December 2, 2022

Best Collabs of 2022

Elhadji Mare

Elhadji Is a Content Manager and Copywriter @ StockX

This year was full of collaboration suprises from brands like Nike, ASICS, and Supreme. Check out which pieces caught our attention and what's most deserving of being crowned Best Collab of 2022.

This year was full of collaboration suprises from brands like Nike, ASICS, and Supreme. Check out which pieces caught our attention and what's most deserving of being crowned Best Collab of 2022.

Another year down, another set of collaborations that stole the show. Every year, we come to expect top brands like Nike and Jordan to deliver noteworthy products when partnering with their key talent. But this year, brands like ASICS, The North Face, and Crocs, who some might consider underdogs, also made their seats at the table and brought out hype-worthy products that were hard to ignore. Check out the colorways and silhouettes that caught our attention this year. Did your favorites make the cut?

ASICS Gel-Kayano 14 JJJJound Silver Black & Silver White

The beauty of collaborations is that partners get to showcase their brand’s ethos in ways that they see fit. Most tend to move toward the more avant-garde, like the recent Nike Flea 1 by Cactus Plant Flea Market. But for Montreal designer and original mood board specialist, Justin Saunders (AKA JJJJound), less is more. This year, JJJJound dropped their highly anticipated debut collaboration with ASICS in typical, basic JJJJound fashion. The sneaker could almost be mistaken for a general release with its straightforward white, beige, chrome, and black colorway, inspiring memories of the shoes your dad used to wear to Costco. But the basic nature of the sneaker and its association with a top designer within streetwear makes it one of the better kicks to drop in 2022. It’s versatile, stylish, understated, and let’s not forget comfortable thanks to ASICS Gel cushioning.

Nike Air Force 1 Low Off-White Brooklyn

The late, great Virgil Abloh was a titan of the fashion world, and his work with Nike was some of his most iconic. The Nike Air Force 1 Off-White Brooklyn Museum is a sneaker that pays homage to one of Abloh’s most famous works – the “Figures of Speech” exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum. In a similar vein to his past AF1 collabs that accompanied his exhibition featured in Boston’s ICA and Chicago’s MCA, this Nike Air Force 1 Off-White Brooklyn Museum has an entirely light green colorway from the upper to the outsole. A silver metallic Swoosh on the upper adds a contrast to the sneaker while deconstructed elements, such as the exposed tongue and zig-zag stitching on the Swoosh bring that classic Off-White aesthetic that has become familiar to most sneakerheads.

Air Jordan 4 A Ma Maniére Violet Ore

Ever since their debut Jordan collaboration in 2021, Atlanta-based boutique A Ma Maniére has found a way to bring luxe design to every project they touch, and their most recent release is no different. Alongside their Jordan 2 collaboration, this year, AMM dropped an exclusive Air Jordan 4 in November and continued building on their successful run of Jordans. The sneaker has been one of the more hyped-up releases of the year, as it delivers plush details that don’t commonly make their way to the Jordan 4. Violet Ore suede makes up the majority of the sneaker, with quilted satin on the collar, tongue, and insole of this Jordan 4 adding luxurious details to the sneaker.

 

New Balance 990v3 JJJJound

New Balance continues being a powerhouse within the collaborative space, bringing in some notable projects with prolific designers and brands like Aimé Leon Dore and Joe Freshgoods. JJJJound is another big name within their roster and they delivered a slew of new 990v3 colorways. Just like JJJJound’s work with ASICS, each 990v3 sneaker is done in practical colorways that can be worn with just about anything, while still maintaining their hype factor.

The North Face x KAWS

The North Face has found a way to align itself with the likes of many streetwear and pop cultural icons (i.e. Supreme, Palace, Gucci) and their 2022 collaboration with KAWS (AKA Brian Donnelly) is another successful move towards that space. The original collaboration was a surprise to many and happened without much warning or PR. Early this year, on January 4th, Donnelly posted a picture on his Instagram of a few The North Face jackets printed with some of his quintessential “XX”s and vibrant colors. Shortly after, images of the entire collection started to populate and fans were able to see a plethora of colors and garments that the collab produced. A mixture of gloves, pants, down jackets, windbreakers, and fleeces were all graced with KAWS’ signature style, making anyone who wears it a walking piece of art.

