Nike and Stüssy bring back their first sneaker collaboration of 2000
The history of Stüssy’s collaboration dates back to 2000, when it released two versions of the Air Huarache exclusively at its flagship London store. The formula was simple compared to today’s collaborative landscape: apply new color combinations to the comfortable and lightweight running sneaker.
Stüssy went for a tone-on-tone brown that would repeat over Dunk High a year later, as well as muted yellow and green makeup. There were no Stüssy logos or design changes, just clean color schemes as envisioned by Michael Kopelman, an original member of the Stüssy tribe. It was not only Stüssy’s first Nike collaboration, but also Nike’s first of the new millennium.
These Air Huaraches from the early days of sneaker collaborations are set to return, as seen in Stüssy’s spring / summer collection lookbook. It appears that Stüssy performs the kicks as is, with no visible deviations 21 years later. They’re a far cry from what Stüssy does today – just look at the Air Force 1s in hemp and subsequent hand-dyed versions as an example – but they offer a chance to dig deep into sneaker history. and appreciate one of the hardest to find Stüssy sneakers.
La Huarache has changed the game – Originally released in 1991, the Air Huarache was designed by the legendary Tinker Hatfield. The Swoosh took precedence over visible technology, which included a neoprene upper pulled from water skiing.
A trial of the shoes were sold at the New York Marathon, and enough runners picked them up for Nike to make a proper outing. One of the advertising campaigns included the slogan “Did you hug your foot today?” – emphasizing a slim fit that was new long before Flyknit became mainstream in Nike sneakers. The combination of lycra and neoprene would help make the Air Huarache one of Nike’s most influential sneakers.
Many Huarache models released between the debut of Air Huarache and the Stüssy collaboration, including several silhouettes designed for basketball. When Nike first launched the seminal streetwear brand to collaborate for the first time, Kopelman was allowed to choose his favorite running shoe to remix – and it was the nine-year-old Air Huarache he chose.
When is Stüssy coming back – According to Sneakernews, the “Desert Oak” Air Huarache is slated for release on February 12, while the release date of the “Dark Olive” has yet to be determined. If Nike and Stüssy stick to their usual formula, you’ll have two chances at shoes with separate release dates on both parties’ respective platforms.
Getting Stüssy’s re-released Air Huarache still won’t be easy, but you’ll have a much better chance than trying to track down one of the originals.