In 2022, almost all industries related to providing services, entertainment, and producing goods still feel the negative impact of COVID-19. The global market has yet to go through the entire recovery process.
Major sports brands avoid creative and experimental solutions, preferring to release only bestsellers and cheap options, leaving collaborations unreleased until better times. Instead, manufacturers are trying to integrate their sneakers and apparel into WEB 3.0 in order to achieve greater visibility at a lower cost.
According to recent reports, Nike and Adidas are planning to cut production in 2023, making exciting releases even more scarce and increasing aftermarket demand. The runoff is expected to be reduced by 30-40 percent next summer.
The reason for this is a significant drop in demand in China, which is traditionally one of the most important markets, as well as a predicted market drop in Europe and North America, which have shown some growth this year.
However, this has not prevented some brands from expressing themselves in collaborations related to fighting games or fandoms close to them. Although their number was manageable, this year presented an opportunity to implement several previously impossible projects. The highlights of the year in fashion and sneakers associated with FGC will be discussed in this text, also paying attention to lesser-known items.
With DashFight's year-end theme of tallying out all the best that happened in FGC, this article can serve as your inspiration on what to gift yourself or your friends for the upcoming New Year! Enjoy the read!
Nike Air Force 1 Premium Low x Street Fighter III (‘Evo Moment #37’)
The story of this collaboration began in 2019. Mark Julio, who runs the Evo Tournament Series business and has long dreamed of working with Nike, came up with a concept to commemorate a truly legendary moment in fighting game history. Of course, we are talking about the iconic Evo Moment #37, also known as the Daigo Parry.
At the Evolution Championship Series 2004, Daigo Umehara made an incredible comeback during a match with Justin Wong. To do this, he needed a combination of 15 punches, which allowed Umehara to emerge victorious from what seemed to be a wasted duel.
The sneaker dedicated to this moment seems to have been in the brand's collection of ideas for several years, and its limited release took place only in July 2022. At the same time, Julio personally presented a pair of Daigo Umehara and Justin Wong during Evo 2022. It's funny that Wong found out about the existence of this pair thanks to fans from Twitter just two days before arriving at the tournament and did not fully believe in the fact of the product.
The Air Force 1 model was chosen as the basis, which for 40 years from its debut, remains relevant and one of the most recognizable.
The upper of the sneaker is made of textile material in White Fossil, which definitely recalls the triple white colorway that gave Uptowns success worldwide, and collaborations such as Travis Scott's Air Force 1 Low Sail with reinforced stitching and Air Force 1 Low Fossil with streetwear brand Stussy, which later received versions with natural vegetable dyes.
The double logo split into the fabric part, and the jewel swoosh also alludes to Chun-Li's kicks and Nike products from the late 90s and early 2000s. This detail with Navy sole and elements helps the sneakers put you in a nostalgic mood but stay clean.
Another essential detail is the inside of the tongue, which shows the exact sequence of combinations used by Daigo.
Nike Air Force 1 Low Premium Evo Moment #37 can now be found in new condition on one of the resale marketplaces for between $169 and $240. Over time, the collection value of these kicks will likely increase, given only a little stock.
Adidas x BAIT x Street Fighter II
The German sports brand Adidas regularly appears in the information field related to esports and gaming. In recent years, at least, we can recall several high-profile works: several collaborations with twitch streamer Richard Tyler Blevins, better known as Ninja, Adidas Ozweego, timed to coincide with the release of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, or Xbox shoes.
In 2022, the brand teamed up with sneaker store BAIT to honor Street Fighter II and the pixel art aesthetic associated with this iteration of Capcom's fighting game. As a result, they came up with a capsule collection of 4 pairs dedicated to one of the permanent heroes of the franchise - Ryu, Chun-Li, Dhalsim, and E. Honda.
The Ozweego and LXCON models were chosen as the basis, which will probably not be to the taste of lovers of classic silhouettes or less provocative styles but will definitely provide comfort thanks to Adiprene heel cushioning.
Each model displays the characters' classic colors and some elements from their wardrobe. The references to Dhalsim's skull charms and the Honda's face paint look especially notable.
CLOT x ARCADE1UP Street Fighter II Big Blue Arcade Machine
Streetwear brand CLOT also decided to celebrate the 35th anniversary of Street Fighter II this year, but less trivially. The Label by Edison Chen and Kevin Poon, aimed at the bridge between Eastern and Western cultures, has teamed up with ARCADE1UP.
The CLOT x ARCADE1UP Street Fighter II Big Blue Arcade Machine features a vibrant Silk Royale design with graphics, an illuminated top, an authentic control scheme, and a shape close to the original Capcom machines from the 90s. The arcade cabinet comes preloaded with 12 classic games, including Street Fighter II Championship Edition, Super Street Fighter II Turbo, and Darkstalkers: The Night Warriors. The device supports a Wi-Fi connection and comes with a stool of suitable height.
