Originally created for athletes in the throes of the industrial revolution, sneakers have become a pillar of fashion, function, and effortless self-expression donned by people from all walks of life.
According to Nicholas Smith, author of “Kicks: The Great American Story of Sneakers,” there’s something magical about shoes. From Air Jordan ads to fairytales, shoes have carried on a mystique, he told “Smithsonian Magazine.” “What makes Cinderella a princess? The magic glass slipper. What makes Dorothy come back from the land of Oz? The ruby slippers.”
The figurative magic can become almost literal with the right pair of sneakers. Thanks to America’s fascination and fandom with the kicks, there are lots of new sneaker collabs hitting the market this year. Here are a few of the season’s most iconic footwear.
Adidas x Marvel
This spring, Adidas also teamed up with Marvel to release an Avenger inspired shoe line as part of the brand’s “Heroes Among Us” sneaker collection. The line includes six limited edition designs, and two styles created through a collaboration with artist Jen Bartel. The Adidas x Jen Bartel designs are inspired by Captain Marvel and Thanos and the launch of “Avengers: Endgame.”
The Captain Marvel sneakers are fashioned with Adidas’ signature stripes and the star-shaped insignia, in gold. The Thanos’ design is modeled after the character’s purple hue, and features an infinity stone design on the heels. Both are outfitted with the Marvel logo, and available exclusively at Footlocker.
Adidas Yeezy 350 Glow V2
The hotly anticipated glow-in-the-dark sneakers are the latest design to come out of the Adidas Yeezy line. Since the original release of the 350 v2 models last year — which feature a similar transparent mesh stripe from toe-to-heal — the Boosts’ have been the hype of footwear, according to Sneaker News. The Adidas Yeezy collection previously released the 350 Boost in three colors: clay, hyperspace, and TRFRM. The newest neon green style comes with the popular transparent stripe and is glow-in-the-dark so they’re even more attention-grabbing when the lights are off.
The sneakers are set for release on May 25, 2019, and come in kids, infant, and adult sizes.
Nike x Steve Harrington’s Earth Day Collection
This colorful collaboration between Nike and Steve Harrington, a Los-Angeles based artist known for his Californian “psychedelic-pop aesthetic,” was born from a shared commitment to sustainability. Released on April 22, the Earth Day Collection includes some of Nike’s most iconic styles, such as the “Air Force 1,” “Cortez,” and “Blazer Low.”
All styles in the line feature a globe, and Harrington’s signature palm trees and cartoon dog. Each of the three designs are set on a clean and classy, all-white sneaker with variations of white or blue outsoles.
The sneakers are constructed with Nike’s Flyleather innovation, which according to the company is “made with at least 50 percent leather fiber [and] looks and feels like regular leather.”
Reebok x Alien Stomper 40th-Anniversary OG
The unisex sneakers are a homage to the 1979 sci-fi film, “Alien,” and are modeled from the creators’ original prototypes. The upgraded, 40th-anniversary design features the classic Reebok logo and is made with premium aged leather — perfect for the retro look. The high-ankle design also comes with midfoot and ankle straps (of course!) and a rubber outsole to complete the vintage silhouette.
The special issue stompers come in a “Space Fleets” box with a certificate of authenticity. The sneakers were released on April 26th, and are available on Reebok.com.
Star Wars x Adidas Crazy 1
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Adidas is joining forces with Star Wars for yet another high-profile partnership this year. The Star Wars x Adidas basketball collection is set to include two pairs of sneakers, a hoodie and a long sleeve top. It is expected to drop this summer, just a few months before the release of “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” this December.
Little is known about the design, but the Star Wars sneaks are also said to be modeled after Adidas’ “Dame 5” and “Crazy 1,” originally known as “The Kobe.” One preview, provided by @DirtyMoney823, shows the Crazy 1, or “Galactic Empire,” with a sleek black and red design, glossy print, textured laces, and an Empire logo on the lip.
Supreme x Air Jordan 14
According to multiple sources such as Sole Collector and Sneaker News, the highly celebrated union between the two brands is rumored to be back with a new collaboration. Little details, including the release date, are known. However, the sneaker is said to come in two different colorways, and is styled after the Air Jordan 14, the legendary shoes worn by Michael Jordan while he played for the Chicago Bulls — and inspired Nike’s “It’s Gotta Be the Shoes” ad campaign.
Vans x Bowie
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The Vans x Bowie collection features a limited line of shoes and clothing inspired by David Bowie’s many reinventions. Those include tributes to his alter-ego, Ziggy Stardust; the 1969 single, “Space Oddity;” both the “Honky Dory” and “Blackstar” album covers, and the “Aladdin Sane” lightning bolt.
The unisex sneakers come in six different styles, such as the platform sneaker, and a collectible shoebox. The shoes are available for adults, kids, and toddlers.
Mary Jane Swim Will Keep You Cool, Even When It’s Hot
Founded by Diane Walker and Stacey Demar, Mary Jane Swim is a lifestyle apparel brand dedicated to normalizing cannabis. The two women founded their swimwear company, Sweenie Manufacturing in 2008, producing swimwear for other companies. After discovering the healing potential of cannabis for themselves, they decided to help change the perception of the plant for themselves and Maru Jane Swim was born.
We spoke to them about their fashion-forward styles, beautifully subtle cannabis prints and earth-friendly fabrics and production.
What inspired you to launch Mary Jane Swim?
The idea came about in late 2017 after our rediscovery of cannabis, specifically CBD for wellness, on a trip to Telluride, Colorado. We thought about how we could help destigmatize the plant in our own way.
Diane had been working in fashion and Stacey in fitness for many years, which organically led to the creation of Mary Jane Swim. It showcases both of our expertise and we focused on cannabis base printed apparel.
