When two major fashion icons collaborate, there’s always fantastic ideas and pieces to be born from it. When Nike collaborated with Sacai, fans of both brands went crazy and were super excited to get their hands on the shoes that were developed. The Nike Sacai collaboration has truly created unique pieces in the fashion industry, and there’s bound to be a sneaker for everyone to enjoy.
To gain a better appreciation for this legendary collab, we’ll dive into a spotlight about the highly influential Sacai brand, the inspiration behind this collaboration, distinctive features that make Nike x Sacai sneakers unique, all the different sneakers in the collaboration, and the best places where you can buy a pair of your own iconic sneakers.
- A Sacai Spotlight
- Inspiration Behind The Nike x Sacai Collaboration
- Distinctive Features On the Sneakers
- Luxurious Materials
- The Scoop On All The Different Nike x Sacai Sneaker Styles
- Nike LD x Sacai Waffle Collection
- Nike Dunk Lux x Sacai
- Nike Vaporwaffle x Sacai
- Nike Blazer Mid x Sacai
- Nike Blazer Low x Sacai
- Nike Air Max x Sacai
- Nike Cortez x Sacai
- The Best Places To Buy a Pair (Or Three)
A Sacai Spotlight
The Japanese fashion brand Sacai was founded in 1999 by Chitose Abe, a mother who wanted to start doing something creative after working as a patternmaker for more than 8 years for Comme Des Garçons. Some of her first pieces were of practical, yet high luxury knitwear clothing. She worked hard from her home in Tokyo producing pieces that quickly gained recognition, especially when stores in Paris purchased from her. It took three years for her to hire any employees.
By 2009, Sacai really took off when Abe started to produce menswear in addition to women’s clothing. In 2011, Abe’s brand debuted on a runway in Paris, which quickly allowed Sacai to grow even more due to the exposure to the western fashion market, which wasn’t yet exposed to a Japanese label. Also in 2011, Chitose Abe opened up her first flagship store in Tokyo which prepared her for even more success.
It wasn’t until 2014 that Sacai first collaborated with the two huge footwear icons Clarks and Vans. Nike took note of this, and in 2015 they offered Abe a collaboration with them. She accepted and started to produce items such as tracksuits, sweatsuits, and most importantly the Nike x Sacai sneaker.
Inspiration Behind The Nike x Sacai Collaboration
Right from the beginning, Chitose Abe had big goals for the Nike x Sacai collaboration. Her biggest goal was to be able to transform the classic look of performance footwear into something functional, fresh, and modern. She wanted to produce sneakers that were unconventional in design, with bright colorways, all the while still allowing the shoe to be used for sports and other activities.
By the second collection of the Nike x Sacai collaboration, Abe wanted to push even further to incorporate her own designs and add her personal touch to the sneakers. She utilized the Japanese art form kintsugi to design the sneakers this time around, which is a traditional form of paying homage to and honoring imperfections in art. These sneakers truly looked futuristic and luxurious, which is exactly what Abe wanted to capture.
The third release of Sacai x Nike sneakers in 2019 took the world by storm, especially when the two revealed that this collection would include LDWaffles and Blazers. Of course, the four colorways sold out almost instantly, driving a demand for more to be released.
After the third release, there were more collaborations by Nike and Sacai, with most notable sneakers being the Nike Blazer Low and Vaporwaffle x Sacai. And, by January of 2022, Sacai and Nike shook things up once again by bringing in Cortez. This is perhaps the pinnacle of fashion and sneaker design to many fans, many of whom can’t wait for the Nike Cortez x Sacai collaboration to release.
Now that you’ve got a better idea of the many inspirations behind Nike and Sacai’s sneakers, let’s take a deep dive into what makes these sneakers so unique.
Distinctive Features On the Sneakers
Many of the features on Nike x Sacai shoes are features that Abe herself thought up of, with her futuristic, luxurious ideas. Let’s take a look at what some of these are, and what makes them stand out so well.
The Dual Swoosh
Probably one of the most noticeable features of any of the Nike x Sacai sneakers is the addition of a dual swoosh on the side of them. Many of these dual swoosh sneakers feature a dark or light swoosh that is overlaid by a bright, popping second swoosh color. The addition of the dual swoosh is just one of many ways that captures Abe’s creative spirit, which is something that fans love. Before the Nike x Sacai collaboration, the double swoosh is something that wasn’t seen before, making for a true innovation on an already creative sneaker.
