Undoubtedly 2023 has been a crazy year, in the sneaker world and out. The industry is more culturally intertwined with the rest of the world than it has ever been and we wanted to share our thoughts on who did it best.
Sneaker of the Year
Air Jordan 4 SB “Pine Green”
Shock! The Pine Greens have been voted for sneaker of the year on yet another list, it’s difficult to argue why though. The Nike SB AJ4 emerges as a distinctive creation, drawing inspiration from iconic colour palettes such as "Military Blue" and "Military Black." The colourway is extremely clean, yes but what makes this shoe so special is what changed in the silhouette whilst being in the hands of Nike SB. This sneaker feels like the Air Jordan 4s more refined older brother, the Eau de Parfum to the Eau de Toilette if you like. The sneaker pays homage to the influential partnership between designer Tinker Hatfield and the late Sandy Bodecker, the visionary behind the original Air Jordan 4 and Nike SB respectively. Nike brands this sneaker as a special creation meant for the court and the halfpipe making it significantly more comfortable than the standard Air Jordan 4.
“The Nike SB x Air Jordan 4 is a way for two communities of sport to pay respect to one another and represents the collision of basketball, skate culture, and style that brings them both together.”
Air Jordan 3 x J Balvin “Medellin Sunset”
New Balance x Aime Leon Dore 860V2
Most Influential Streetwear figure of the year:
There is a strong debate for a couple of other candidates this year but the visionary from Queens New York gets the number one spot for us. Bembury’s designs often incorporate vivid colour palettes, natural motifs, and intricate detailing, drawing inspiration from his love for nature and his fascination with global travel. Bembury's ability to seamlessly fuse contrasting elements, such as the urban and the organic, has made his creations truly distinctive. We truly see these vivid ideas come to life in the Salehe Bembury x Crocs collaboration. The limelight has to be shone on his work in the hiking-streetwear apparel scene. Gorpcore has undoubtedly taken 2023 in a chokehold and Salahe Bembury has been an influential figure in the rising popularity of the style. His Moncler capsule as well as his work with Canada Goose, Versace and Anta has been extremely well received by the fashion 2023 panel as well as the public due to Bembury’s commitment to using his platform to drive positive change. He actively advocates for social and environmental issues, promoting diversity, sustainability, and inclusivity within the fashion industry which adds to his merit.
“Salehe Bembury is the best Designer in the World” - Donatella Versace
Shoutout Martine Rose
Brand of the Year:
In 2011, brothers George and Michael Heaton embarked on a journey that would change their lives. While pursuing their graphic design studies at Salford University in Manchester, England, the entrepreneurial duo began printing T-shirts in the confines of their own bedrooms. Little did they know that their humble start would evolve into Represent, a current new-age powerhouse in the fashion industry.
Fast forward to the present, and Represent has not only navigated the saturated menswear market but has thrived, going head-to-head with industry giants like Palm Angels and Fear of God. The brand's annual revenue now stands at an impressive £50 million, a testament to the Heaton brothers' vision, creativity, and business acumen. What tops it with Represent for Us is their insurgence of 2023 global success while still staying exclusive with high quality.
Collab of the Year:
Kith x Clarkes x Adidas
With a brand new Kithmas December release on the way as well, we just had to. A bunch of the Story team are inner Adidas fans and it was great to see them have a somewhat comeback this year. It was quite an unexpected collaboration with Kith, Clarks, and Adidas teaming up in March to unveil their unique trio. They presented a chunky Samba featuring the distinctive English Stead suede from Clarks Wallabee and a robust crepe sole which was extremely well received. In the latest teaser, the upcoming Kith x Clarks x adidas Samba reemerges with a sleek off-white upper adorned with velvety Three-Stripes in vibrant green, blue, and purple hues. A touch of depth is added with darker blue tones on the leather heel tab, while the familiar toe suede box gets a stylish makeover in dusty brown. While reminiscent of a previous scheme, the new iteration exudes a more festive vibe, with even the sweater from the previous preview embracing the Kithmas spirit by sporting a lively green hue. Two collections in the same year is hard to argue against.
Patta x Barcelona Fc
Corteiz x Nike Air max 95
OTHER NOTABLE WINS
Breakthrough Brand of the Year:
Clint419 gave everybody in the industry a lesson in marketing and hype.
New Silhouette of the year:
Asics Gel - NYC
One of the best looking understated sneakers of year, thats how you create a dad shoe. Comfortable and stylish.
Tesla - Lil Yachty
Story Eatery of the year:
New York Bagels
Best bagels in the country… no seriously it's become a religious breakfast in the office.