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.
Cactus Jack x Dior: The Creative Collab Between Kim Jones & Travis Scott Debuts in Paris
For Dior’s Spring 2022 Menswear collection, Kim Jones continued his creative partnerships that fuse different artistic and cultural influences. This time it’s Grammy-nominated rapper, songwriter, producer, businessman and designer, Travis Scott. Titled Cactus Jack x Dior — after Scott’s label, Cactus Jack Records — the collection debuted during Paris Fashion Week on Friday.
Scott has been close to the brand for a while, modelling the Air Dior capsule collection that the French fashion house developed last year with Jordan Brand. Through his Cactus Jack Foundation, founded last year, he partnered with The New School’s Parsons School of Design to establish a fashion program, launching his own scholarship program for historically black colleges and universities.
“A conversation – between two friends, two cultures, and two different eras – results in a collection that explores the identities of a groundbreaking modern musician and the heritage of one of the leading Parisian couture houses,” Dior wrote in the show notes.
According to a press release announcing the partnership, Cactus Jack x Dior is “the first full Dior collection ever created with a musician for the house.”
The collection draws from the desert landscapes of Texas, a nod to both Scott’s home state and a place house founder Christian Dior visited when he brought his debut collection to the United States in 1947. According to the show notes, Texas was an unexpected destination for the founding couturier and the grand canyons and huge dusty deserts made a lasting impression. So too did the ethos and spirit of America – in his own words, ‘the zest for life and self-confidence’.
The models appear in a desert landscape dotted with a buffalo head, giant cacti, roses and mushrooms. Bit by bit, the desert transforms into a rose garden in a nod to Christian Dior’s family home.
The colour palette features a soothing mix of dull pinks, café browns, dusty greys, creamy whites and pale blues, with pops of black and electric green, across Jones’ signature mix of exquisite tailoring and sportswear-inspired separates, and featured hybrid hats designed by Stephen Jones.
The graphics seen throughout — on prints, on embroidery, on patches — are a mix of Scott’s drawings and images from the Dior archive. There’s also collaboration within the collaboration this season, on a line of shirts hand-painted by George Condo that will be auctioned off to fund scholarships for the next generation of creatives.
What Anna Wintour’s Recent Promotion Means for Condé Nast Worldwide
Anna Wintour’s recent promotion at Condé Nast just made the influential editor even more powerful.
On Tuesday, as part of a broader strategy revamp under CEO Roger Lynch, Condé Nast announced that Wintour will become the worldwide Chief Content Officer and Global Editorial Director of Vogue — giving her final say over publications in more than 30 markets around the world — while continuing her oversight of U.S. Vogue.
The promotion gives Wintour vision over all of Condé Nast’s titles worldwide and puts her in charge of all of Vogue’s 25 global editions, on top of her longtime role as editor in chief of Vogue U.S.
Wintour is regarded as one of the most influential women in fashion. She was named Vogue’s U.S. editor in 1988 and quickly became one of the most powerful tastemakers in the fashion industry, making stars of upcoming designers while forging deep relationships with the top fashion houses. She turned the magazine into Condé Nast’s biggest moneymaker, and in 2014 she was named the company’s U.S. artistic director. Last year she joined a global leadership team to advise on global content opportunities.
For decades she has been chairwoman of the Met Gala at New York City’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, and she inspired the character played by Meryl Streep in the 2006 film “The Devil Wears Prada.”
“Anna’s appointment represents a pivotal moment for Condé Nast as her ability to stay ahead in connecting with new audiences, while cultivating and mentoring some of today’s brightest talent in the industry, has made her one of media’s most distinguished executives,” said Lynch in a statement.
Wintour’s expanded role is part of the media and publishing company’s move to install editorial leaders with a global vision for most of its brands.
Edward Enninful, the most powerful Black editor at Condé Nast, was made the head of Vogue’s editions in Britain, France, Italy, Germany and Spain. Simone Marchetti will become the European editorial director of Vanity Fair, putting him in charge of its editions in France, Italy and Spain. The American and British versions of Vanity Fair will remain under the control of Radhika Jones.