The Double Tongue
Another feature that makes Nike x Sacai sneakers so unique is the addition of the double tongue. The addition of the double tongue allowed for a more futuristic type of sneaker that adds depth to it and pays tribute to the classic kintsugi artform. The double tongue not only captures Abe’s style perfectly, it feels and look luxurious to the eye, which is one of the many reasons why fans love the Nike x Sacai collaboration.
Double Laces (Some Styles)
Double laces on a sneaker is something that has been seen in the sneaker world before, but never how Abe has incorporated it. The addition of the double laces adds to the futuristic style of the sneaker, while adding depth and pops of color. It is just one of many features of Nike x Sacai sneakers that exemplify the voice and ideas behind Abe’s work as a fashion icon. Fans love the addition of the double laces, and find that they look amazing when the laces are tied as well as when they aren’t tied.
Waffled Bottoms (Some Styles)
The decision by Abe and Nike to add waffled bottoms to some styles of the Nike x Sacai collaboration did not disappoint. If anything, it added to the luxuriousness as well as functionality of the sneaker. Although you won’t find waffled bottoms on all of the releases, the sneakers that do have them are exemplified even further by the pops of color blocking found throughout the shoe, adding even more depth to an already hyper-realistic sneaker.
If you take away anything from this article, it should be that Nike x Sacai sneakers do not compromise quality for comfort or looks. All the sneakers in the Nike x Sacai collaboration feature some of the highest quality materials, which are discussed in more detail below.
- Nylon: The addition of nylon to the side paneling and uppers of some Nike x Sacai sneakers adds a factor of water repellence to the shoes, and is designed to not absorb liquids. Nike and Sacai use the highest quality of nylon in their shoes, so that consumers and wearers of the shoe won’t have to worry about ruining the outer portion of their shoe, especially during the spring and summer when it rains.
- Suede Overlays: The suede overlays incorporated into the Nike x Sacai sneakers adds multiple different qualities to the shoe. Not only is the highest quality of suede used, it is soft to the touch, adding for the possibility of depth through different textures. Different blocks of suede overlays are also often seen on the sneakers, which captures Abe’s inspiration of futuristic styles and luxury.
- Rich Leather: We can’t forget to mention the rich leather that is also incorporated into the Nike x Sacai sneakers. Featured on the side panels and uppers of the shoe, the addition of luxurious leather adds to the depth and quality of the shoe, without compromising the usability of them. Using such high quality leather is sure to add an extended lifespan to the shoe, as the leather isn’t as likely to get damaged by time or by weathered elements.
We can’t wrap up these unique features without mentioning the co-branded heel of the Nike x Sacai shoes. In big, bold letting the Nike branding overshadows the smaller Sacai branding, while still allowing Sacai to share the spotlight and present itself in a sophisticated manner. To fans, this truly exemplifies the best qualities of both Nike and Sacai.
The Scoop On All The Different Nike x Sacai Sneaker Styles
There’s been many different styles released by Nike and Sacai. Let’s take a look at each of them and the inspiration behind each.
Nike LD x Sacai Waffle Collection
Released in many different colorways, the Sacai x Nike LDWaffle Collection attempted to capture the spirit of two early Nike shoes- the Nike LDV and the Nike Waffle Racer. With waffled bottoms and nylon, suede, and leader outsides, each pair of shoes in this collection more than successfully captures the spirit that Nike and Sacai wanted to capture. By incorporating depth and doubling of different features, the Nike LDWaffle x Sacai sneaker is a perfect representation of work hard, play harder.
This collection was released in 2019, and originally retailed for $160 a pair. Now, you’ll be lucky to find an original pair on the market because they are so highly sought after by sneaker lovers all over the world.
Nike Dunk Lux x Sacai
The Nike Dunk Lux x Sacai was one of the first collections ever released by the iconic collaboration in the Winter of 2015. Chitose Abe wanted to chose a shoe with massive personality and add different color patterns and designs to it, which she so did with this collection. These sneakers didn’t see the release of the double tongue and double swoosh or even have laces, but saw other squiggly patterns embossed in rich leather instead. There were four different colorways released of this collaboration, including a yellow and navy, bright green and black, navy and white, and grey and white.
