Whether you’re looking for comfy kicks or chic heels for work or play, there’s plenty in store for you. Here are a few of my favourite recent footwear collaborations that deserve the spotlight.
Proenza Schouler’s SS20 collection was hands down my favourite NYFW show last year. I love Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez’s way of doing dressed-up – it’s done-up, but never feels like they’re trying too hard. I haven’t owned a pair of Birkenstocks since elementary school, but the sandal shape has been steadfastly referenced in fashion brands for years (old Celine, Isabel Marant, 3.1 Phillip Lim, just to name a few). So when the New York label partnered with the OG sandal brand, it was one of those “could have seen it coming” moments. My pick of the collab? The white Arizona sandal.
I’m a little late to jump on the New Balance bandwagon, I must admit. While it has been a fashion insider favourite, it took me a while to love the dad sneaker. After picking up my first pair and realising it went with just about everything (I’m looking at you, my dove-grey 990s), it has quickly earned a place in the front row of my shoe closet. In NB’s latest collaboration, it has partnered with Staud to create a 12-piece activewear collection, including a 997 in rainbow colour-blocked tones reminiscent of summer in the ’70s.
Converse high-tops have a long history – they were even the official shoe of the NBA (a fact I learned in the recent ESPN/Netflix miniseries The Last Dance). What I love about the Fear of God Essentials collaboration with Converse is that they didn’t try to reinvent the wheel. They kept true to the natural canvas upper but added a leather tongue and long-length laces – a simple, subtle update of the Chuck 70.
I’m not one to chase influencer collaborations, but I can definitely recognise a good one when I see it. Enter Pernille Teisbaek’s partnership with Italian shoe label Gia. Simple sandals in easy-to-wear neutral shades epitomise the Danish influencer’s signature style: effortless and transitional. Those padded leather strappy sandals – can I just #addtocart?
Collaboration for a cause? Look no further than Shanghai Tang’s partnership with local NGO Lifelong Animal Protection Charity (LAP). The label’s best-selling loafers, mules and slip-on sneakers are reworked to depict whimsical kittens – and just tug on my heartstrings. A portion of sales from the partnership this month and next will also be donated to the charity, so why not put your best foot forward and show some support?
There’s something refreshingly upbeat and optimistic in Parisian designer Mira Mikati’s collections, often filled with homespun knits, rainbow beading and just about every colour in the rainbow. You’d expect nothing less from her collaboration from Superga; it’s gonna be the sneaker you’ll want to live in this summer. Wear it with a floral summer mini? Yes. How about jean shorts and a T-shirt? Yes. Add on some tie-dye socks for bonus points.