NikeCraft General Purpose Shoe Brown & Dark Sulfur

Tom Sachs and Nike have been partnering since 2012, when Sachs first introduced his Mars Yard sneaker to the world. The original shoe was made in extremely limited quantities and was praised for its unique look and concept. In an instant, the Nike Mars Yard made Tom Sachs a household name for most sneakerheads and labeled anything that he’s touched since an instant cop. This year, Sachs and Nike brought in a new concept for their 2022 collaboration, the NikeCraft General Purpose Shoe. Honing in on the idea that all shoes are merely tools for life, the sneaker takes a very practical approach. Its durable knitted upper and rugged outsole make this sneaker a great companion for both of life’s most mundane or adventurous moments. While its association with artist and designer Tom Sachs add to the sneaker’s allure.

Supreme Box Logo Burberry White & Black

This year, Supreme partnered with luxury brand Burberry and introduced a slew of products, including their Burberry Check pattern-Box Logo. Thanks to pioneers like Virgil Abloh and Kim Jones, streetwear brands entering the luxury space is nothing new, especially for Supreme, as the brand worked with Louis Vuitton back in 2017. This latest collection adds to Supreme’s lineage of partnerships and also helps make rumors of other luxury collabs in the new year seem like a possibility.

Crocs Pollex Clogs by Salehe Bembury

Even though designer and former VP of sneakers for Versace, Salehe Bemebury released his first Crocs collaboration in 2021, it was in 2022 that colorways for the Pollex Clogs picked up. This year saw seven new colorways from their partnership come to life, with each still maintaining the silhouette’s fingerprint theme. The Crocs Pollex Clog by Salehe Bembury takes the traditional Clog that we all associate with nurses and stay-at-home dads and bring a new, and fashionable approach to the shoe, making it a standout for the year.

Nike Flea 1 Cactus Plant Flea Market Overgrown Forest Green

Remember when we said earlier that collaborations can be either very subtle or completely obscure? This isn’t a JJJJound shoe, that’s for sure. The Nike Flea 1 is certainly unlike anything that the Swoosh has ever put out and can only be the brainchild of Cactus Plant Flea Market. CPFM is known for their extraordinary sneaker collaborations with Nike, as the two brands put giant rhinestones on a Dunk, large AIR lettering on an AF1, and now, Grinch-like fur on a new silhouette. Alongside its green exterior, the Nike Flea 1 CPFM Overgrown Forest Green features a dirt-like extended rubber midsole, giving the look of a sneaker that just stepped in mud. A mini Nike swoosh on the shoe’s medial side adds the finishing touches to this extremely different-looking shoe. For its unique look alone, this Nike Flea 1 makes it a top collaboration of the year.

Swatch x Omega Bioceramic Moonswatch

This year came with a bunch of surprises when it comes to collaborations. Whether it was Palace teaming up with Gucci, or G-Shock partnering with both The North Face and Supreme, 2022 was filled with unexpected projects. One of the most unpredictable collabs to occur was between Swatch and Omega on the introduction of a new iteration of the Speedmaster. The Omega Speedmaster, also nicknamed the Moonwatch for it being the first timepiece worn to the moon, is one of the brand’s most iconic models to ever drop. Based on its status within the watch world, the watch comes with a pretty hefty price tag for most, with Moonwatches going for around $5K on the secondary market. But this year birthed a more obtainable version of the notable watch, thanks to this collaboration. The Swatch x Omega Bioceramic Moonswatch is constructed from a bioceramic case and velcro strap and has many of the same features that watch fans have grown to love on the original Moonswatch. Now fans of the original can get a very similar look alike at a significantly cheaper price, and can also get it in a variety of colors that better suit their style.