For all intents and purposes 2017 is over. In less than 24 hours, the clock will strike midnight and a new year full of fresh possibilities, new opportunities, great shoes, and fire clothes will be upon us. As the calendar resets to January 1st, we’ll be given one last chance to look back on the year that’s passed as well as being blessed with an opportunity to set goals and resolutions for the year ahead.
We’ll be the first to admit it: New Year’s resolutions can can cause some interesting conundrums. It’s easy to fall into a trap, thinking that you have to set grand, illustrious life goals for yourself before the clock strikes midnight on December 31st. Thankfully, that’s not true. If something in life is truly important and meaningful to you, you can resolve to do it at any time.
Nobody had a better year in 2017 than Virgil Abloh.
The multifaceted creative’s OFF-WHITE label enjoyed great success as his industrial-inspired belts caught fire and became one of the most stand-out accessories of the year, used as everything from purse straps to dog leashes by forward-thinking fashionistas. He traveled around the world for DJ gigs, seemingly landing in a new country and playing in front of raucous crowds every week. And his collaborative effort with Nike, “The Ten”, which re-imagined ten iconic Nike silhouettes both new and old was undoubtedly the biggest story of the year in the sneaker world.
Since the dawn of modern-day sneaker collecting, brands have fueled seasonal hype with holiday-inspired kicks. From the 4th of July to Halloween, from 4/20 (yes, it’s a holiday) to Easter, there’s special releases to coincide with each and every major holiday over the course of a year. But come Christmas, things get kicked into overdrive. It’s one of the biggest holidays for sneaker collaborations each and every year, and nobody does Christmas sneakers better than Nike.
Nike’s Christmas sneakers have a lot working in their favor: there’s strongly defined cultural totems that they can draw inspiration from (you’ll see recurring themes in this list), they’re not bound to ugly, difficult-to-wear colors like some other seasonal releases (we’re looking at you and all your gag-inducing pastels, Easter), and sneakerheads are always looking for a fresh new pair around the holidays so they can stunt at Christmas dinner (don’t lie to yourself … we know you love doing it just as much as we do).
It was a wild year, wasn’t it?
2017 is almost in the books, and as I reminisce on a year gone by, I feel that I owe a debt of gratitude to all the people that made it so memorable. I shared great experiences with friends and loved ones both old and new, and created memories that I’ll keep with me forever.
And thankfully I was able to document those memories. Over the course of the year I shot film photos of the people around me, starting with a small Pentax IQ Zoom 120Mi, before upgrading to a Yashica Micro Elite Zoom 120, and finally a Yashica T2 (my favorite film camera I’ve owned).
Streetwear has become an increasingly trend-driven industry over the past few years. Thanks to the limitless reach and voracious appetite for consumption of the Internet, there’s always something new that you need to know about and add to your wardrobe, and with a new year comes a fresh new batch of trends. Some of these trends have staying power beyond their initial hype, carving out a permanent place in the culture. Most fade away into near-nothingness, reduced to cheap imitations of their former selves occupying space on the racks of fast-fashion mall retailers. No matter if you love trends or hate them, they’ll always be a part of the game, and it’s up to you to decide which ones merit sticking around.
2017: the year that streetwear went mainstream.
Over the past few years, the Internet has taken a close-knit underground culture with a rich history full of unique characters, excellent stories, and incredible clothes and for better or worse, it’s been exposed it to the masses. What was once an exclusive club of sorts is more accessible than ever, and in the last twelve months streetwear truly went mainstream, breaking into popular culture in a way that it never had before.
A whole lot happened to streetwear culture in 2017. Extreme trends and borderline excessive collaboration ruled the sphere, high exposure on social media changed the way that the culture is exposed permanently, and the lines between old guard high-fashion houses and street brands were blurred almost to the point of nonexistence. Now that this crazy year has almost drawn to a close, it’s time to look back on both the highs and lows of 2017, and discuss streetwear’s future in 2018 and beyond.
“Awake” is a powerful word in street culture. Being awake doesn’t simply mean not being asleep. If you’re awake, you possess a heightened sense of awareness that enables you to think, conceptualize, and create in a way that the average person who’s not “awake” simply cannot.
And in the case of New York-based Awake NY, a brand that’s poised to be one of the biggest successes of 2018 … it’s safe to say that they occupy the aforementioned “heightened state”. But to truly understand what the brand’s all about, you first have to understand its founder’s creative work and credentials.
2017 was a truly wild year in sneakers. Full of trends both new and old, endless collaborations (more than three-quarters of the shoes on this list are collaborative pairs), and all-consuming hype the likes of which has not been seen before, sneaker culture shifted massively these past twelve months. And it’s likely it will never be the same again.
Nike came roaring back to the forefront of cool with extensive collaborations and limited releases after losing siginificant ground to Adidas the past two years. 90’s trends came full-circle, as both chunky old-school sneakers and classic Air Max silhouettes enjoyed a revival, while the athleasure set took to new, sleek designs that were futuristic in their concepts and space-like in their feel.