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Any sneakerhead knows the value of a good footwear collaboration. A top fashion brand putting its distinctive spin on a sought-after shoe style is absolute gold for any budding (or busting) sneaker collection. While collaborations can be bad news for your bank account and stress levels when trying to snag a coveted pair, the right choice can result in killer designs you can’t help but gawk over, making the inevitable investment more than worth it.
Countless designer sneaker collaborations, both big and small, come out every year, some hitting better than others with the sneaker-obsessed crowd. In fact, some fashion brands spend time tinkering with designs to create a standout, singular vision. And those are the shoes many collectors are after—they are the shoes that crash sites and break the internet upon drop. Not to mention, those are the shoes that hit resale sites for skyrocketed prices. If you’re lucky enough to scoop up a pair, prices like that are almost tempting enough to convince you to sell—as if you could ever part with your limited-edition designer sneakers for any price.
Getting your hands on a designer sneaker collaboration is a right of passage in the sneaker community. And, if you’re lucky, the pair that catches your eye becomes legendary, leading to a good amount of envy from other sneakerheads. Wearing them is like wearing a little piece of fashion history on your feet—if you can even bring yourself to take them out of the box.
From Comme des Garçons and Converse to Dior and Nike to Prada and Adidas, plenty of luxury fashion giants have paired with sneaker brands for must-have collections over the years. Below, a roundup of some collaborations you need to know.
Comme des Garçons x Converse
Comme des Garçons first collaborated with Converse in 2009, releasing several shoe designs with the sneaker giant over the past decade. But one of the most popular designs to come out of the partnership is undoubtedly the Hidden Heart High-Top, featuring the identifiable Comme des Garçons Play logo.
Alexander Wang x Adidas
Alexander Wang’s collaboration with Adidas was a six-season love affair that began in early 2017 and ended in late 2019. The casual-cool designer and iconic shoe brand released several sought-after designs during the 3-year stint, from the futuristic Platinum Futureshell to the sporty Puff Trainer. Perhaps the most noted style to come out of the collection is the white Puffy Trainer with contrasting black detail and a teal sock-like ankle. It’s a color-block design to remember.
Dior x Jordan
In 2020, Dior and Jordan Brand released an Air Jordan 1 collaboration, featuring a gray and white shoe with a Dior-branded Nike Swoosh and soles. The much-hyped launch included 8,500 pairs of high-top sneakers and 4,700 low-top sneakers. The sneakers were originally slated to launch in March 2020, with a reported 5 million customers signed up for the raffle to buy a pair. The COVID-19 pandemic delayed the projected release, resulting in a June 2020 release date—and significant pandemonium. With the high-tops retailing for a whopping $2,200, the sought-after Jordans now go for thousands on resale sites, including StockX.
Off-White x Nike
In 2017, Off-White and Nike paired together for the first time for Nike and Off-White: “The Ten,” a line reimagining 10 of Nike’s classic styles with Off-White’s streetwear influence. The noted collection featured text-heavy Air Force 1s and more core Nike styles incorporating Off-White elements. Since then, the brands have continued releasing styles, many of which have climbed to (and passed) the $200 retail mark. But that’s nothing. A pair of the duos 2020 Air Jordan 4s Sail sneakers sell for just over $1,000 on StockX—if you’re lucky.
Stella McCartney x Adidas
Perhaps one of the most notable long-standing designer sneaker collaborations, Adidas and Stella McCartney have a partnership spanning more than 15 years. Since 2005, McCartney and Adidas have released collections every year. Adidas x Stella McCartney designs are practical, feminine pieces designed for the modern woman—much like McCartney’s namesake line. The Adidas x Stella McCartney 2021 collection includes sleek and minimal trainers that can perform in the gym—but look way too good to be training shoes.
