Really, Why Bother?

Some collaborations simply don’t stir, but they can get away with it 



By Ray Zhang

My friends know I am a Nike fan. And they were quick to ask me what I thought of Nike’s recent collaboration with Dior (or is that the other way round? Or, Kim Jones’s pairing with the Swoosh). Frankly, think I did not. Why mull over something this bland, even when it’s been trending as madly as the Saddle bag’s pointless return that was bolstered by the fervent posts of taste-lite influencers gifted with one?

Sure, I understand that after a period of ‘dad’ shoes that stretched a little too long (and with more late adopters than for any other trends of recent memory, and with adoption still unabated), designers are keen to return to shoes that are less OTT and closer to the OG. But what does Dior’s take on the Air Jordan 1 High, featured at the Miami show early this month, really say about sneaker trends? Or the direction designers are taking for the new decade?

I had a clue when images of the Adidas X Prada Superstar first appeared. It bothered me that ‘normcore’ might return even when many members of the media, impressed by the collab, tried to convince us that the design distills what is “ultimate luxury”: best material and craftsmanship. Now, plain is plain, no matter how luxurious. What does it all say to me? Why try so hard when it’ll all be landfill feed in no time?

To be honest, I am not expecting a Nike X Undercover’s Daybreak moment. Even Jun Takahashi may not top that again. But did Dior’s reiteration of the Air Jordan 1 High enjoy the briefest or skimpiest moment of re-imagining? Frankly, I do not know since picking Dior grey for the upper and filling the Swoosh with vintage, repeated-monogram print hardly require the frontal cortex to go into overdrive. Or is that just Kim Jones doing an Hedi Slimane?

So if you ask me, can we not encourage brands to be this lazy by succumbing to the hype and opening up our wallets?

Product photo: Nike