BLACK COMME des GARÇONS, the quiet CdG sub-label focused on wearable basics, has a not-so-subtle secret: it's best friends with Nike. Of all the brands operating underneath the COMME des GARÇONS umbrella, BLACK CdG has perhaps the closest (and maybe least marketable relationship with The Swoosh).
Whenever BLACK CdG drops a collaborative Nike sneaker, for instance, it usually remixes an ultra-simple silhouette by painting it, well, black and adding some "CdG" branding.
Revolutionary stuff, this ain't. But, then again, that's par for the course with BLACK CdG.
Launched in 2009 — with the idea born in 2008 out of the global financial depression — as part of Universal Utility founder Carin Mansfield's partnership with COMME des GARÇONS founder Rei Kawakubo, BLACK COMME des GARÇONS was evolved out of the Edited Black Project, an experiment in monochrome utilitarianism.
Nowadays, BLACK COMME des GARÇONS operates more as a diffusion line, offering customers classic COMME des GARÇONS shapes and fabrications at more accessible price points.
All of the CdG signatures are here, including shrunken blazers, hole-y knitwear, extreme drop-crotch trousers, and workwear overalls, nearly all of which is rendered in Kawakubo's preferred boiled polyester and wool.
BLACK CdG is perfect example of how distinct the COMME des GARÇONS brand is, that even an "approachable" clothing line is defined by advanced silhouettes, unconventional textiles, and an uncompromisingly neutral-toned palette.
Likewise, BLACK CdG's Nike collaborations are inherently less flashy than those masterminded by the mainline COMME des GARÇONS HOMME PLUS collection and slightly more dynamic than the all-purpose CdG Play Converse.
Given Kawakubo's personal insistence on sneakers over heels, COMME des GARÇONS and Nike make perfect sense as a pair. And given the far reaches of the CdG company, its Nike team-ups might as well be comparably distinct.
BLACK CdG is unique in that unlike most other COMME des GARÇONS imprints, it also works with Nike on collaborative clothing. Like its footwear collabs, BLACK CdG favors old-school stuff.
Its sneakers are usually quite classic and its Nike T-shirts are as well.
Witness the retro-looking text prints that grace BLACK CdG's surprise Summer 2022 Nike collab, mixing typically emotive CdG motifs about "Love" and "Heart" with tonal Nike Swooshes across shirts and even some tote bags. The collection will be available on August 26 at COMME des GARÇONS stores, likely exclusive to Japan.
It ain't fancy, but neither is BLACK COMME des GARÇONS.