Though serial sneaker collaborator JJJJound often drops repeat sneakers with previous partners, you never know if and when more shoes are coming down the pipeline. So let it come as a surprise that JJJJound and BAPE are getting back together in 2023 for another pair of squeaky clean BAPESTAs.
The news of Canadian studio's 2023 BAPE collab — dropping on BAPE's website and JJJJound's web store on January 7 — is more unexpected than the actual design of the sneakers.
It ought to shock no one that JJJJound's latest vision for BAPE's signature BAPESTA shoes is the epitome of basic.
Yep, a navy and white BAPESTA with leather uppers, rope laces, navy logo — you get the picture.
It's a colorway that BAPE has already explored on its own with previous in-line BAPESTA releases but JJJJound's iteration is, as always, just slightly distinct.
Note the metal aglet near the ankle opening, for instance. The quality of the shoes is also, presumably, at least somewhat upgraded, but that's about it. Anyone walking past you on the street will likely assume you're wearing normal BAPESTAs, which is likely what JJJJound prefers.
Not that any of JJJJound's sneakerhead fans will care one way or the other, obviously — these new sneakers will sell just as quickly as the comparably exciting BAPESTAs that JJJJound and BAPE dropped in 2022.
It's funny. Although JJJJound releases plenty of clothing and other bits online, nothing sells nearly as well as its footwear collaborations (expect for the Reebok collab that's currently still available in a full-size run). Just goes to show that JJJJound fans are out for one thing: limited edition shoes.
The accompanying apparel won't hurt, though, and it's not out of character for JJJJound to issue another round of collaborative hoodies, T-shirts, and sweatpants with BAPE to complement the BAPESTAs. This time, following the "A TASTEFUL APE" branding on the first iteration, JJJJound and BAPE have devised a hoodie, T-shirt, and sweatpants printed with "A TIMELESS APE."
2022 was a heavy year for JJJJound's shoes drops, as the company truly embraced its role as collaborative sneaker lynchpin.
JJJJound jjjjoined with everyone from PUMA and New Balance to ASICS and Reebok, each time introducing an ultra-understated, normal pair of shoes that instantly sold out.
And there's presumably still more to come in 2023 beyond even the BAPE collab, if JJJJound's rumored adidas Sambas are to actually see the light of day.