J Balvin, Beyoncé, Pharrell, and Travis Scott top the best sneaker collaborations to date.
by Gabby Sgherri
One of the most popular intersections of fashion and music is the sneaker collaboration. Dating back to 1986, when Run-DMC signed an endorsement deal with Adidas and popularized their now-iconic Superstar silhouette. This collaboration marked the beginning of a longstanding relationship between sneakers and music.
Fast forward to today and sneaker collaborations are some of the most hyped and coveted items in fashion. Die-hard fans and sneakerheads alike sign up for raffles and wait in line for the chance to purchase an artist’s latest drop. From Travis Scott’s on-going deal with Nike Jordan and Beyoncé’s Ivy Park athleisure line with Adidas to J Balvin’s recently-released Nike Air Jordan 1, we rounded up the best music and sneaker pairings in recent years.
J Balvin x Jordan
J Balvin’s highly-anticipated sneaker marks the first time Jordan has tapped a Latin artist for collaboration and allowed their classic Air Jordan 1s silhouette to be pushed this far. Balvin’s high-energy music and colorful aesthetic are represented through distorted linework, vibrant colors, and interchangeable patches.
Travis Scott x Jordan
Travis Scott is well known for incorporating unreleased sneakers into his everyday wardrobe. In 2019, he sent the world into a frenzy when he was spotted wearing his Cactus Jack x Air Jordan 1 Hi collaboration months before its release. Scott’s notable design details include a Cactus Jack-inspired colorway, reverse swoosh, and embossed logo.
Beyoncé x Adidas
Beyoncé has made her mark on the athleisure world with her brand Ivy Park, and recent partnership with Adidas. One of the first sneakers she released in early 2020 was the Super Sleek 72 which combines elements from the classic Samba silhouette and her personal Adidas favorite— the Forum sneaker.
Tyler The Creator x Converse
A seasoned vet in the fashion collaboration game, Tyler the Creator has been working with Converse since 2017. Known for his use of color, graphic design, and Golf le Fleur floral motif logo— his sneaker collaborations are far from boring. Originally released in 2019, one of Tyler’s noteworthy sneakers with Converse was the Chuck 70 “Flames” that featured a print from his Cherry Bomb album.
G-Dragon x Nike
Notable Korean artist G-Dragon first teamed up with Nike in 2019 to collaborate on an Air Force 1 titled “Para-Noise.” The striking black and white design was coveted by sneakerheads everywhere, proving that G-Dragon’s artistic capabilities go far beyond just music.
Pharrell x Adidas
A tastemaker in all things music, culture, and fashion, Pharell has numerous sneaker collaborations under his belt. His partnership with Adidas has been on-going since 2014 and a classic silhouette that he constantly reworks is the NMD. Released in December 2020, the minimalistic “Triple Black” iteration distills the functional form of a sneaker down to its essence.
Rihanna’s Fenty x Puma
In recent years, Rihanna has shifted her focus from music to fashion and beauty, building a Fenty empire along the way. In the early days of Fenty, 2017 to be exact, Rihanna collaborated with Puma to create a suede “Cleated Creeper” sneaker.
Drake x Jordan
Drake has yet to have an on-going sneaker deal but last year his OVO brand teamed up with Jordan to release a special edition of the Air Jordan 4 sneaker during the NBA finals. It’s only fitting to call a Drake-endorsed Jordan sneaker “Raptors” seeing as how the rapper has close ties with his hometown’s basketball team.
Miley Cyrus x Converse
Miley Cyrus collaborated with Converse in 2018 for a gender-neutral collection that promotes inclusivity. A stand-out sneaker from the collaboration was the Chuck Taylor All Star Low featuring a black and white paisley print.
Selena x Puma
Selena Gomez has a longstanding partnership with Puma, which includes a few sneaker collaborations. Her minimalistic take on Puma’s Cali Suede silhouette was released in 2019 and the design is in the details.