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Mizuno's Hiroshi Nagai sneaker collab is literally a work of art. That's a pretty cliché descriptor for anything co-signed by an artist, I know, but come on! This time, it's true!

This three-piece shoe release, which launched towards the end of March in Japan, is worth discussing if only to celebrate the canniness with which Mizuno translated Nagai's starkly lush artworks to a trio of sneakers.

Great stuff here, of which the particular highlight is a Mizuno Wave Prophecy LS sneaker saturated with pastel tones inspired by one of Nagai's many Hockney-like paintings of pools.

The resulting shoe is both tremendously wearable and quietly flex-worthy, a tasteful blend of hues that itself is quite artsy.

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Nagai's other Mizuno sneakers are also appreciably handsome but this one is the obvious standout.

A Wave Rider Beta inverts the tones of the beige-y shoe, wearing blue up top and tan below. The other sneaker, a Mizuno Wave Mujin TL, is comparatively tame, dressed in black (no Johnny Cash) and dappled with some sandy shades near the sockliner.

Even still, it's a delectable lineup deserving of (admittedly belated) praise, and still widely available on Mizuno's website.

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Mizuno is one of the less-hype sportswear giants occupying the contemporary sneaker space though it's more than capable of bangers.

I'm not so into the more conventional Mizuno models, honestly, the Contenders and RB87s and such.

Instead, I love when Mizuno goes wild.

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Its Prophecy Moc is one of sneakerdom's most baffling designs, debuted two decades ahead of its time and only recently revived, while its collaborative laceless styles are simply too slick for mainstream acceptance.

Shame that even the more broadly agreeable Mizuno shoes are somewhat tough to come by, often limited to Japan-only releases and exclusive collaborations.

At least the Nagai team-up saw wider release.

Nagai, of course, is a nearly 80-year-old illustrator whose art graced seminal city pop-era albums — that is, music produced during a period in the '70s and '80s where Japanese pop all sounded like elevated, polished mall music (and I mean that as a compliment).

Recent compilations of city pop music appropriately tapped Nagai for new covers, such is his legacy.

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The man clearly deserves more sneaker collabs, too, going off how strong these shoes are.

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If the folks in charge of okaying sneaker colorways entered their own city pop era, you wouldn't hear me complaining.

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