Dragon Ball Z's latest lifestyle collaboration with adidas hasn’t been officially announced yet by either party, but the project is already shaping up to be one of the most anticipated of the year. Set to release in batches from August through December 2018, adidas is bringing fan-favorite characters like Gohan, Frieza, and Majin Buu to sneakerheads’ feet.
This definitely isn’t the first time Dragon Ball Z has been the subject of a big streetwear collaboration, as BAPE has tapped the Japanese TV show for more than just one drop, however it is the first time that fans of the anime will see their favorite characters inspire eight different silhouettes that will release alongside limited edition figurines.
With the release still almost eight months away, here are the biggest reasons why adidas x Dragon Ball Z makes sense, and why the project could be described as the perfect collaboration.
More than Boost...
The shoes included in this project are not exactly household names, but we like the fact that adidas is putting some shine on lesser-known models. Only one of the pairs features Boost technology - the Goku-themed ZX 500 RM - which is a slightly refreshing move on adidas's part. Boost adds a premium on the price of any sneaker that features the cushioning technology, which was first pioneered by German chemical firm BASF, and then licensed by the German sportswear brand.
So it makes a lot of sense that the brand with the three stripes would want to highlight some of its under-the-radar pairs through an exclusive, and highly hyped collaboration, where the focus is not technology, but rather storytelling.
Moreover, adidas surely hopes to capitalize later, by offering more widely available, general-release colorways of these same silhouette.
Nostalgia breeds hype...
For many, Dragon Ball Z evokes memories of Saturday morning cartoons, which is quite a powerful appeal to nostalgia. An entire generation grew up on Dragon Ball Z, and that generation now has more disposable income to spend on collaborations like Akira x Supreme or Dragon Ball Z x adidas.
BAPE recently tapped into the nostalgia by creating a Baby Milo collection centered on Dragon Ball Z, which was hugely popular and sold out pretty much everywhere. Now adidas is looking to do the same, and judging by the reactions to the unconfirmed project, many will be looking to get their hands on sneakers from the collection.
Cool by association...
Presenting one large collaborative project allows any potentially less coveted inclusions to be carried on the shoulders of the overall release. For Nike and Vigil Abloh's "The "Ten project, the big-ticket items were arguably the Presto, Blazer and Air Jordan 1, but the accompanying - performance-focused, and slightly more obscure - Nike React Hyperdunk 2017 was also seen in a more favorable light, being included in the pack.
The same applies to the forthcoming DBZ pack, and while the Yung 1 "Frieza" might fly off shelves first, the Kamanda "Majin Buu" might be a good consolation prize.
Five months of releases keeps hype high...
According to leaker accounts on social media, the release schedule for Dragon Ball Z x adidas is set to span almost half a year. August is rumored to see Goku and Frieza’s silhouettes hit shelves, Gohan and Cell’s sneakers will drop in September, while Vegeta and Majin Buu’s follow in November. December then sees the final drop in Shenlong’s EQT MID ADV.
Spreading the releases out in such a manner ensures that both the product and the brand will be in the news consistently, as social media today has essentially hot-wired sneakerheads to be constantly looking forward to the next release.
Dragon Ball Z and sneakers are both super collectible...
By now it should be perfectly clear that sneakers are much more than simply a fashion accessory or a status symbol – in many cases they're also highly collectible, accruing value over time like baseball cards, and becoming sentimental objects in some cases. In many ways, it makes perfect sense to align limited sneakers with a cult television show like Dragon Ball Z.
That - more than anything - is why this collaboration makes so much sense. Each of the sneakers will release alongside a collectible Dragon Ball Z figurine, so the incentive to cop every pair of sneakers, along with the accompanying figurine, is quite high in this case. Collectors will know the pain of missing only one of something in a given set.
Similarly, Dragon Ball Z fans who aren't sneakerheads per se may want to get their hands on the special edition figures, and if copping a shoe in the process is the only way, then so be it.
So many reasons to cop...
Just like sneakerheads love to extol their favorite brand, silhouette, or colorway, Dragon Ball Z fanatics no doubt enjoy re-living their favorite season, episode, villain or hero. Spreading a collaboration across eight silhouettes and characters broadens the appeal substantially, giving everyone a chance to cop their favorite, and roast their friend's choices too. Whether you're are a sucker for the EQT Mid ADV, or have Gohan bedspreads at home, the pack offers something for a wide range of DBZ and adidas fans.
Not only does the pack allow adidas to cast a wider net when looking to attract potential new customers, it allows the brand with the three stripes to build on to this collaboration in the future. If adidas x Dragon Ball Z is successful in 2017, who’s to say there won’t be a second colalboration in 2018, rebooted with fresh silhouettes and characters from the anime?
Stay posted for more information on Dragon Ball Z x adidas as it arrives.
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