Streetwear brands from Supreme to The Hundreds have been releasing anime-inspired collections for a while now, and it seems as if the sneaker industry has taken their lead.
Anime has been a popular source of inspiration for streetwear and luxury companies alike for the past few years.
It has been around in American pop culture ever since Japan-born shows such as Astro Boy and Speed Racer premiered on the American television screen, and we’ve come to recognize the bright colors and bold, largely drawn eyes of anime characters featured in these sneaker collections:
Adidas Dragon Ball Z
Anime fans and sneakerheads alike flipped when Adidas announced that they will be launching a Dragon Ball Z based collection, each sneaker design inspired by a character on the iconic series. There are eight sneakers total in this collection, two sneakers will be released per month starting from August, one design inspired by a protagonist and the other by an antagonist. One of the coolest parts about this collection, with each sneaker released of the collection there will be an action figure of the corresponding character.
In January 2018, for the 20th anniversary of the iconic Nike Air Max 98, Nike relaunched the iconic sneaker in the Gundam colorway of blue, white, and red. Gundam is an iconic science-fiction anime based on mecha/robots and is still a fan-favorite amongst the original viewers of the series and the newest round of fans.
Skechers One Piece
In January 2018, Skechers Korea released a One Piece inspired sneaker collection exclusively in Asia, titled D’lites 2 Sweet Monster x One Piece collection. The sneakers come in six different color designs, drawing inspiration from One Piece characters like Luffy, Chopper, Sangji, Zoro, Law and Dofla
Air Jordan Slam Dunk
In 2014, Air Jordan released two sneakers influenced by the popular basketball-focused anime series Slam Dunk. The Air Jordan 6 “Slam Dunk” sports a red and white color design featuring tonal 3M illustrations of the manga. The second sneaker was the Jordan Super.Fly 3 “Slam Dunk” has a black, white and red color design featuring tonal 4M illustrations of the manga as well.
In 2017, Bait released their Bait x Astro Boy x Diadora collection to popular avail. The boutique retailer and the Italian sneaker brand had released Astro Boy themed iterations of the classic B.Elite and Intrepid models, each featuring the original Tetsuwan Atom logo. Astro Boy, based on a modern day version of Pinocchio, is an anime staple in both the American and Japanese entertainment histories.
While all these sneaker collabs are awesome, it would be nice to see the sneaker industry give a little more love to the female anime/sneaker fans out there. Perhaps with a Sailor Moon inspired collection?