Arcade Machine retailed for $880 at the time of release, but the remaining stock is now available at the Juice store for 50 percent off.
INITIAL Gentleman x Street Fighter II Capsule Collection
The designer clothing store INITIAL Gentleman also released a collection dedicated to the legacy of Street Fighter II.
The label released a capsule collection of minimalistic white t-shirts with embroidered colored portraits of the fighters, referring to the game over screen from the arcade version. The only piece of outerwear was an oversized black kimono. Some items are still available for order online and at the physical store in Hong Kong.
Reebok x Street Fighter
Reebok dedicated an entire line of clothing and footwear to Street Fighter II throughout the year. It includes almost everything from the most recognizable classic silhouettes from the brand, such as the Club C 85, Classic Leather, Furylite 95, Instapump Fury 95, Zig Kinetica 2.5, and Shaq Attaq, to the more technological Nano X2 and LX2200 along with two versions of slides.
Some models display classic colors and character attributes, while others contain graphic elements associated with the game.
The new version of Shaq Attaq has undergone the most changes. This pair of sneakers debuted in 1992, the same year as Street Fighter II, supposedly to revolutionize the basketball shoe market and compete with Jordan's line. Although the release did not justify such bold expectations, Shaq Attaq has a cult status for all veterans of the sneaker game.
Reebok has decided to give a new life to this model along with a re-release. The sneakers received a unique element on the tongue with Street Fighter II Champion Edition branding, signature colors of this part of the franchise, insoles with artwork, and a mix of suede, leather, and mesh.
Prices for these pairs will range from $45 for slides to $200 for Instapump Fury or Shaq Attaq. The complete drop list is still available online for retail, as previously released items get restocked about a couple of weeks ago.
Skullcandy, a company specializing in producing high-end audio products aimed at an audience that prefers to spend a lot of time outside or enjoy extreme sports, has launched its latest collaboration for 2022 this December. The drop includes a wireless gaming headset with soundproofing and a detachable microphone, made with graphics in the style of Street Fighter II.
Skullcandy x Street Fighter PLYR Wireless Gaming Headset works without recharging for 24 hours and supports the fast charging function. You can use the device with PC, Mac, and any modern console, including the Nintendo Switch. It can be a good gift for a fighting game fan who spends much time online.
New York-based streetwear brand Supreme and Japanese designer Yohji Yamamoto, best known for his work with the Adidas Y-3 clothing line, unveiled a new collaboration this fall. The drop was inspired partly by classic characters from Tekken 3.
Bomber Jacket, Puffer Parka, Sweater, Shirt, Hooded Sweatshirt, T-Shirt, and Skateboard Deck contain some original characters like Devil Kazuya or King and the recognizable logo and fighter select collage of a cult fighting game.
Most of the items in this collection are still on sale in the secondary market a few months after the release, in a price range close to retail. Although some, like both bomber jackets or a white hoodie with the Tekken logo, can no longer be found cheaper than from 15% to 44% price premium.
Billionaire Boys Club x Dragon Ball Z
Multi-platinum producer Pharrell Williams, seemingly unstoppable in any creative process related to music and fashion, continues to achieve success every year with new releases for the Adidas Human Race clothing line and production for R'n'B and hip-hop stars of the first echelon.
Williams is also co-owner of the streetwear label Billionaire Boys Club, which he founded in 2003 with Nigo, the creator of Bape, who currently serves as creative director for Kenzo.
Pharrell has always been bold in drawing inspiration from widespread Japanese cultural phenomena, as reflected in this year's Billionaire Boys Club and Dragon Ball Z collaboration.
The capsule collection has been divided into several drops. It focuses primarily on key scenes from the manga, reinterpreting them in prints on long sleeves and classic cut T-shirts. You can still find some via the link.
Andrew Chiou's Dragon Ball Concepts
Last but not least, find worth mentioning are Andrew Chiou's Dragon Ball-related concepts. Andrew is a custom artist known in the sneakerhead community for using combinations of natural dyes and for his great inspiration for pop culture and art.
The designer presented his Nike Dunk Low variants, dedicated to characters from the Dragon Ball universe, such as Majin Buu, Frieza, and Vegeta. The model, which remains one of the brand's bestsellers and seems to be staying in its super-popular position in the near future, has been transformed thanks to atypical color blocking and slightly modified details.
The author is not affiliated with Nike in any way, but he has a web store where you can place an order. According to Instagram, the full launch of this business is expected in 2023, when we may see these Dragon Ball-themed options available.
That's it from us! These have been our favorite FGC collabs with sneakers and fashion items this year! Hopefully, you also found something you liked. Let's look forward together to 2023 being better! Happy New Year, everyone!