HUMMEL HIVE x BLACKRAINBOW MARATHONA DROP

Hummel Hive went back to the roots of streetwear in its most recent collaboration with Blackrainbow Agency. The duo released a limited-edition collection sneaker yesterday highlighting a revamped and bold design on its tried and true silhouette, the Marathona.

When discussing the inspiration behind the sneaker, Blackrainbow cofounder Greg Hervieux said, “The idea was to go back to the late ’80s and the early ’90s – back to the source of streetwear, to a graphic look and to a time when colors were bright and dare-full as opposed to the more cautious palettes of today. It made sense to take an iconic shoe and return to the roots and the meaning of streetwear – but still make it contemporary.

They certainly did just that. Boasting a color palette of black, grey, and electric neon pink, the design resonates with the era of bright and funky colors and patterns. The black and grey area is a reflective material and the shoe comes with three alternative lace options. The repeated dot design on the heel counter and toe cap is mirrored in the pink laces.

The HML x BKRW shoe released yesterday, April 19th, and is retailing for $150 USD. A Blackrainbow and Hummel Hive hoodie accompanied the release and both items can be picked up at hummel.net or shop.blackrainbowagency. Only 300 pairs were released so act fast if you need a pair in your collection!

IMPERFECTLY PERFECT A WANG X ADIDAS ORIGINALS BBALL SHOE

When it comes to soccer lifestyle shoes, adidas just seems to always be the subject of conversation. From the outstanding Gosha Rubchinskiy Copa Primeknit to the recent release of the Samba Primeknit, the three stripes are definitely on a path to being the unquestionable standard-bearer in this category. Simply one look at the adidas website or any sneaker boutique carrying the brand is sufficient to prove that at least the Samba Primeknit has already been well received within a matter of weeks, meaning the shoe is becoming increasingly harder to find. Though the same cannot be said for the Gosha release – its high price did make its availability a little alienating – the success of the Samba does reveal the essence behind this revitalization we’re seeing from adidas.

It might be easy to assume that the brand should just simply give all its silhouettes a Primeknit makeover for guaranteed success. However, this week’s Alexander Wang x adidas Originals BBall shoe proves that the real winning formula for the three stripes is a bit more complex than the Primeknit formula, though surprisingly not completely novel. Long time followers of KTTP might cite the precedent set by the Shoe Surgeon’s custom set of Copa Mundial’s for Copa Basel. At that time, the Shoe Surgeon had reimagined one of adidas’ most classic soccer silhouettes by transposing its upper on to the sole of a D Rose 7. Alexander Wang’s latest effort is not much different as the designer has followed much of those same tenets to give us another adidas release that should have everyone equally excited.

I am not saying that Alexander Wang has intentionally or unintentionally piggybacked a winning concept and therefore offers nothing original. On the contrary, I commend the designer as his latest soccer-inspired BBall shoe strikes at the core of what people really want from a soccer lifestyle shoe. It is not simply just a Primeknit makeover or a mashup of differing soles and uppers. No, the real answer as to why these past releases and this upcoming offering from Wang will resonate with people is because they offer something new while still being something recognizably adidas.

For a while, I had felt adidas had lost its grasp on this. Either they offered something too classic or something too modern, but never that perfect balance between the two. Alexander Wang finds that balance as the designer has managed to make something so familiar still so intriguing. For this, he has kept the general shape and features of the Copa Mundial but has added his own signature aesthetic. Proving yet again the versatility of this model, Wang has given the shoe a suede makeover along with an upside-down tongue tab, and an upside-down adidas trefoil on the heel tab. He has not done anything completely revolutionary, but rather realized that the pieces were already there and needed only to be literally reworked.

The irony of all this is that we overlook all the imperfections Wang has made so deliberately apparent both in these shoes and the rest of his collection. Instead, he has made something inherently imperfect seem now so undeniably perfect. I am sure many of you will see this the same way so remember to grab yourself a pair of these when they drop on adidas.com on April 21st.

Images via Highsnobiety.

ANIMAL PRINT STEPS OUT OF THE JUNGLE AND ON TO THE PITCH

For anyone that calls themselves a sneakerhead… in fact, most that are even remotely into sneaker culture will have seen at the very least one footwear iteration that boasts Nike‘s synonymous animal-inspired patterns & prints, be it from an Animal Pack or a Safari drop. The soccer realm, however, has finally received its long awaited follow up, Mercurial CR7 Safari being the first, into the animal kingdom – despite the amount of flash out on the market – thanks to renown fashion designer and director Kim Jones‘ efforts with Nike’s Mercurial Superfly 360. Cast in a blazing “Total Orange,” the boots’ upper brought on an all-over display of Cheetah-print, which in our opinion puts this design miles ahead of the game.

