If you missed it, Kim Jones has released another sneaker and apparel collection with Nike. It's a relationship that goes way back, with the incumbent Dior chief first putting his name to a Swoosh collection in 2016. But why, we must ask, are these collabs always really bad?
All things considered, Jones — an actual tailoring master — is one of the best designers on the planet. There are so many phoneys out there, but Jones "gets" sportswear, a vital part of UK subculture since forever.
Having first collaborated with Umbro way back in 2008, he has always been adept at bringing worlds together. Scratch beneath the surface of his collections, even his work at Louis Vuitton, and you'll find a reference to sportswear of some kind (for the spring 2016 collection he turned the idea of tracksuits into the most beautiful Japanese-indebted formalwear you've ever seen). In fact, if fashion water cooler heresy is to be believed, it was Jones who helped broker Umbro's collaboration with Supreme back in 2005 — which would eventually sow the seeds for the monumental Louis Vuitton x Supreme collaboration some 12 years later. He's a master at the craft; a fellow that sees couture as streetwear.
So why, then, does no one want to buy his Nike stuff? As of writing, the entire collaboration can still be shopped on the SNKRS app, which is an indictment in and of itself. Jones is (arguably) the hottest designer in the world — in an age where designers are basically the new rock stars — and he has released a new sneaker with the sportswear GOAT, yet no one wants it. How crazy is that?
Jones might not have the persona of a Virgil or perhaps even a Matthew Williams, but there's something wild that, in this NFT age of obsessive ownership, these AM95s are left gathering dust. Is it because they look bad? Perhaps. But it's also because they're just lazy as hell. There's an accompanying apparel collection, which looks like the type of gear you'd be greeted with when walking into your local JD Sports. It's indecipherable from mainline Nike basics.
That these collections get no publicity roll out is perhaps telling in itself. The idea that kids will buy anything with a name attached has always been a massive misconception, not least when a brand can't even be arsed to even showcase their product properly (the best look at the shoe comes from a Jurgen Teller shot image which, while du jour, is not how you want to showcase your product). Do we honestly believe that Jones — the guy who brought us a Judy Blame Dior collection and has been seen partying in an actual Picasso shirt (!) — would sign off on rubbish that some pre-teen kid would balk at wearing?
But if we're being honest, Jones's namesake work with Nike has always been lackluster. It feels utterly boring when we all know just how exciting a designer he can be. In that sense, it's perhaps Nike that is at fault for not utilizing its talent, like they did when they rinsed their Riccardo Tisci collaboration. Or when — to look further than Beaverton — a new Eastpak collection comes out with the same Raf Simons backpack for the thousandth time. Or when Dr Martens drops a Rick Owens shoe that isn't Rick at all.
Who are these things for? We know these guys need to get paid, but any coolness is undermined by an innate pointlessness. Not to mention that brands like these preach the message of "sustainability" and "Move to Zero" yet continue to churn this stuff out for nobody at all.
In this trash Kim Jones x Nike collection, we have to wonder how much say Jones even had — this is the guy who brought Stüssy to Dior; who brought Supreme to the offensively white conservatism of Louis Vuitton! We should be hyped for that beyond belief for a Nike collab, but instead, we're left wondering: What's the point?