Rarity and exclusivity reign supreme in sneaker collecting. Nike’s collaborations with blue-chip artists like Tom Sachs, KAWS, and Virgil Abloh have produced some of the company’s most highly sought-after and valuable shoes to date.
Nike Air Max 1 Parra x Patta “Cherrywood”
In 2009, Patta partnered with Nike to release 4 iterations of the Air Max 1 in celebration of their 5th anniversary. A year later, Patta teamed up with Dutch artist Parra, to release an extremely limited (258 pairs worldwide) run of a fifth, burgundy colorway. It is thought to be one of the most highly coveted Air Max 1 colorways ever created.
Nike Air Force 1 “Kaws”
The Nike Air Force 1 “Kaws” was released in 2008 as a part of the 1WORLD campaign. Eighteen innovators from around the world, spanning different disciplines, were given the opportunity to create their own Air Force 1. Other collaborators included CLOT, Questlove and Michael Lau.
Nike Air Max 90 Current x Kaws “Black Volt”
The Nike Air Max 90 Current x Kaws “Black Volt” was released in 2008. KAWS teamed up with Nike Footwear Director Jesse Leyva to give technical updates to the classic Nike silhouette, taking cues from the Nike ACG program. The shoes were released exclusively at Nike Sportswear stores.
Nike x Tom Sachs Mars Yard 1.0
In 2012, Tom Sachs partnered with Nike to release the NikeCraft Mars Yard; a shoe inspired by Sachs’ work with NASA scientists in preparation for his 2012 exhibition SPACE PROGRAM 2.0: Mars.
Nike x Tom Sachs Mars Yard 2.0
Five years after the initial Mars Yard release, Sachs partnered with Nike again in 2019 to release an improved version of the original shoe. The updated version features new materials for better performance, longevity and durability.
Nike SB Dunk High “Unkle”
In 2003, Futura painted the cover for European trip-hop trio U.N.K.L.E.’s “Never, Never, Land” album. The following year, Nike partnered with James Lavelle of U.N.K.L.E. to release a Nike SB Dunk that incorporated Futura’s album artwork. This shoe’s collaboration marked an important intersection between the worlds of skateboarding and fashion.
Nike Air Force 1 x Off-White “MoMA”
In 2018, a year after releasing “The Ten” collection, Abloh partnered with New York’s Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) to release an exclusive Air Force 1 colorway. The shoes were released at the MoMA store, celebrating the opening of the Items: Is Fashion Modern? exhibition.