We launched a very small capsule “OG Kush “collection summer 2018 and just launched our full “Seven Leaflets “2019 SS line this past April which also includes activewear and accessories for both men and women.
What makes Mary Jane Swim unique in the marketplace?
Our focus is to bring elevated cannabis apparel to the market that has historically been promotional items. We have created a line that incorporates fashion-forward styles, beautifully subtle cannabis prints and earth-friendly fabrics and production.
Do you design the prints yourselves or do you source them?
Yes, we design each print ourselves inspired by current world trends and interpret them through the flower and leaf and our perspective.
How do you think Mary Jane Swim helps normalize the opinion of cannabis?
The more that the plant shows up in every day products, the more society starts to see it as a beautiful and beneficial plant and not as an evil gateway drug.
Any plans to develop a collection made from hemp and other more sustainable, eco-friendly products?
We have been researching hemp blends in both woven and knit bases for future products, as well as recycled fabrics.
You donate a portion of each sale to Athletes for Care. How did you become involved with them?
After using CBD daily for everyday use for wellness and pre/post workouts and realizing how powerful it is.
We came across their mission to help promote cannabis in sports and help alleviate the opioid crisis. A portion of the profits will be donated.
How do you want people to feel when wearing Mary Jane Swim?
Empowered and healthy.
What don’t you leave the house without?
CBD of course and a swimsuit!
You Can Now Literally Walk a Mile in Snoop’s Shoes
If you’re looking to pick up a fresh pair of slides or loafers this summer, Snoop Dogg has your back. The rap legend has partnered with luxury English footwear company Duke + Dexter to launch a limited-edition collaboration packed with his unique style baked in.
The Dogg Pack collection brings to life Snoop’s West Coast lifestyle with a fun pool-to-party theme. You can grab yourself a fresh pair of loafers, mules or slide style footwear with dice, cannabis leaf prints and even Snoop’s embroidered face.
“I wanted the collaboration to be sleek and stylish, like me,” Snoop told Forbes. “The design team helped me to put together shoes that represented my style and me. I do things differently; you know that. It was important that we created a first collection that had distinction, but also class. Real class no fakes shit.”
Launched in early June, the ultra-exclusive, limited-edition line is only 1000 pair deep, meaning that snagging a pair means you’re part of an incredibly exclusive club.
Lee Rogers, head of product at Duke + Dexter said via a statement, “I wanted to try to bring something new and fresh to the collaboration and products. Snoop is such a legend and the weight of doing this well was always in mind.
“I really wanted to find a quote/lyric that could help encapsulate what Duke + Dexter are as a brand and what Snoop represents, the lyric we decided to use ‘la di da di, we likes to party we don’t cause no trouble, we don’t bother nobody.’”
Snoop said the partnership came about after he posted a pair of their shoes he liked to his 34.2 million followers.
“They very smartly reached out to me and we started by creating some dope bespoke styles together, I grew my relationship with Archie and we started building a plan… the rest is history!” said the rapper.
While this ultra-exclusive line of footwear might be one of Snoop’s flashiest and newest business ventures, it’s far from his only one. Martha Stewart and Snoop are famously unlikely friends, even co-host a cooking show called “Martha & Snoop” together, he’s launched his very own cannabis strain and his “Leafs by Snoop” collaboration with Canadian cannabis giant Canopy Growth.
When asked why his fans should try out a pair of Duke + Dexter’s ultra-exclusive footwear line, Snoop said the quality of the brand was the selling point.
“D+D do things differently — they classy, they real,” said Snoop. “There’s so much fake shit out there nowadays, so many copycats. I only admire brands like this, brands who create their own, truly original stories and unique identities.”
If you can’t snag a pair of Duke + Dexter’s line, you can pick up a micro-suede house shoe, two luxury slide-in slippers and baby dogg slippers, all perfect for sipping a gin and juice wherever you might be.
First Look at Rihanna’s New LVMH Fenty Fashion Brand
LVMH, the parent company of Dior and Givenchy, Moët Hennessy and Louis Vuitton, recently announced Rihanna’s Fenty fashion house would launch under their massive umbrella-ella-ella.
Fenty fashion will debut online on May 29 and at a Paris pop-up on Friday, May 24 and we’ve finally got a sneak-peak at what collection — designed be the Bal Gal herself — will look like.
In a new teaser video, Rihanna makes blink-and-you’ll-miss-them cameos styling looks on a diverse lineup of models that include denim, separates, and shirt dresses, styled with sporty sunglasses and strappy sandals.
“Designing a line like this with LVMH is an incredibly special moment for us. Mr. [Bernard] Arnault has given me a unique opportunity to develop a fashion house in the luxury sector, with no artistic limits,” Rihanna said in a statement. “I couldn’t imagine a better partner both creatively and business-wise, and I’m ready for the world to see what we have built together.”
Bad Gal took to Twitter to share her thoughts her latest business venture.
big day for the culture.
thank you Mr.Arnault for believing in this little girl from the left side of an island, and for giving me the opportunity to grow with you at @LVMH https://t.co/6ToY8MkDQB pic.twitter.com/Q9eF35576T
— Rihanna (@rihanna) May 10, 2019
“Everybody knows Rihanna as a wonderful singer, but through our partnership at Fenty Beauty, I discovered a true entrepreneur, a real C.E.O. and a terrific leader,” said LVMH chairman Bernard Arnault in a statement, according to BoF. “She naturally finds her full place within LVMH. To support Rihanna to start up the Fenty maison, we have built a talented and multicultural team supported by the group resources. I am proud that LVMH is leading this venture and wish it will be a great success.”
The launch of the new brand will make for a historic one. It marks the first time LVMH has introduced and built a new brand since Christian Lacroix in 1987. More importantly, Rihanna will be the first woman of color to oversee a fashion house under LVMH.
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