Since the early ‘70s, COMME des GARÇONS has been supplying signature unorthodoxy to the world of fashion, but with several side projects the label has reached all sides of the equation. From COMME des GARÇONS PLAY, famed for its love heart logo, which has occupied a permanent space in the top leagues of sneaker popularity with its ongoing work with Converse, to COMME des GARÇONS Homme Plus, which made a splash at Paris Fashion Week with a look at a forthcoming Nike Foamposite collaboration.
While the Japanese label will always be an icon in its own right, there’s no denying that in recent years the focus has shifted heavily in favor of the label’s footwear collaborations. With further teasing looks surfacing of an upcoming New Balance collaboration, too, we thought it was high time to take a retrospective look at the best moments in the COMME des GARÇONS collaboration catalog.
Many COMME des GARÇONS collaboration sneakers feature an all-black palette, but 2018 saw a much brighter approach from the label. Using the retro Nike Air 180 as the canvas, COMME des GARÇONS Homme Plus dropped an unmissable, bright pink collaboration.
A standout member of the COMME des GARÇONS collaboration archive, this 2016 Nike Dunk Hi combines transparent PVC with black leather to make a strong statement upper. Make sure your sock game is on point before investing, though.
At once restrained and completely over-the-top, CdG’s take on the Nike Air Jordan 1 High is certainly something to behold. Silver-tone hardware provides a visual lead alongside an oversized tongue while off-white premium leather stands as a strong, understated backdrop.
We were surprised, when we saw that COMME des GARÇONS was teaming up with Nike and Supreme, that the outcome was strikingly simple. All that this black and white Air Force 1 need to set it apart was a split Swoosh.
CdG’s signature text logo forms the basis to this Dunk Low silhouette which debuted in the label’s SS20 Women’s show. Dropping as a follow up to a 2017 collaboration that also featured transparent uppers, this pair looks to luxury detailing like waxed cotton laces and premium leather trims to stand out.
Moving away from monochrome color palettes, the Air Presto became fertile ground for an alien collaboration at the hands of COMME des GARÇONS in 2018. A bright, baby-blue colorway can’t even steal the limelight from the tent suspended above the vamp.
Part of the beauty in CdG collaborations is the label’s willingness to experiment on lesser-known silhouettes as well as the fan-favorites. Electing to update the underrated Nike Air Mowabb with overlapping felt patches, CdG resurrected a retro gem in 2018.
This 2020 take on the Nike Air Force One feels only a handful of steps from the concept table in the CdG headquarters where we can picture designers experimenting with Frankenstein-esque cut-and-sew updates of the classic Nike silhouette.
The Nike Shox silhouette is another underused model when it comes to collaborations, which may be part of the reason that this pair made such a splash when they dropped in 2019. The clean, all-white rendition makes way for a silver-tone chain to the laces which snakes through the sole unit.
While the Nike Air Max 95 is certainly an icon, it’s not regularly adopted as the basis for collaborations. COMME des GARÇONS averted their gaze to the mid-90s runner in 2020, giving the model a ripped, layered upper in gradient grey and keeping the rest of the design sleek and understated.
Another arm of the well-oiled COMME des GARÇONS machines is COMME des GARÇONS Black which, as the name suggests, is built around one color. By mixing textures and finishes, CdG Black updated the lightweight Nike Night Track in 2018.
With an all-black design, the streamlined silhouette of the Nike Waffle Racer is given every bit of our attention as well as emphasizing the frayed denim Swoosh addition. This pared-back design is easily one of the most wearable in today’s roundup.
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