Now, you may be wondering why the ex-men’s artistic director at Louis Vuitton and the now current artistic director at Dior Homme is adopting the pattern of a cheetah onto not just a shoe, but a soccer boot at that. The reason behind the design is refreshingly straightforward. “I grew up in Africa and have always admired the strength of animals. The cheetah is the fastest land animal, so it makes complete sense as an inspiration for me,” the designer tells Nike News. Jones is not the only one who within the past month has decided to put their creative touch on a soccer boot.

We of course have Virgil Abloh – who coincidentally took over Jones’ role at LV if for some strange reason you haven’t heard that news already – and his Off-White take on yet another Nike Mercurial: the Vapor 360s. However, his design has the people divided, with one side approving of the Off-White stamp, and the other questioning the authenticity of his involvement in the game. In Kim Jones’ case, there’s no statement given by the man that makes it sound like he’s a soccer head, but rather a nonchalant (and perhaps more believable) mention that he likes the sport. The focus of his shoe then lies on the purpose of the design and its aforementioned link back to Jones’ upbringing in Kenya and Botswana.

For us at Kicks to the Pitch, the Nike Mercurial Superfly 360 x Kim Jones boot falls exactly into our niche category of lifestyle and soccer, given the brand heritage of animal print, and how the Mercurials also followed the release of Nike’s Air Max 1 collaboration with Japanese sneaker and streetwear imprint Atmos. While animals patterns have been a recurring theme for not just Nike, but within the sneaker realm as a whole – think Vans, Supreme, Stussy, adidas, Jordan Brand, Reebok… the list goes on – Nike is without a doubt the head of the pack when it comes to tapping into the animal kingdom’s artwork. In fact, Nike and Atmos together have played a big role in imbuing the sneaker landscape with unmatched efforts in animal print; a case in point being the 2007 Atmos x Nike Air Max 1, Dunk & Court Force “Beast Pack.”

The recent release of the Atmos x Nike “Animal Pack,” however, which features the fur from the Leopard, Tiger, Zebra, Giraffe, and Horse, takes the whole animal print game to the next level. The combination of all five animals comes from the mind of Atmos’ creative director Hirofumi Kojima, and represents yet another example of when Nike trusts an outside creative to run with their wild ideas. Another example of that being Nike’s “What the” Dunks, and more recently the “What The” Mercurials. With the animal print – and the “What The” design for that matter – having expanded outside of lifestyle and into soccer territory, who knows what else we may be seeing in the near future, especially since the sport of soccer is really starting to make its way into more facets of both the mainstream and niche creative industries. Let’s just hope we get to see more authenticity within what’s to come as opposed to bandwagon jumping.

Nike Mercurial Superfly 360 x Kim Jones images by Richard Gordon

NEW BALANCE RELEASES HOMAGE TO ICONIC “MADE 990”

New Balance‘s MADE 990 silhouette has remained a benchmark for quality, craftsmanship and performance for the sportswear company since its debut over three decades ago now. First introduced back in 1982, the runner disrupted the athletic footwear market with its $100 USD price tag that boasted unmatched innovation at its time, despite its understated look. While we know the ’80s to be a very vibrant era, NB instead opted for a nondescript grey for its pigskin leather and mesh upper. The shoe has since received several iterations in colorway and construction, however 36 years from its inception, NB harks back to its original form for its 2018 version.

In true homage form, the MADE 990, now dubbed the New Balance MADE 990v4 “1982” in its latest rendition, makes a come back in its original grey, with added navy accents to create what can now exclusively be called the “1982” colorway. To continue its tribute, the shoe’s upper cremains constructed in premium grey suede and mesh, and to top it off, they’ll retail for its original price tag of $100 USD. However times have of course changed, so without being stuck with two feet in the past, the runner comes with updated technical improvements and modernized details, namely the navy tongue logo, the classic “N” logo in a navy boarder, and the “EST. 1982” nod on the heel counter.

As mentioned, the new release comes in a very limited quantity of only 1,500 pairs, and will be sold at a curated selection of locations the world over – with the North America spots listed below. Have a look at the New Balance MADE 990v4 “1982” in all its OG glory with the images throughout, then be sure to stop by a location near you come April 14 to get yourself an inevitably legendary pair.

– New York City, NY – New Balance, 150 5th Ave
– Atlanta, GA – Foot Locker, Greenbriar Pkwy SW
– Palo Alto, CA – Shoe Palace, 451 University Ave
– Philadelphia, PA – Kicks USA, Roosevelt Mall, 2339 Cottman Ave
– ​San Francisco, CA – New Balance, 856 Market St
– Washington, D.C. – YCMC, 1060 Brentwood Rd NE
– Windsor Mill, MD – YCMC, Security Mall, 6901 Security Blvd

“MUJERES” BY ARTIST RICARDO ANDRÉS VERDESOTO RUGEL

Over the weekend in Jackson Heights, Queens, local artist Ricardo Andres Verdesoto Rugel collaborated with Queenscapes, a community-based organization responsible for creating photography programs within the city for a two day pop up. On display was Rugel’s exhibit entitled “Mujeres,” a series of photographs that looks to showcase women wearing soccer kits as a means to dispel the notion that soccer is strictly a sport for men.

