Having a sneaker just means you made it as an athlete: that was the norm back then. Nowadays it’s not just athletes getting their own signature shoe. We’ve got the musicians, celebrities and even YouTubers getting their fair share of the sneaker branding pie.
“Influence is about being genuine”
Of course, we’ve seen a couple of rapper exclusive shoes back in the day like Jay-Z and Kanye West’s Reebok shoe deals- but sneaker and influencer culture have grown so much over the years.
Pharrell Williams even had a Nike N.E.R.D. Dunk that was released when collaborations weren’t even a thing. Now, it’s not just your position in sports that gets you a shoe, it’s how much influence you bring in to the table- enough for shoe companies to make you your own silhouette!
Times have fully changed and that’s a fact. Let us present to you The Best Non-Athlete Shoe Collabs We Know…
Who would have thought that this rapper from Chicago who just produced beats will soon make the most iconic kicks ever? Coming in hot from his Nike deal, Kanye West made the jump to the three stripes to create an empire that would rival the Swoosh in more ways than one!
At first you may look at his sneakers as weird or off-putting, but maybe that’s the beauty of his sneakers- they are a wearable documentation of his shoe design exploration. With Steven Smith by his side, his ideas become true wearable forms of art.
G-Dragon X Nike Kwondo 1
G-Dragon has always been the artsy tastemaker. From his “PEACEMINUSONE” Air Force 1’s, the Korean trailblazer has finally arrived with a silhouette that’s finally exclusive to him.
The Nike Kwondo 1 lifestyle sneaker comes in a “Triple White” colorway with a low cut upper constructed of smooth leather. The wingtip perforated overlays, midfoot Swooshes and flipped lace shrouds all lean towards the K-Pop artist’s rather more avantgarde side and that’s a good thing!
G-Dragon’s PEACEMINUSONE x Nike Kwondo 1 collaboration is rumored to release this January 19.
Jaden Smith X New Balance “Vision Racer”
Jaden Smith is not a stranger to the weird and leftfield. His NB collaboration boasts of tones and hues that draw inspiration from his unpredictable aesthetics.
Chunky, colorful and a challenge to wear for sure- Jaden Smith makes shoes that are challenging to wear but definite attention getters! Definitely Hippie Approved!
Qias Omar X We Are Underdogs “Dreamqrew EP 1”
Well-known YouTube sneaker star Qias Omar has been on the YouTube grind for years. What started out as a labor of love has brought out opportunities for this gentleman. Even resulting in an interesting signature shoe deal with We Are Underdogs. The result is a nice bulky runner that according to him draws inspiration from stuff he loves.
Jerry Lorenzo – Nike Air Fear of God 1
While many were saddened to see him leaving the swoosh for adidas, Jerry Lorenzo‘s first ever collaboration with Nike still stands today as one of the best.
The Nike Air Fear of God 1 fearlessly incorporates a double-height Zoom Air heel unit without compromising his street designer edge. You know, a shoe that you can rock for a game then to a party afterwards. Loud but not corny, just right.
Pharrell Williams and his HU Sneakers
Pharrell WIlliams’ sneaker journey is definitely unique to him. In his latest adidas collab, the Humanrace Sichona Shoes is the perfect canvas for self-expression.
Not only are they comfortable, they look like no other shoe in existence. From the distinctive knit patterns decorate the toe, heel and sides and the “Humanrace” branding, they make take time to get used to, but for sure they will grow on anyone willing to take the plunge.
That wraps up the best non-athlete shoe collabs we are aware of so far! Speaking of collabs, you should check out the new Drake X Nike collab for his “Certified Lover Boy” album.