Home Nike shoes Nike’s official Hello Kitty sneakers, released in May, are perfect

Nike’s official Hello Kitty sneakers, released in May, are perfect

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Nike Hello Kitty

Picture: Nike

I have already written how I’m a big fan of Nike’s subtle “homages” to things they don’t hold the license for.the last example being a line of Prestos based on star wars characters like Boba Fett. These next Hello Kitty the sneakers, however, are the real deal.

These have been rumored for some time now and were first thought to be a long-awaited public release of the 2004 collaboration pictured belowwho were supposed to see a wider drop but ended up landing in the hands of a few dozen lucky friends and family members.

Image for article titled Nike's Official Hello Kitty Sneakers Are Perfect [Update: Clothes Too]

Picture: Nike

Image for article titled Nike's Official Hello Kitty Sneakers Are Perfect [Update: Clothes Too]

Picture: Nike

For those not into sneaker history, these shoes are a bit infamous! The peach/pink colorway above was designed by Fragment’s Hiroshi Fujiwara, while the black was worked by Steven Smith, the “godfather” of modern sneaker design, whose credits range from the Reebok InstaPump Fury to the Nike Zoom Air Spectrum to Adidas’ Yeezy line. There was two other planned colorways that never entered productionas Smith recalls in this 2018 report on Highsnobiety (disclaimer: I wrote for this site):

The Hello Kitty Air Presto was part of a project to celebrate the character’s 30th anniversary in 2004. Initially, according to Smith, the pack was supposed to get a limited but available release. But ultimately, only an estimated 12 pairs of each colorway made it to friends and family at Nike and Hello Kitty maker Sanrio. “I don’t know why they’ve become so limited,” Smith says. “The original plan was 500 of each style when the project was first presented to me.”

It might seem odd considering Hello Kitty’s target demographic, but Smith was the perfect candidate to design the shoe. “Marc Parker [now Nike CEO, then co-president] knew how much I loved Japan and Sanrio,” he says. “I would bring my Hello Kitty waffle maker and make everyone Hello Kitty head waffles once or twice a year just for fun. I brought my lunch every day in a Hello Kitty or Bad Badtz-Maru lunchbox. It just seemed natural to me to work on the special project for Hello Kitty’s birthday.

Those rumors turned out to be a little wrong, however, as the first images of an officially licensed collab from 2022 emerged this week, and they feature a new design, with a blue colorway and, cutest of all, a custom heel cup that features Hello Kitty’s trademark face and bow.

Image for article titled Nike's Official Hello Kitty Sneakers Are Perfect [Update: Clothes Too]

Picture: Nike

In addition to shoes, there will also be a clothing linewith shirts like this:

Image for article titled Nike's Official Hello Kitty Sneakers Are Perfect [Update: Clothes Too]

Picture: Nike

Image for article titled Nike's Official Hello Kitty Sneakers Are Perfect [Update: Clothes Too]

Picture: Nike

The whole line is set to drop on May 2.

UPDATE May 3: The shoes and accompanying clothing line are actually releasing on May 27, not May 2 as originally announced. In the meantime, Nike has released official images of the shoe (and its smaller sizes) and apparel, which feature t-matching shirts, hoodies and sweatpants.

Image for article titled Nike's Official Hello Kitty Sneakers Are Perfect [Update: Clothes Too]

Picture: Nike

Image for article titled Nike's Official Hello Kitty Sneakers Are Perfect [Update: Clothes Too]

Picture: Nike

Image for article titled Nike's Official Hello Kitty Sneakers Are Perfect [Update: Clothes Too]

Picture: Nike

Image for article titled Nike's Official Hello Kitty Sneakers Are Perfect [Update: Clothes Too]

Picture: Nike

Image for article titled Nike's Official Hello Kitty Sneakers Are Perfect [Update: Clothes Too]

Picture: Nike

Image for article titled Nike's Official Hello Kitty Sneakers Are Perfect [Update: Clothes Too]

Picture: Nike

Image for article titled Nike's Official Hello Kitty Sneakers Are Perfect [Update: Clothes Too]

Picture: Nike

Image for article titled Nike's Official Hello Kitty Sneakers Are Perfect [Update: Clothes Too]

Picture: Nike