The passage of a milestone length of time is conducive to a certain kind of "what does it all mean" introspection.
It's especially natural at the end of a decade to indulge in some backwards looking reflection. As far as sneakers and streetwear are concerned, the 2010s will go down as the decade when the culture went fully mainstream. It's no longer necessary to explain what a collaboration is, or why someone would stand in line for hours just to buy a shoe. What was formerly a culture unto itself is now part of the larger culture. It's a transformation that becomes evident as we look back on a decade's worth of collaborative work.
2010 Vans: The store's first ever collaboration with Vans outfitted the Chukka, a 'niche' silhouette compared to universal icons like the Slip-On, Old Skool, Authentic and Sk8-Hi, in a tonal, nubuck body with real tree camouflage canvas 'guts.' The outdoors utility theme was emphasized with the addition of a Zippo lighter, can coozie and knife, along with a Carhartt manufactured dust bag. It's telling that at the beginning of the decade, that these accessories didn't merit their own separate headlines.
2011 Nike Air Footscape: To celebrate Bodega's fifth anniversary, a collaborative effort with Nike produced a trio of Air Footscapes known as the Night Cat pack. The standout pair from among the effortlessly elegant suede and leather constructions was the global introduction of the Air Footscape Woven Chukka. Before the addition of the Chukka's neoprene collar, previous woven models were purely low cut silhouettes.
2012 Ironlak: Even though graffiti and street art are de rigueur now, the number of people who 'appreciate' this art far outnumbers the amount of people who create it. A collaborative variety of Ironlak black was purely for the latter group.
2013 New Balance 577 HYPRCAT: The first collaboration between Bodega and New Balance subverted the staid image of the renowned running shoe manufacturers, which at the time, was still unusual. Punctuated by a surprise performance by rapper Action Bronson at a rock climbing gym, and a line around the block for the shoe's actual release that prompted shutdown threats by the local constabulary, the HYPRCAT was a landmark success in the new era of hype.
2014 Instapump Fury Full Contact: A celebration of the trailblazing Instapump Fury's 20th anniversary, saw elements of the original design displaced, while a repeating pattern across the caging added color and range to the already bold design. Although the marketing concept underwent revision due to 'overt' drug references, the end result was a fitting tribute.
2015 Saucony Pattern Recognition: One of Bodega's earliest collaborative partners, Saucony, added to their deep (over 30 pairs by this point) repertoire of co-branded designs with a celebration of carefree 90s design. Although, you couldn't store your homework in it.
2016 On the Road: The year long celebration of Bodega's ten year anniversary kicked off with a resurrection of the Asics Gel Trendy silhouette. Re-dubbed the Gel Classic, the mix of dusty earth tones and soothing pastels, in a luxurious suede construction defied expectations of what a shoe released in the winter could be. In addition to custom packaging, pairs also included a disposable camera, for capturing the wearer's own road trip adventures. Party recap here.
2017 A&P: With the opening of the Series storefront for certain special events came a collaborative project that showed just how far reaching streetwear had become. A capsule collection with Albino & Preto, esteemed makers of jiu-jitsu gear and apparel was made for a very specific, and very responsive audience.
2018 Reebok Shanghai: Although China is an obvious and enthusiastic consumer of sneakers and streetwear, it seemed like there was precious little content specifically produced for this market. The Innersect convention brought global energy and culture directly to fans in Shanghai. In conjunction with Reebok, Bodega produced a range of footwear and apparel for Innersect. See recap here.
2019 No Days Off: In 2019, there are multiple new collaborations literally every week. Capturing the imagination requires upping the ante. With the return of the original and the introduction of modernized offshoots, the legendary 997 was on everyone's mind. A multi release concept based around actually using and enjoying your shoes featured multi faceted content featuring Jacob Rochester and Buddy, setting new standards for Bodega releases. Plus the release party at World on Wheels made it all more special.
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