Aimé Leon Dore are one of the foremost arbiters of refined street style in the modern era. Their sartorial focus extends to sneakers, where their growing collaborative catalogue features some of the most coveted releases in recent memory. Despite the sell-out status of these colabs upon their debuts, platforms like GOAT allow fans of ALD to get their hands on these coveted kicks. Here are five of ALD’s all-timers.
Aimé Leon Dore x New Balance 550
The New Balance 550 revival wouldn’t have happened without the foresight of ALD head honcho Teddy Santis. His reverence for archival designs and heritage cues resulted in a deep dive into the NB vault and a triumphant journey in highlighting the brand’s basketball heritage. Sure, there are other white and red 550s on the market, but this pair bears the distinction of ALD’s custom apple logo and the provenance of being one of the very first reissues of the model since the 1980s.
Aimé Leon Dore x New Balance 997
Look, there’s going to be a fair bit of NB here – Santis is the brand’s Made In USA creative director, after all. This 997 was one of the first stepping stones toward that appointment, proving he was looking in the right places to give the Made In USA line even more gloss. ALD gave the sleek 997 a colourful makeup and even referenced NB’s ‘When the going gets tough, the tough get going’ advertisements in their promo for the colab. Brand association aside, the pops of colour among the grey and white suede just work.
Aimé Leon Dore x New Balance 991
ALD have successfully worked on products across NB’s entire manufacturing scope in the UK, US and abroad. This 991 is an example of the former, which was released earlier this year to coincide with the 40th anniversary of the Flimby factory. The flagship model doesn’t stray too far from its OG suede and mesh construction – not to mention its grey palette – but the subtle ALD touch arrives via lush green inserts and custom embroidery on the heels. Not all collaborations have to be loud and proud; subtle flexing is the thinking sneakerhead’s way of making an on-foot statement.
Aimé Leon Dore x Clarks Wallabee
Clarks have been a staple choice in just about every ALD lookbook, and they’re also a mainstay pairing with the brand’s outfits IRL. This mutual respect was made official a couple of years ago with a Wallabee collaboration, which saw the crepe-soled kicks decked out in fine Casentino wool. This colab, developed specifically to complement that season’s pieces using the same textile, proved Santis’ holistic approach to design. The Clarks partnership continued later on with a snakeskin-clad colab, but these luxurious woolly Wallees are much easier to wear.
Aimé Leon Dore x New Balance 827
2020 saw the ALD x NB partnership continue with the 827, an obscure runner circa 1997 that was remixed using a similar colourful approach as their previous 997 effort. Again an early sign of Santis’ reverence for the forgotten gems of yesteryear, this collaboration was arguably the highest peak for a model that left as quickly as it arrived. Thanks to GOAT, those who slept on its release can pick them up right now.