Several factors had a large say in the creative direction of the market in 2008. Previous years have seen a free-for-all of colour and materials madness that in 2008, simply failed to sustain the interests of many kids.
The obvious exception was Busy P’s rainbow AF- 1, which may go down in history as the end of the era of ‘clown colour’. Whether that’s indicative of a sudden maturation of an entire generation or a sober reflection of the bleak situation the world finds itself in is something we’ll get back to you about next year.
The move towards plainer, simpler and dare we say it, mundane shoes is a natural evolution that with a little luck, may spawn a move away from retro-ville. This conservative drift has had a huge bearing on the direction of collabs in particular. Since slapping down the skittles is no longer a guarantee of success, other features have become key including crafting a well constructed story (the Sneaker Freaker shark edition PUMAs) and using premium materials to elevate product (Solebox Gel Lyte III).
Other than that, the high tops got higher, the plimsolls got thinner and ‘80s runners finally looked like they might be on the wane, just as adidas peeled off an alphabet’s worth of ZX collabs. On the bright side, several new models seemed to gain a little traction this year, and it’ll be interesting to see if the Hyperdunk et al can keep the momentum swinging. They say nothing stays the same and that has never been truer than this year!
Check out the article in SNEAKER FREAKER ISSUE 14!
Check out our next feature: 2007 - BEST OF THE BEST SNEAKERS