These shoes originally retailed for $200, and are some of the most sought after Nike x Sacai shoes to date.
Nike Vaporwaffle x Sacai
The Nike Vaporwaffle x Sacai draws inspirations from both the Nike Pegasus and the Nike Vaporfly. Perhaps one of the most functional pairs of sneakers that Nike and Sacai have collaborated on, consumers use them for marathon running and other difficult outdoor activities. These sneakers not only look futuristic, but look luxurious, as they’re detailed with breathable mesh side panels, suede overlays, and cushioned waffle soles.
The colorways of this release is mainly monotone, although different colorways are available. These sneakers were released in January of 2020 and retailed for $180 a pair.
Nike Blazer Mid x Sacai
Another combination of two popular Nike shoe styles, the Nike Blazer Mid x Sacai collection embodies the silhouettes of the Nike Dunk High and Nike Blazer Mid. This style of shoe allowed the look of a classic Nike sneaker to remain intact while also allowing Chitose Abe to have free reign of the shoe’s design. If you’re not into bright, flashy colors but still want a futuristic style of shoe, this collection is perfect for you. The Nike Blazer Mid x Sacai collection released these sneaker in 2019 with the colors black, wolf grey, and white as their color palette. They originally costed $140 a pair, but have also since sold out, just as many other Sacai x Nike shoes have.
Nike Blazer Low x Sacai
The Nike Blazer Low x Sacai features many of the same things as the Nike Blazer Mid x Sacai, with minute differences. There are many different colorways of this sneaker, some including brighter tones as well as more neutral tones. Of course the classic double lace, double tongue, and double swoosh is built into this Low to make it have a gigantic personality, which fans love. It may have seemed difficult to capture all of Sacai’s design ideas in a smaller sneaker, but Nike and Sacai sure managed to do it, and with great success too.
Most pairs retailed for $120 each, and don’t worry that some are sold out. There’s sure to be more releases of the Nike Blazer Low x Sacai in the future.
Nike Air Max x Sacai
The Nike Air Max x Sacai collection is a bit of a unique one. Released in 2015, this was one of the first collections that Nike and Sacai put out, and it was released exclusively to the women’s shoe market. Released in two colorways of Volt and Obsidian, this was one of the first glimpses of everything that Sacai as a futuristic luxury brand was capable of. With both colorways having black midsoles and bottoms and colorful uppers, this shoe not only screamed innovation but remained true to the Air Max design.
Nike Cortez x Sacai
The Nike Cortez x Sacai is one of the most anticipated collections that this collaboration has released to date. Set to release in Spring of 2022, this sneaker pays a tribute to the 50th anniversary of the original Nike Cortez. The colorway features a white leather base, with accent colors of gray suede, red, and blue. The stacked soles and double swoosh encapsulate the type of designer is represented with Sacai clothing/footwear. Be sure to keep an eye out for these sneakers, as they’re sure to sell out fast one they’re released.
The Best Places To Buy a Pair (Or Three)
These sneakers are in high demand and most collections have since sold out on Nike’s ecommerce website. But, we’ve found a few places where you can potentially buy a pair (or three) from those who are selling their own pairs.
- StockX: StockX is a great platform to purchase verified Nike x Sacai sneakers. Users have the opportunity to purchase shoes outright or to place bids on them to try and get them at a lower buyout price. There are hundreds of different colorways of Nike x Sacai shoes on StockX, so everyone is sure to find a pair that suits them.
- Farfetch: Farfetch is another platform where you can purchase a pair of Nike x Sacai sneakers. Farfetch only sells verified genuine pairs of the sneakers, so you know you’re getting the real deal. With Farfetch, you can view many different styles of sneaker at once, while also reading a description of the history of the sneaker.
- GOAT: GOAT also offers many different styles of Nike x Seacai shoes. You can either purchase them used if you want to buy a cheaper pair, or new if you’re looking to add to your pristine sneaker collection. GOAT also verifies each pair of sneaker purchased, so there’s no room for doubting whether or not you’re purchasing a genuine pair.
The world of Sacai x Nike is a creative, futuristic, luxurious one that many fans from all stretches of the world love. These highly sought after sneakers have sold out with every collection, but there’s sure to be more collections released in the future between the Japanese brand and Nike. There’s hundreds of colorways with many different styles, so you’re sure to find one that perfectly suits you.