Celebrity fashion collaborations are always exciting. Think Kate Moss for Topshop, or Alexa Chung for Madewell. As an avid appreciator of the sneaker, and a die-hard fan of hi-tops, I myself am always excited to hear about any celebrity collaboration that Nike – undisputed champions of the hi-top sneaker – deems to undertake.
Nike rarely get it wrong when it comes to such displays of collective creativity: you’d be hard pressed to find a more eye-catching yet simultaneously simplistic trainer than the old school Wu Tang Clan Nike Dunk High sneaker, produced in 1999. Despite the fact that the uppers consist of only two block colours – the black and yellow shades of the Wu Tang Clan – the shoes themselves speak volumes.
The more recent Stash x Nike Air Force 1 High, designed by Brooklyn-based graffiti artist Stash himself, are also worth a mention: combining thick bands of black with thinner strips of spray-can inspired print creates a perfect balance between the low-key and the look-at-me. Once again, Nike manages to tick all the boxes, while also giving a nod towards versatility.
Earlier this year, I was especially excited to hear about Nike’s latest celebrity collaboration with Dub and Reggae superstars Mighty Crown. Before researching the sneakers themselves, my preconceptions led me to speculate a Rasta-inspired green-yellow-and-red colour scheme, or perhaps a more Asian influence considering the group’s Japanese heritage. However, I was pleasantly surprised to find that the Mighty Crown x Nike Dunk Hi is delightfully simplistic: a purely black body with some plain red detailing on the tongue.
The result is a classy pair of sneakers…
The beauty of the shoe lies within the attention to detail: asymmetrical textures and patterns create a truly unique and original pair of sneakers, with the only obviously ostentatious feature being a miniature gold crown threaded through the bottom rung of the laces.
When asked why they agreed to collaborate with Nike, Mighty Crown reasoned that Nike tended to associate with more urban artists, who projected a Hip Hop vibe. The group argued that it was important for Reggae to be represented on a par with more dominant genres, and joining the ranks of Hip Hop legends such as the Wu Tang Clan in their collaboration with Nike seemed a step in the right direction. The result is a classy pair of sneakers that project an important message to and for Reggae fans – kudos to Mighty Crown for pulling it off!