Every Piet Parra Sneaker Collaboration (So Far)
With sneaker collaborations dating back to 2005, Dutch artist Piet Parra (government name Pieter Janssen) is among some of the most prolific talents tapped by the footwear industry. Newcomers to the scene will undoubtedly have been introduced to Parra via his late-2010s Nike and Nike SB efforts, but seasoned sneakerheads will be well acquainted with his work from a decade prior, which occasionally flirted with some other labels too. Here is every official Piet Parra sneaker collaboration (so far).
Parra x Nike Air Max 1 ‘Amsterdam’ and ‘Albert Heijn’ (2005)
Parra’s first (official) sneaker colab was the Nike Air Max 1 ‘Amsterdam’, or Air AMS Max (per the box label) from 2005. It uses his signature pink and blue hues against a maroon leather base, reportedly inspired by Amsterdam’s Red Light District. Prude types will find Parra’s insole graphics a little NSFW! There is also an insanely rare Hyperstrike edition with ‘Parra’ embroidered on the lateral mudguard.
Before the ‘Amsterdam’ hit shelves (and a Nike outlet in Florida of all places), Parra also designed an orange and blue colourway referencing the Albert Heijn supermarket chain. However, the company completely overhauled their brand colours, unceremoniously relegating the inspired AM1 to a meagre 24-pair F&F batch. With only 24 examples believed to be in existence, forget about even looking for a pair.
Parra x Nike Air Max 95 ‘Running Man’ (2008)
The Nike ‘Running Man’ pack from 2008 consisted of an Air Max 90 colourway designed by PAM’s Misha Hollenbach, a Cortez by Todd James, and an Air Max 95 by Parra. The Dutchman made full use of the AM95’s layered upper, applying pastel pink and blue strips atop a deep black midsole. Early-2010s sneakerheads consider this one of Parra’s most popular colabs, and it was for a long time relatively attainable.
Patta x Parra x ASICS GEL-Lyte Speed (2009)
Dutch boutique Patta are indebted to Parra because he helped design their logo. 2009 marked Patta’s fifth anniversary, and their expansive celebratory collaborations included three takes of the ASICS GEL-Lyte Speed, one of which Parra had a hand in. Pink was switched for red, while yellow and blue accents maintained the artist’s colourful aesthetic. The matching backpack was also pretty cool.
Parra x Vans (2009)
Parra’s collaborations veered into other categories in the late 2000s, and he also teamed up with different sneaker brands. One example was Vans, who let Parra loose on an Era, Sk8-Hi and Chukka. Pastel blue and pink made another appearance, as did his whimsical long-snouted characters and cartoonish graphics. The insoles also had a friendly reminder to ‘Don’t Forget To Actually Skate in These!’
Parra x Converse Chuck Taylor All Star High ‘Simply the Wurst’ (2009)
In 2009, Converse decided to throw a BBQ in Mitte, Berlin. Then they called up Parra to design a Chuck Taylor All Star to be gifted to attendees. The artist obliged, placing oversized blue sausages on the lateral panels, with the right snag reading ‘Simply the Wurst’. Possibly the all-time greatest Parra colab.
Parra x Nike Air Maxim 1+ ‘Lovely Loners’ (2009)
2009 was certainly a busy year for Parra, as he linked up with Nike again for a colab on the Air Maxim 1+, which was a short-lived AM1 spinoff. This colab was part of the ‘Rivalry’ pack that pitted Parra against London’s CassettePlaya (RIP 2005-2015). Parra’s effort was the more low-key of the two, opting for a primarily blacked-out colourway that saved its flourishes for the contrast stitching and midsole splatter. The accompanying NSW Stadium Jacket comfortably ranks as one of the best pieces of apparel ever made by a sneaker company.,
Patta x Parra x Nike Air Max 1 ‘Cherrywood’ (2010)
Patta’s fifth anniversary celebrations started in 2009, but then rolled into the following year, and they saved the best (and rarest) for last. Calling upon close ally Parra once again, the artist decked out the 258 pairs of ‘Cherrywood’ AM1s in suede and mesh with parallels to his ‘Amsterdam’ debut from five years prior. Chenille replaced the Swooshes and tongue label, and more Parra artwork decorated the insoles. Considering the fact this colab still goes for stupid money certifies it as the best AM1 release of the Nike Sportswear era.
Parra x Converse (RED) Chuck Taylor All Star High (2010)
Perhaps that ‘Simply the Wurst’ colab proved to Converse that Parra could put together a hot colab, because in 2010 the two worked together for the (RED) charity program. Parra adorned another CTAS, but this time it was all-over cherry embroidery atop a beige canvas upper. Ice soles and red lining was the… cherry on top.
Parra x Nike Air Max 1 (GR and F&F) and Zoom Spiridon (2018)
Parra took some time away from sneaker collaborations to work on other projects, including but not limited to a clothing label, artwork, beer, bicycles, and music via his Le Le electro group. But in 2018, he returned to footwear with an Air Max 1 and Zoom Spiridon, which both featured signature Parra pastels and adventurous material mixes. The Swooshless F&F edition (and matching tracksuit!) also maintained the artist’s sought-after status.
Parra x Nike SB Dunk Low (GR & F&F) and Blazer Low (2019)
With the Dunk and SB Dunk craze beginning to hitting new heights again in 2019, bringing Parra on board (geddit?) only added fuel to the hype fire. Nike SB pretty much gave Parra free rein on the Dunk and Blazer, both of which featured multilayered pastel Swooshes and graphic lining, plus custom tongue labels. A mini Swoosh on the forefoot of the Dunks was another special feature, which was also found on the teal suede and gum-soled F&F edition.
Parra x Nike SB Dunk Low ‘Abstract Art’ (2021)
In addition to designing the kits for the Nike-sponsored national skateboarding teams at Tokyo 2020, Parra put together another SB Dunk Low, dubbed the ‘Abstract Art’. This was one of the most hyped releases of 2021, thanks to its colourful wavy upper panels in the artist’s signature shades of pink and blue. The truncated midfoot Swoosh returned, as did the lateral forefoot mini Swoosh. This time though, as the trend has been lately, the patterned overlays tear away with use to reveal more colour underneath. There also exists an apparent F&F edition that Parra has yet confirmed.