Hiroshi Fujiwara and Fragment Design’s All-Time Greatest Sneaker Colabs
Hiroshi Fujiwara is one of the world’s most prolific collaborators, with the phrase ‘Godfather of Streetwear’ sticking to his name for well over a decade now. His creative output via the Fragment Design label has branded the entire cultural spectrum – from Starbucks coffee to Maserati sports cars – with the signature twin lightning bolt marque. And somewhere in between, dozens of sneakers collaborations have received the HF treatment. These are the all-time greatest.
Note: This list excludes all Nike HTM releases, as those projects also involved Tinker Hatfield and Mark Parker in some capacity.
Fragment Design x Air Jordan 1 (2014)Fragment Design x Air Jordan 1 (2014)
Air Jordan 1s may be all the rage right now, but trust Hiroshi Fujiwara to be perpetually ahead of the curve. HF used the OG ‘Black Toe’ colourway and flipped the red for Fragment’s signature blue. Of course, the lightning bolts on the heel had hypebeasts going crazy. It’s Kim Jones’ favourite sneaker of all time – so much that he owns at least seven pairs!
Fragment Design x Converse Chuck Taylor All Star (PRODUCT) RED (2008)Fragment Design x Converse Chuck Taylor All Star (PRODUCT) RED (2008)
(PRODUCT) RED is an initiative that has partnered with big brands like Apple and Nike, creating red co-branded products with proceeds going towards fighting HIV/AIDS in Africa. One of RED’s early collaborators was Hiroshi Fujiwara, who brought on Swoosh subsidiary Converse for an appropriate all-red take on the timeless Chuck. Peep the alternative ‘pill’ Fragment logo!
Fragment Design x UNDERCOVER x visvim FBT (2003)Fragment Design x UNDERCOVER x visvim FBT (2003)
When Hiroki Nakamura had just founded visvim, his friend Hiroshi Fujiwara showed him the album cover of The Best of Fun Boy Three, pointing out lead singer Terry Hall’s moccasins. This gave Hiroki the idea to create the cult FBT model in 2001, named after the album and group HF showed him. This three-way with UNDERCOVER and Fragment Design was one of the latter’s earliest work with visvim.
Hiroshi Fujiwara x Takashi Murakami x visvim Kiefer (2008)Hiroshi Fujiwara x Takashi Murakami x visvim Kiefer (2008)
HF was one of the foremost names in Japanese culture by the late 2000s. Back in 2008, he collaborated with popular artist Takashi Murakami as part of the ‘Hi & Lo’ exhibition showcasing street culture and pop art’s crossover. Hiroshi called on old friends visvim to decorate the Kiefer high-top with Murakami’s signature flower, plus low-key Fragment branding. Only 330 pairs exist.
Fragment Design x Cole Haan LunarGrand Wingtip (2012)Fragment Design x Cole Haan LunarGrand Wingtip (2012)
Fragment Design did a bit more than just add lightning bolts in the 2010s. Cole Haan, who were part of the Nike umbrella at the time, had a moment during the prevailing #menswear trend with their LunarGrand, which combined classic dress shoes with Nike’s Lunar cushioning. Fragment joined the party with a couple of tumbled takes, but this bubblegum edition kept things fun.
Fragment Design x Nike Air Footscape Woven ‘Polka’ (2006)Fragment Design x Nike Air Footscape Woven ‘Polka’ (2006)
Polka dots were something of a Fragment motif in the mid 2000s, as HF used this pattern on a number of apparel and luggage brands, plus some Nike models including the Air Force 1 and Dunk. However, this Air Footscape Woven is the most memorable execution, and a time capsule of the Swoosh’s experimental edge, one that Hiroshi was pushing for.
Fragment Design x Nike Air Footscape TZ (2009)Fragment Design x Nike Air Footscape TZ (2009)
The side-lacing Nike Air Footscape is a particular favourite for HF, which he has used for a number of colabs via Fragment Design and the HTM project. 2009’s effort used the #properfootscapes (shoutout to yoblessed) template and added a slick two-toned palette. And in typical Fragment style for the time, it was a Nike Tier Zero release, which kept pairs among in-the-know collectors.
Fragment Design x Nike ACG Zoom Meriwether (2011)Fragment Design x Nike ACG Zoom Meriwether (2011)
Nike may have put a concerted effort into relaunching the ACG sub-brand a few years ago with the help of ACRONYM’s Errolson Hugh, but Hiroshi Fujiwara was keeping the off-road offerings rolling all along with Fragment colabs. The amusingly named Zoom Meriwether was subjected to an urban remix with some of the nappiest suede ever used on a Nike shoe. Just don’t actually take them hiking.
Fragment Design x Nike Roshe LD-1000 (2014)Fragment Design x Nike Roshe LD-1000 (2014)
The #TeamCozy movement of the mid 2010s was ushered in by comfort-first models like the Nike Roshe. Fragment spiced it up a little by blending in the LD-1000, an archival running model from the 1970s, and added some cryptic tooling codes on the midsole. This practice has carried over onto Fragment and HF x Nike colabs since. It’s a shame the Swoosh went wide with this model but, then again, so have Fragment colabs.
Fragment Design x Nike Tennis Classic/Air Force 1 Hybrid Sample (2008)Fragment Design x Nike Tennis Classic/Air Force 1 Hybrid Sample (2008)
After a massive earthquake hit the Sichuan region of China in 2008, Fragment and Nike were spurred to devise a special collaboration to raise funds for the affected communities. The resulting sneaker was a clean Tennis Classic with panda branding, but an unreleased sample with an Air Force 1 sole emerged a year later. With only five pairs believed in existence, this is one of the rarest Fragment colabs ever.
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