Yu-Ming Wu: The Global Phenomenon

Yu-Ming Wu Selects the Best Sneaker Collaborations

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Footwear
12,810 Hypes 0 Comments

Much of the meteoric rise of sneaker culture is undeniably credited towards collaborations, for which brands scaled down their scope and teamed up with some of the most legitimate and locally cherished sneaker boutiques, as well as artists. Unlike today, where being part of a curated network of retailers and labels was considered the only prerequisite for the opportunity to color up a sneaker, the earliest unions – generally from 2000-2005 – were the product of organic street credibility and recognition rightfully deserved.

Over the last decade (particularly over the last few years), sneaker collaborations have become a far more common occurrence, but their fiery impact still remains; the major labels in the footwear industry have displayed an impressive touch in both an aesthetic and marketing sense by injecting a “trendy” energy into a revived silhouette, but the one-off projects continue to fuel the pure flame that was responsible for setting the world ablaze for kicks in the first place. At times, the new age of cooperative projects are graded by “who” and not by “what,” but it’s no surprise that the ones universally accepted as the “greatest” are rife with both.

Sneakers are now a global phenomenon, yet its origins can be traced back to the gritty neighborhoods of street culture hotbeds like New York City; it’s where the true enthusiasts and “heads” chased down these indie releases, typically limited in nature, and immediately laced them up to touch sole on pavement. This general blueprint is true for Yu Ming Wu, a pure “sneakerhead” that gathered his knowledge and passion for this cult-like hobby on the brink of the mainstream into a website called SneakerNews.com. Since 2007, Yu Ming and the Sneaker News crew championed the mission of bringing all things footwear to the Internet, feeding inquiring minds and educating them on the rich past, the exciting present, and the promising future. As the most-read sneaker source on the ‘net, Sneaker News has become a pioneering voice in establishing what’s hot and what’s not. Quite frankly, not every release will move the needle like we expect them to, but the luxury of being selective has always been the essence of the enthusiast, hasn’t it?

Here you’ll find 20 of the most awe-inspiring and influential joint efforts of the last decade, so consider this a toast to the next 10 years of unique colorways, materials and storylines that only sneaker collaborations can produce.


The Best Sneaker Collaborations

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Writer
John Kim
Photographer
Jerry Buttles
Illustrator
Antony Mcloughlin

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