Condé Nast also announced the appointment of global editorial directors of AD (Architectural Digest), Condé Nast Traveler and GQ, with the remaining global brands to follow in early 2021. According to the company, the new editorial structure will “ensure global consistency of the brands,” including on the video front in partnership with the Condé Nast Entertainment team.
It’s been a turbulent year for Anna Wintour and Condé Naste. Amid the Black Lives Matter movement, the veteran editor was called out over lack of diversity at Vogue and was criticised by members of her own staff for fostering a workplace that sidelined women of colour. In June, Wintour herself acknowledged she had made “mistakes” by not doing enough to elevate black voices on her staff. She likewise admitted she had published images and stories that now are viewed as racially and culturally “hurtful or intolerant.”
“Undoubtedly, I have made mistakes along the way, and if any mistakes were made at Vogue under my watch, they are mine to own and remedy and I am committed to doing the work,” Wintour told the New York Times in October.
The changes come at the close of a brutal year in the media world due to COVID-19 and the drop off of advertising, particularly in print, where Condé Nast still derives the bulk of its revenue. The pandemic dashed any hope for a revival. In April, the company cut pay and furloughed staffers. In mid-May, the worsening ad crisis forced layoffs of about 100 people.
Whispers that Wintour would leave Vogue had circulated at fashion-industry parties and gossip columns for years. However, the announcement of Anna Wintour’s recent promotion seems to have dispelled that rumour as she has once again survived another round of intense criticism and seemingly emerged stronger than ever.
All the Ways COVID-19 Is Impacting the Global Fashion Industry
COVID-19 had spread across the world and, as of April 4, there are now reportedly 1,089,479 cases and 58,467 deaths around the world. For the global fashion industry, the virus impacted womenswear AW 2020 shows in New York, London, Milan and Paris, disrupting schedules and sending fashionistas fleeing. As a result of the worldwide attempt to slow the virus, designers are cancelling and rethinking their shows, which may lead to questions about the traditional fashion week format itself in the longterm. “In a time of crisis, we have to think about a radical reset,” Vogue editor Anna Wintour told The Times.
It’s not just runway shows either that have been impacted. Around the world, major events, including the Met Gala and the CFDA Awards, have also been postponed indefinitely. Tech conferences such as SXSW and music festivals, including the Ultra Music Festival and Coachella, Cannes Film Festival and the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, have also been postponed. Here are all the fashion-related events and manufacturing facilities that have so far been affected.
Beijing Fashion Week
Beijing’s China Fashion Week was scheduled to run from March 25 to March 31.
Cannes Film Festival
The Cannes Film Festival was scheduled for May 12 to 23. Organizers released a statement on Twitter on March 19, stating the festival may be postponed to the end of June and beginning of July this year.
“As soon as the development of the French and international health situation will allow us to assess the real possibility, we will make our decision known, in accordance with our ongoing consultation with the French government and Cannes’ City Hall as well as with the festival’s board members, film industry professionals and all the partners of the event”.
The Council of Fashion Designers of America Awards
The Council of Fashion Designers of America announced on March 18 it is cancelling its upcoming CFDA Awards, scheduled to be held at the New York Public Library on June 8.
The French design house announced on March 18 that it would be halting production in its facilities in Italy, France and Switzerland for the next two weeks, however, workers will still be paid.
California babes will be weeping into their flower crowns over the news that Coachella has postponed its annual, two-weekend music festival that had been scheduled from the weekends of April 10 and 17 to the weekends of Oct. 9 and 16.
Copenhagen Fashion Summit
The annual sustainability event released a statement confirming now postponed until October. “While this was certainly a difficult decision, we believe it is the only responsible and sensible thing to do, taking the global health uncertainties and authority recommendations into consideration. The health and safety of everyone on our team, including the numerous participants who come from across the globe to Copenhagen each May to convene and advance sustainability in fashion is our first priority”.