“Fútbol is known worldwide to be predominantly considered a “man’s sport,” but in my eyes, there hasn’t been enough attention brought to the women who are fans of the game – especially underrepresented minority women. Mujeres emphasizes on showcasing soccer jerseys as day-to-day lifestyle essentials, from the die-hard fans to the casual fans to wear. I want to influence change and rewrite the way we think about who the fans of the game are. It has become a movement, embracing female empowerment in diversity.” – Andres Ricardo Verdestoo Rugel

The photos from the exhibit were displayed at the Arepa Lady restaurant in Jackson Heights, Queens, where 50% of all photo proceeds were donated to Voces Latinos, a locally based non-profit organization that provides preventative and intervention services for everything from domestic violence to HIV/Aids. For more on the “Mujeres” photo series, make sure to check out ravr.nyc

CUSTOM PSG NIKE MAYFLY WOVEN by 3R

Following up the custom PSG x Shoe Gallery Nike Air Max 90 Red Ribbon Recon is at it again. This time limited to 11 pairs, the Nike Mayfly Woven gets a brilliant PSG treatment. Predominantly navy blue, the shoes accents are compromised of yellow straight from the limited edition away kit created for the Parasian Club. The custom kicks are highly limited as mentioned and they are exclusively available at Shoe Gallery Miami. For more on the PSG pop-up space in Miami keep it locked an make sure to check out the custom kicks below.

For more Red Ribbon Recon go HERE     

KITS & KICKS: BARCELONA AWAY & LUNAR MAGISTA II FLYKNIT

We keep it moving with our Kits & Kicks feature. The purpose? To explore some off-pitch vibes for the latest footy gear. We’ve overstated it and by now it’s obvious, soccer fashion …is in fashion. As we stand knee-deep in summer radiance, in the middle of tours from some world soccers best we’d like to offer a poolside exposé.

Barca’s latest away kit offers team nostalgia perfect for your summer needs. We pair the ‘Vivid Blue’ strip with that crispy new Nike Lunar Magista II Flyknit. The white, black sole and dash of vibrant pink offer a clean flare to clean up any summer fit. Both kit and kicks aravailable now via in store at any Nike’s Sports and at Nikys-sports.com

 

PSG X SHOE GALLERY AIR MAX 90 BY 3R

The ICC is back in full effect which means we’ve teamed up our family at PSG for another pop-up stateside. After a successful event last year in Los Angeles, we take it to Miami for another pop-up with a bit more fire than its predecessor. While there are several unique and one of a kind collaborative pieces, today we take a look at the custom Nike Air Max 90 PSG by Red Ribbon Recon.

The custom shoe is dominated in that iconic PSG Navy. It features a metallic red chevron design that emulates the new PSG 2017/18 home kit, a pearlescent lamb skin swoosh along with custom PSG badging on the tongue and heel.

“Working with an iconic soccer brand like PSG has been a true privilege and honor. Their willingness to trust me to tell the story of their club through a pair of sneakers is something I greatly appreciate and didn’t take lightly. Seeing the new home jersey with the non-traditional chevron center stripe was something I really liked and wanted to incorporate into the design so I used that element as a main focal point on the mudguards of the Air Max 90. I also wanted to use logos from different eras, specifically from when the Air Max was first released to its modern day crest so I applied those to the tongues and heel pieces. Also, to give the kicks a touch of luxury, the swooshes were changed to a white lamb skin. Lastly, each pair of kicks are outfitted with 3M reflective laces which are inspired by Paris being the “City of Lights.” -Jester aka Red Ribbon Recon. 

The custom Nike Air Max 90 PSG by Red Ribbon Recon are limited to only 24 pairs and available exclusively in store at Shoe Gallery

KITH X COCA COLA X CONVERSE CHUCK TAYLOR

After finishing off last year with a Coca Cola collection, KITH is ready to reconvene for another collab only this time with Converse added to the mix. Today, courtesy of @s.sam. group Instagram account, we take a look at the collaborative Chuck Taylors. The classic all white Chucks are given intricate and subtle red accents courtesy of a KITH top on near the outside of the toe-box and beautifully stitched Coca Cola branding wraps each side of the upper. Another thing to note is the green sole which adds a nice bit of contrast to the well-exerted shoe.

As of right now, there is no release date on the kicks, but keep it locked for more details coming soon.  

CLOT X NIKE AIR VAPORMAX FLYKNIT

Set to drop next week, the CLOT x Nike Air VaporMax Flyknit is dropping jaws. The all red kicks employ subtle details with co-branding on the tongue and heel along with the words “Vapor” on the air bubble. Minimal black accents com via flawier on the upper as well as the laces. As with many all red silos the collars will be heavily sought after and likely to sell out quickly.

The CLOT x Nike Air Vapor Max Flyknit will be available June 29th at select retailers like Juice and online at clot.com

Images courtesy of OVERKILL