand has worked with famous collaborators, NBA icon Michael Jordan’s namesake company picked a new face of pop megastar in September for their next project: Billie Eilish. The artist chose to rework the Air Jordan 1 KO, dressing it in a bold volt hue, and delivered the Air Jordan 15 in light brown.
Kith x Vans
One of Kith’s collaborative collections celebrating its 10th anniversary was with Vault by Vans. The line, arriving in May, featured 10 premium iterations of the iconic Slip-On silhouette.
Patta x Nike
One of the most sought-after collaborations of the year came from Patta and Nike on the iconic Air Max 1 silhouette. First, the two ditched the shoe’s “Monarch” iteration this month, with a new wave pattern on the mudguard. The two followed with the shoe’s ‘Noise Aqua’ colorway, also arriving this month.
Brand Union x Jordan
Having already delivered several famous collaborations with Jordan Brand, Union once again gave a new look to the Air Jordan 4 of the brand with great fanfare. In June, a pair of outdoors-inspired Union x Air Jordan 4s came out, dubbed ‘Taupe Haze’ and ‘Desert Moss,’ which featured a look reminiscent of the sleek mountain gear worn in the 1980s and early. from the 90s.
Bricks & Wood x New Balance
South-central Los Angeles-based clothing brand Bricks & Wood first teamed up with New Balance in June, creating an eye-catching version of the 57/40. The shoe came with green suede uppers, silver accents on the upper ‘N’ mark and heel tab, white midsoles, white midsoles and pink outsoles.
Sprite x Fila
NBA legend Grant Hill has had several high profile supporters during his professional career, including Sprite and Fila. For the sports brand’s latest collaborative sneaker release, he looked at the baller’s commercials with the soft drink company in the 1990s for a new look Grant Hill 1.
Bodega x New Balance
Known primarily for its beloved collaborations, pioneering retailer Bodega delivered one of its best to celebrate its 15th anniversary. In June, Bodega ditched the “Anniversary” 990v3 with New Balance, which he described as “a celebration of timeless, trend-defying quality in a form designed for everyday use, in any mood.”
Travis Scott x Fragment x Jordan Brand
Travis Scott continued to feature successful collaborations with Jordan Brand in 2021. However, the rap megastar managed to add more hype around her shoes by making it a three-way collaborative effort with Fragment Design. The trio’s Air Jordan 1 High arrived in July, and a low iteration followed in August.
Undefeated x Nike
The retailer and brand Undefeated delivered several successful collaborations with Nike throughout the year, starting with a new Air Max 97 look executed in hues reminiscent of UCLA. From there, Undefeated and Nike delivered the Kobe 5 Protro ‘Hall of Fame’ in May (and re-released the 2019 Nike Kobe 4 Protro collection in April), and the ‘5 On It’ and Air Force Dunk Lows. 1 Lows in August and September.
Sacai x Nike
Frequent Nike collaborator Sacai delivered back to back with the Swoosh in 2021, including several new Blazer Low and VaporWaffle silhouettes. In addition, Sacai and Nike have teamed up with other labels on these same styles for three-way collaborations, including Clot and Jean Paul Gaultier.
Maison Margiela x Reebok
Reebok and Maison Margiela continued their partnership until 2022 with a new look on the icons of the heritage athletic brand. Notably, the haute couture label reworked Classic Leather, which arrived in February, and Club C in March. Additionally, three colourways from their Tabi Instapump Fury Oxford collaboration arrived in April.