Raekwon, Packer and Diadora have teamed up again for a special N.9000 that celebrates the 25th anniversary of Only Built 4 Cuban Linx and the 30th anniversary of the N.9000’s retail debut. An apt follow-up to 2015’s N.9000 “Purple Tape,” this new colorway pulls its inspiration from OB4CL‘s memorable cover.
Keen-eyed Diadora fans may notice that the “Only Built 4 Cuban Linx” looks somewhat familiar. This is because when the “Purple Tape” released in 2015, the “Only Built 4 Cuban Linx” was a 1-of-1 unreleased sample given to Raekwon himself, and worn by the artist during the SOB’s performance that followed the “Purple Tape” drop.
Although this 2020 version is not an exact reproduction of the above-mentioned sample, it’s quite close. Uppers start with a black suede mudguard, surrounding a black mesh toebox. A black pony hair overlay rises up from the midsole, peaks at the bottom eyelet and comes crashing back down before heading back across the red perforated leather quarter. The N.9000’s signature midfoot strike is done up in smooth yellow leather, and sits below red suede eyestays.
Throats are built from red mesh, with tongues taking on red ostrich leather and a co-branded tongue tag, done up in black and white to look like a “Parental Advisory” sticker. Heels bring more red suede and leather into the mix, and are completed by a black suede overlay with purple “1995” embroidery. Midsoles use sail, black and red, with purple insoles featuring graphics that nod to Only Built 4 Cuban Linx‘s two sides, purple color and tracklist. A semi-translucent plastic case offers a final touch of detail.
Look for the Raekwon x Packer x Diadora N.9000 “Only Built 4 Cuban Linx” to release via the Packer webstore at 11 AM ET on December 23. The MSRP is set at $250 USD.
Elsewhere in the world of footwear, designer Salehe Bembury has announced he’ll be leaving his position at Versace to seek new opportunities in 2021.