If there’s a person deserving of praise for their contribution to Nike’s collaborative evolution, it’s ACRONYM co-founder Errolson Hugh. The stoic Canadian designer joined forces with the Swoosh in 2014 to reinvent ACG under NikeLAB, uniting utilitarian functionality with neo-futuristic sophistication, simultaneously transforming ACG apparel into some of the most-hyped items to wear the Swoosh.
While Errolson would simply be the enigmatic puppet master pulling the strings at ACG – until that relationship terminated in 2018 – he would also be given the chance to thrust his name out into the sneaker world through a series of official ACRONYM x Nike colabs, starting in 2015. Let’s take a look back at the complete history of ACRONYM x Nike collaborations.
ACRONYM x Nike Lunar Force 1 Collection – 2015
Errolson selected the Air Force 1 as the base for his first collaboration, but he had no intention of going easy on the ageing classic. Instead, he focused on updating the Uptown for the modern day, by improving its functionality. He embraced the Lunar-blessed incarnation of the AF-1 for its improved comfort and added a conspicuous zipper to the lateral side for easy access. Errolson designed three different colourways for his debut collaboration, a trait he would stick to throughout his Nike collaborations.
ACRONYM x Nike Air Presto Mid Collection – 2016
Hands down the most acclaimed (and expensive) of all of ACRONYM’s Nike colabs is the Presto collection from 2016. From the moment images first leaked, the sneakersphere whipped into a frenzy over these drastic reinterpretations of the humble Air Presto. Errolson raised the Presto to a mid-cut and added dual-zips and aggressive overlays at the forefoot. As if the structural upgrades weren’t already enough, the colourways were nothing short of perfection — particularly the blazing ‘Lava’ make-up. There’s many a reason these are universally regarded as the best release of 2016 and if you need to ask, you definitely need to get your eyes checked, stat!
For those playing at home, the ‘Olive’ colourway is the rarest of the three, released only through NikeLAB stores globally. Although, all three are likely to set you back close to four figures in the current market. For a cheaper option, Nike later released the Air Presto Utility, which shared many of the same elements as the ACRONYM colab.
ACRONYM x Nike Air Force 1 Downtown Collection – 2017
Sketches of the ACRONYM x Nike Air Force 1 Downtown collection first leaked all the way back in 2015, but it wouldn’t be until early 2017 that these ultra-high-top Forces officially hit stores. Undeniably the most overlooked of all of ACRONYM’s Nike colabs, the AF-1 Downtown perfectly embodies an Air Force 1 redesigned with ACRONYM’s trademark utilitarian aesthetic.
The Downtown featured an elevated cut, perforation-free toe-boxes, zigzag stitching on the Swooshes, and quick-release German mil-spec fasteners around the ankles. Although not specifically stated, Errolson’s Downtown design was likely the inspiration behind Nike’s SF Air Force 1, which shares many similarities.
ACRONYM x Nike Lunar Force 1 ‘AF-100’ – 2017
In 2017, Errolson was invited to contribute to the ‘AF-100 Collection’, joining Virgil Abloh, Travis Scott, Don C and Kareem ‘Biggs’ Burke for the colossal collaboration. The collection celebrated the classic white-on-white Uptown, and Errolson fittingly revisited his original zippered Lunar Force 1 concept for the occasion. The new ACRONYM Lunar Forces were even more sought-after on release than the original collection, boosted by Errolson’s now-heightened profile.
ACRONYM x Nike Air VaporMax FK Moc 2 Collection – 2018
Following in the footsteps of Comme des Garçons and Off-White, ACRONYM jumped on the VaporMax bandwagon in early 2018. Good things come in threes, so Errolson returned to this mantra once again — delivering three wild make-ups of the Air VaporMax FK Moc 2.
This was the first non-retro silhouette that Errolson worked on and, as such, was the first that he decided wasn’t in need of a functional upgrade. Instead, he approached the colab as a ‘visual project’ and pushed the shoe to its extreme with aggressive camouflage inspired by the ACRONYM wordmark. The collection was accompanied by a high-concept marketing campaign that fused the wild west with futuristic ninjutsu.
ACRONYM x Nike Air Presto Mid Collection – 2018
For ACRONYM’s next Nike collaboration, Errolson revisited his 2016 Air Presto Mid collection. This Presto trio retains the same construction as the OG collection but switches up the aesthetics. Geometric patterning, similar to that utilised for the VaporMax Mocs’ Flyknit uppers, has been added to the TPU elements of each design, along with an additional stripe of ACRONYM branding around the rim. While not quite as balls-out as 2016’s ‘Lava’ make-up, the collection’s ‘Racer Pink’ colourway definitely comes close!
ACRONYM x Nike Blazer Low – 2022
After a quiet few years on the sneaker collaborative front, ACRONYM linked up with Nike once more, this time delivering a duo of Blazer Lows. While decidedly low-tech in comparison to their previous efforts, the laser-cut upper flaps reference ghillie camo suits and the oversized heel piece continues the brand’s playful take on augmentation.
Friends and Family/Unreleased
The ACRONYM x Nike collaborative legacy has left a serious mark on the sneakersphere as we know it. Like all good sneaker legacies, there’s almost always a slew of Friends and Family drops, plus some tasty unreleased goodies, left behind. It goes way back to 2009 with the ‘Blunk’, a one-of-one combination of the Blazer and Dunk created for Hugh. Also, take a look above at the unreleased Air Presto Mid colourway that surfaced in the Fall/Winter 2018 lookbook and the chromed-out Air VaporMax.
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