The 4 Worst Sneaker Collabs of 2017
Vans X ASSC
When ASSC announced earlier this year that they were dropping a collaboration with Vans, the streetwear world was divided. On one side, the streetwear connoisseurs and genuine enthusiasts rolled their eyed and gritted their teeth. On the other, a collection of teenagers experienced an awakening akin to the second coming of Jesus. What was unveiled in the coming weeks was nothing short of corporate trite. A lazy, derivative offering was released onto the market, making incredibly bold design choices such as writing depressing quotes on shoelaces and applying MS word art to the midsoles of both low and high-top Authentics. The models released were nothing more than Jaden Smith tweets, attempts at being faux-deep while offering no real commentary or observations. Not to mention, the models dropped were identical to the women’s Vans “Pop Pastel” colorway once the cringe-worthy laces and word art midsoles were removed.
Instapump X Vetements
Oh Demna. Not many people are able to make a career off of deliberately offering the least fashionable clothes season after season. Even though I consider myself a fan of his ironic designs and tongue in cheek “f*ck-you”s to the fashion industry, not a single part of myself could find a redeeming quality in the Vetements Emoji Instapump collab. The model itself, a pair of Instapumps covered in generic blocktext demonstrating how much you spent on Reeboks, was accompanied by copy and paste emojis found on the tongue pumps. This trollish offering from Demna managed to miss every aspect that made early Vetements such desirable items. Instead, a near thousand dollar Reebok was dropped with less care towards aesthetics than a pair of bootcut Wrangler jeans. The only part of this shoe Gvasalia got right was the eyeroll emoji found on the left shoe, simply because this encapsulates my entire reaction to seeing these trainwrecks released onto the market.
CDG X AF1s
Comme De Garçons. A brand (outside of its pathetic play offerings) founded by fashion legend Rei Kawakubo with icons such as Junya Watanabe and Tao Kurihara. Widely regarded as one of the most influential and authentic companies in the fashion industry, this brand took it upon themselves to release a collaboration with Nike that was so terrible it almost seems intentional. Imagine taking an Air Force 1, a canvas used by hundreds of designers and brands to release some of the most important collaborations of all time, and simply bolting a plastic dinosaur to the toe box. Now imagine doing it 6 times in a row without any real changes besides low or high cut and coloration. What you would get is the CDG X AF1 2017 drop, a shoe that struggled to sell so badly that not a single model of the 6 sold out. This unprecedented commercial failure saw these Chinatown knockoffs hitting clearance racks on almost all major distributors and even then failing to sell out. As of the time of this article, SSENSE carries this design at 65% off and still is unable to unload their wares. Truly a disappointing and lazy offering that does nothing but tarnish the reputation of future CDG collabs.
Adidas Kolor 2.0s
While almost all major labels have suffered their fair share of collab blunders this year, Adidas has taken the cake for sheer volume of underwhelming partnerships. Although the first iteration of the Kolor Ultraboosts wouldn’t be a poor choice for this category, the second iteration of these shoes are truly a sight to be behold. From a puke green cage to hazard orange tongue detailing, no part of this shoe is able to be salvaged. Worse still, the aforementioned reasons aren’t even the worst aspect of this drop. Tonal grey polka dots cover the sneaker in what one can only hope to be a tongue in cheek homage to Ronald McDonald. On the bright side, at least this release managed to make the Kolor 1.0s look alright.