Gucci announced on March 12 that it will close its six manufacturing sites in Italy’s Tuscany and Marche regions through March 20 as the country continues to be devastated by COVID-19.
iD International Emerging Designer Awards
Uncertainty around international travel coupled with applicants from 17 countries prompted organisers of the iD International Emerging Designer Awards 2020 to move the show online.
Melbourne Fashion Festival
The Virgin Melbourne Fashion Festival, which began on March 4, cancelled the remainder of its programming on March 13.
“In the interest of the health and safety of our partners, participants, team, volunteers and patrons, the festival has made the decision to cancel all remaining events, effective immediately as a precautionary containment measure,” said event publicist, AMPR, in a statement.
Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia (MBFWA)
Australia Fashion Week’s 25th-anniversary edition has been cancelled. The event was scheduled from May 11 to 15 at Sydney’s Carriageworks venue.
Anna Wintour confirmed on March 16 that the Met Gala has been postponed from it’s scheduled May 4 date and no future date was offered.
“One day that will not arrive on schedule will be the opening of the Costume Institute’s exhibition, ‘About Time.’ Due to the unavoidable and responsible decision by the Metropolitan Museum to close its doors, ‘About Time,’ and the opening night gala, will be postponed to a later date,” she wrote in a piece penned for Vogue.com. “In the meantime, we will give you a preview of this extraordinary exhibition in our forthcoming May issue.”
Milan Fashion Week AW 2020
Giorgio Armani barred his AW 2020 runway show, opting instead to post a video of the show on the brand’s website and social media platforms.
Milan Men’s Fashion Week Spring 2021
Italy’s Camera Nazionale della Moda announced on March 27 that its Spring 2021 Milan Men’s Fashion Week will be postponed from June 19 to 23 and will now be presented during Milan Fashion Week from September 22 to 28.
New York Fashion Week Resort 2021 and Men’s Fashion Week
NYFW Resort 2021 is cancelled and that Men’s Fashion Week in June will be postponed.
New Zealand Fashion Week
NZFW announced the indefinite postponement of the 2020 event as a result of COVID-19.
“We want to make the right decision that supports the wonderful creative industry, designers and partners who are very close to us. Individually, many of them are hurting already — and I wish each one of them the best during this trying time,” said founder Dame Pietra Stewart.
Paris Men’s Fashion Week and Couture Week
The Fédération de la Haute Couture et de la Mode, French fashion’s governing body, is cancelling Paris Men’s Fashion Week from June 23 to 28 and Couture Week that was scheduled for July 5 to 9.
Paris Fashion Week AW 2020
Agnès B., A.P.C. and Rosie Assoulin all cancelled their shows. Chinese fashion brands Masha Ma, Shiatzy Chen, Uma Wang, Jarel Zhang, Calvin Luo and Maison Mai also cancelled their shows.
Resort 2021 Shows
A majority of design houses have cancelled their international resort 2021 runway shows, including Giorgio Armani, Chanel, Dior, Gucci, Hermès, Max Mara, Prada and Versace.
Sao Paolo Fashion Week
Sao Paolo Fashion Week has cancelled its spring 2020 edition, scheduled to run from April 24 to 28.
Shanghai Fashion Week
Shanghai Fashion Week was postponed from its scheduled March 26 date. However, organizers decided to partner with Tmall to move the event online, creating a virtual fashion week instead. More than 150 designers and brands live-streamed over 1,000 products from their newest collections and the garments were made available to more than 800 million monthly active users who visit Alibaba’s e-commerce sites. The event’s “See Now, Buy Now” format allowed viewers to purchase catwalk items and pre-order new looks from the fall collection in realtime via their smartphones.
The event’s organizers postponed the Stagecoach country music festival, originally scheduled for April 24 to 26 — for October 23 to 25.
Sustainable Future for Fashion Conference
The British Department for International Trade postponed the Sustainable Future for Fashion event, initially scheduled for February 28 in Paris.
Tokyo Fashion Week
It was revealed on March 2 that Tokyo Fashion Week, scheduled to run from March 16 to March 21, has been cancelled.
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