Top Stories of 2017 - Collaborations - Freshness Mag

Top Stories of 2017 - Collaborations

"X" marked the spot in 2017
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Collaborations were everywhere in 2017, whether the creative partners joining arms were individuals, brands or retailers. There were joint efforts that struck a familiar chord, with Jeff Staple revisiting a notorious moment in sneaker lore and Jordan Brand asking us once again to be like Mike. Supreme x Louis Vuitton, meanwhile, moved the needle in a way that can only be described as seismic, permanently smashing boundaries while recalibrating our standards of hype. In between familiarity and revolutionary, there was a mixed bag of co-branded efforts that proved two is always better than one. Continue reading for our top 12 collaborations of 2017, listed in no particular order.

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1. KAWS X AIR JORDAN 4

Brian Donnelly -- aka KAWS -- has something of a Midas touch when it comes to collaborations, so it's no surprise that his take on the Air Jordan 4 was one of the most hyped sneakers of the year. What was surprising was the understated nature of the design, featuring subtle tonal designs on an all-suede upper. For fans, the hardest choice was deciding on the grey or black colorway.

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2. PHARRELL X ADIDAS ORIGINALS HU NMD TR

Pharrell continued to work with the Three Stripes in 2017, launching a new trail-ready version of his immensely popular Hu NMD. Boasting the same the Primeknit upper and BOOST midsole as its predecessor, the Hu NMD TR featured new sawtooth tooling for extra grip, bringing an added dose of style to the great outdoors.

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3. SUPREME X LOUIS VUITTON

An article in the March 1995 issue of Vogue expertly drew parallels between Supreme and Chanel, noting the way obsessive customers exalted the logo-heavy products of their respective brands. In 2017, Supreme and Louis Vuitton put out a massive collection that made good on the promise of that legendary Vogue piece. Men's style would never be the same.

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4. Sean Wotherspoon x Nike Air Max 1/97 

One of the most in-demand Nike Air Max sneakers in 2017 grew out of a popular vote from the Swoosh's "Vote Forward" campaign for Air Max Day. But while the fans made the shoe possible, ultimate credit goes to Sean Wotherspoon, who envisioned a multi-colored corduroy upper for his Air Max 1/97 hybrid.

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5. Gatorade x Jordan "Like Mike" Collection

Back in 1991, Gatorade launched an iconic advertising campaign marked by an earworm of a jingle that exhorted the public to "be like Mike." A quarter-century later, Jordan Brand revisited the vintage ad with an official Gatorade collaboration, featuring apparel and various Air Jordan models finished in the bright, unnatural colors of everyone's favorite sports drink. 

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6. Tyler, the Creator x Converse One Star "Golf Le Fleur"

2017 saw Tyler, the Creator jump ship from Vans to Converse, automatically bringing a certain cache to the brand's One Star silhouette. Tyler brought his inimitable style to the partnership, reimagining the retro model with pastel shades and "Golf Le Fleur" graphics. The positive fan response could be measured by how quickly the releases sold out.

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7. Staple x Nike SB Dunk "Black Pigeon" 

In a nod to the glory days, when Nike SB releases could inspire riots, the Swoosh teamed up once again with Jeff Staple to launch the "Black Pigeon" Dunk. A sequel of sorts to their infamous 2005 collaboration, this year's model rolled out in a more orderly fashion than its predecessor.

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8. Junya Watanabe MAN x The North Face

For Fall/Winter 2017, Junya Watanabe's ongoing partnership with The North Face featured a deconstruction of the latter's indestructible Base Camp Duffel Bags, with the materials repurposed into functional garments. In addition to parkas and a baseball jacket, the inventive collection featured a plaid shirt incorporating a chest panel made with yellow PVC resin. 

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9. Virgil Abloh x Air Jordan 1

It takes a certain vision to overhaul an iconic design like the Air Jordan 1. Fortunately, OFF-WHITE mastermind Virgil Abloh was up to the task. He started with a deconstructed build, adding signature touches like a red plastic zip tie and printed text bracketed by quotation marks. The result was arguably the hottest sneaker of the year, proving the Air Jordan 1 silhouette is the ultimate artist's canvas.

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10. Chanel x Pharrell x adidas Originals Hu NMD

Pharrell teamed up with Chanel to give colette the ultimate sendoff. Limited to just 500 pairs, the Chanel x Pharrell x adidas Originals was sold to lucky customers through an online raffle system, complete with a court bailiff monitoring the proceedings. Considering the exorbitant resale prices, the cautionary measures were probably warranted.

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11. CLOT x Nike Air VaporMax

In keeping with its signature aesthetic, CLOT updated the Nike Air VaporMax with an all-red makeover. The resulting design was simple both simple and pure, but sure to turn heads all the same.

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12. Nike SB Dunk High Pro "Momofuku"

It definitely wasn't a case of too many cooks in the kitchen when renowned chef David Chang and Nike SB combined ingredients to produce the Dunk High Pro "Momofuku." Built with a black denim upper adorned with lucky peach embroidery, the kicks were unique, but so was they were sold, using augmented reality through Nike's NSKRS app.