Collaborations are more diverse than they’ve ever been, and this is never more apparent than in the world of sneakers. From fast-food restaurants to historical luxury houses, sneakers have become the go-to package for anyone to mainline their message to the youth. But while many of the more leftfield collaborations fall flat, it’s no surprise that letting a contemporary artist design your kicks is a much safer bet.
With the remit of collaborations growing by the day, the line between artist and designer shrinks. From KAWS to Daniel Arsham, contemporary artists are now creative forces. Whether it’s an Arsham-designed Porsche or a KAWS hot-air balloon, it feels as though we’ve seen it all. You’d think a pair of collaboration sneakers would be a pretty tame project, then. Tame or not, some of the best work we’ve seen in recent years from the art set has come in sneaker form.
Unfortunately, with the quality of contemporary artist sneaker collaborations comes exclusivity. Fear not. If you didn’t manage to bag that pair of Tom Sachs Nikes on release — and we’re betting you didn’t — then eBay is here to save the day. Now offering an Authenticity Guarantee service, you can be sure that your artist-collaboration sneakers from eBay are the real deal, too.
Shop the best contemporary artist sneaker collaborations on eBay below.
The prices listed are our lowest buy-now finds at the time of publishing. They are not exact and may differ.
Nike x Patta
Nike’s relationship with Dutch artist Parra began in 2005 and it’s still going today. For many, the partnership peaked in 2010 when Parra and Nike teamed up with Amsterdam boutique Patta for the Nike Air Max 1 Cherrywood. These burgundy sneakers now fetch a four-figure fee, but they’re grail status for a solid portion of the sneaker community.
Nike x Steve Harrington
Released on Earth Day 2019, Nike’s tapped LA-based artist Steve Harrington for a signature psychedelic-pop update to its classic Cortez. The white sneaker is detailed with Harrington designs to the Swoosh, heel tab, and toe box.
Nike x Tom Sachs
In 2017, Tom Sachs hung up his sculpting tools and connected with Nike on one of recent memory's biggest sneaker hits. The Nike x Tom Sachs Mars Yard 2.0 was made to be worn and comes with a warning: “These shoes are only valid if worn, and worn to death by you. Posers need not apply.” Ironically they now sell for four figures and have become veritable collector’s pieces.
Nike x KAWS
KAWS hit headlines lately after launching a ginormous hot air balloon version of his Companion character in the UK. Back in 2017, though, the artist’s name was most regularly seen in relation to his Nike collaboration. The KAWS x Nike Air Jordan 4 is dressed in beautiful grey suede and features subtle details like a glowing outsole and embroidered signature crosses to the heel.
adidas x Daniel Arsham
2017 was a good year for contemporary artist sneaker collaborations. Also released that year was the Daniel Arsham x adidas Originals New York. Streetwear’s favorite artist dropped a highly understated iteration of the New York silhouette which, under a UV light, revealed “The Past is the Present” text around the sole unit; a concept that typifies Arsham’s anachronistic artworks.
Nike x Stash
Seen by many as the greatest Air Max 95 colorway ever made, the Stash x Nike Air Max 95 makes the most of the silhouette’s layered upper with a gradient display of greys and blues. A speckled midsole continues the blue theme, compounded by the blue air bubbles. This pair released in 2006, making it a rare find nowadays.
Nike x Dave White
British artist and sneaker lover Dave White has collaborated with Nike several times but few pairs have had the same impact as the Dave White x Nike Air Jordan 1 Retro Wings for the Future. Removing the Swoosh for a paint splatter that looks to replace the sense of movement, this pair instantly attracts attention. Elephant overlays to the toe box offer a classic Nike angle to counteract the unusual, Swoosh-less design.
Nike x UNKLE x Futura
Futura has had his fair share of involvement in streetwear and sneakers, but this collaboration ranks with his finest moments in the arena. Alongside UNKLE, the Mo’ Wax-represented hip-hop outfit, Futura produced a Dunk High with an all-time great color palette. The artist’s designs overlay pastel pink, black, and white leather for an understated shoe which begs you to take a closer look.
Nike x Futura
Released in 2004, this pair of Future Nike Dunk Lows are the oldest in this roundup. That means they’re up there with the rarest, too. Blue full-grain leather combines with grey suede and mesh to give this pair a super retro finish which only looks better with time.
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