ARTICLE BY Seb

A Brief History of Aimé Leon Dore Collaborations

Aimé Leon Dore x Clarks Wallabee

At this point in time, Aimé Leon Dore is inarguably one of the world’s hottest brands on the scene right now. While their inline apparel collections were enough to launch them into the global hypesphere, their collaborative footwear efforts with the likes of Clarks, Suicoke and of course, New Balance have solidified their position at the top, and they seemingly can't be touched. Here’s a brief history of the New York label’s collaborations so far.

Aimé Leon Dore x PUMA States

Aimé Leon Dore x PUMA

When looking at ALD in 2022 and comparing it to ALD in 2015, they are vastly different brands. The clothes, the whole aesthetic and most importantly, the sneaker collaborations are quite different to how we know them today. Their PUMA link up from 2015 is a prime example, using the States silhouette, the two brands joined forces to create three colourways. Keeping it simple, they utilised simplistic two-tone looks, tasteful as always.

Aimé Leon Dore x Clarks,
Aimé Leon Dore x Clarks
Aimé Leon Dore x Clarks

Aimé Leon Dore x Clarks

The New York aesthetic runs deep within the veins of ALD, so of course over the years they've been tapped by Clarks for multiple Wallabee colabs. Their first was a hit, without changing the construction, they covered the whole Wallabee in a matted fleece material. Their next collaboration was swathed in snakeskin creating two Wallabees and two Desert Boots.

Aimé Leon Dore x Suicoke
Aimé Leon Dore x Suicoke
Aimé Leon Dore x Suicoke

Aimé Leon Dore x Suicoke

Over the years Aimé Leon Dore has had a few run-ins with Suicoke. Beginning in 2018, the pair went full luxury on the NOTS-MAIM and RON-MAIM-MID. Cow suede covered the uppers and were completely shearling lined. Back at it again a year later, the duo came through with three colourways of the HOBBS silhouette. They boasted EVA sole units, textured mudguards and CORDURA fabric.

Aimé Leon Dore x New Balance
Aimé Leon Dore x New Balance
Aimé Leon Dore x New Balance
,Aimé Leon Dore x New Balance
Aimé Leon Dore x New Balance
Aimé Leon Dore x New Balance
Aimé Leon Dore x New Balance

Aimé Leon Dore x New Balance

We had to save the best for last! New Balance and Aimé Leon Dore have shared a long and fruitful relationship, starting with the NB997 in 2019. Undoubtedly one of the best ALD x NB crossovers of all time, they created a mismatched pair and brought back the iconic New Balance ‘When the Going Gets Tough’ advertisement from the 80s. Next on their list was the NB990, whipping up a v2 and v5 in alternating purple and green tones. While they were both clean in their own right, the 990v2 definitely takes the cake as the best of the collection. It still remains one of ALD's most sought-after and valuable colabs, commanding hefty prices on the secondary market.

2020 was a massive year for the Aimé Leon Dore x New Balance partnership, the duo joined forces on three separate silhouettes! Kicking off March was one of ALD’s most underrated collaborations, a three pack of 827s. Hitting shelves, the NB827 wasn’t the most popular shoe on the market however Santis and his team freaked it in their own way, styling it in the now-classic ALD look book style and making it look ultra-steezy. The 1300 colab happened in August of 2020 and it was a banger! Santis opted for textured suede, breathing new life into the rarely-seen NB1300.

One month after the release of the ALD x New Balance 1300 is when it all happened, the brand entered the hypesphere with a model that only the most veteran sneakerheads have heard of. Dubbed the New Balance 550, Santis dug through the brand’s archives, breathing new life into the 1980s basketball silhouette. Slightly unexpectedly, the 80s baller blew up, becoming a mainstay within NB’s GR arsenal. Following the multiple restocks of the NB550, the announcement of their 650R came through. It's basically a high-top version of the 550 and it’s releasing later this year. ALD rounded out 2021 with a mega 993 colab employing a ‘Beef & Broccoli’ and ‘Taupe’ colourway.

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