Feng Chen Wang x Converse
Chinese-born, London-based designer Feng Chen Wang joined forces with Converse in 2021 for a shoe collaboration that transformed the classic Converse high-top silhouette. Pulling inspiration from the concept of dualism, Wang’s textured trainers appear jagged and split, representing “breaking through” or “going beyond structural limits, cultures, and our inherent human shell.” The “cracked concrete” design is one of the most unique Converse collaborations to date, retailing for $180.
Prada x Adidas
Prada first paired with Adidas in late 2019, releasing a limited run of a branded Superstar sneaker and some accompanying accessories. Since then, the brands have continued to collaborate, debuting several minimalistic designer sneakers along the way. Recent releases from Prada x Adidas include classic white sneakers, brooding black options, and even metallic picks. Predictably for Prada, the prices are steep, with some options reaching toward the $700 mark—and that’s before they even touch the resale market.
Stüssy x Nike
Stüssy and Nike may be most noted for recent collaborations, thanks to the modern streetwear craze, but the brand’s first tango was actually in 2000. Since then, the two have been thick as thieves, releasing collaborations almost every single year for the past two decades. In 2021, the brands honored their first collaboration by rereleasing the Stüssy x Nike Air Huarache LE, an almost-exact replica of the first shoe the brands released together.
Maison Margiela x Reebok
Paris fashion house Maison Margiela first collaborated with Reebok in 2020, with the high-fashion brand revealing the venture during the Couture Week runway in Paris. Since then, the pair has worked on several drops, releasing everything from cyber-industrial-inspired shoes to relatively standard sneakers. The most unique pieces out of the designer sneaker collaboration include the fashion house’s Tabi toe, a split hoof-like design that premiered in the brand’s 1989 spring collection. It’s a polarizing look, but undeniably distinctive.
Vivienne Westwood x Asics
Since early 2019, four drops of Vivienne Westwood x Asics have hit the market, with each piece featuring an edgy yet playful design. In her collaborations with the Japanese brand, Westwood highlighted her punk couture signature style to the Asics high-performance shoes. Featuring bold colors, design-element text, and innovative silhouettes, you can easily spot Westwood’s Asics designs thanks to the planetary logo.
Sacai x Nike
In mid-2021, Japanese label Sacai paired with Nike to fuse two iconic shoes together—the Nike LDV and the Nike Waffle Racer. The Sacai shoes featured double the tongues, double the shoelaces and double the Swooshes to honor the merger of the two styles. And don’t forget those double-stacked soles. The sought-after hybrid style quickly sold out, leading the pair to release the Frankenstein designer sneaker in more colorways.
STAUD x New Balance
STAUD is noted for making structured bags loved by celebrities like Kendall Jenner, Dakota Johnson, Gigi Hadid, Selena Gomez and more. In 2019, the brand released its first collaboration with New Balance, bringing its distinct feminine and detailed style to the activewear label. Since the brand’s inaugural collection, STAUD has designed an ever-growing collection of chunky sneakers and athletic wear pieces for New Balance, the most recent being a colorful (yet predictably structured) tribute to the ‘80s.
Fear of God x Nike
Minimalist streetwear brand Fear of God launched its first collection with Nike in 2019, which featured a wildly unique shoe design. The boot-like style, dubbed Air Fear of God 1s, featured laces similar to the Air Huarache Light and a lifted Zoom Air heel for some serious height. Since 2019, Fear of God and Nike have released the Air Fear of God 1s in several different color iterations, from Frosted Spruce to Orange Pulse to Triple Black. Not to mention the more traditional Nike Air kicks or simple white tennis shoes released by Fear of God x Nike.
Missoni x Adidas
Fashion brand Missoni has an eclectic style all of its own. The brand is synonymous with ’70s-inspired colorful knitwear. Enter the brand’s 2019 collaboration with Adidas, featuring bold knit sneakers and epically patterned athleticwear. The one-and-done collaboration seemed completely effortless and just made sense—especially when applying that iconic knit to those unsuspecting sneakers.