With Chris Gibbs at the helm, Union LA has produced some of the most compelling collaborations the Nike umbrella has ever seen. Their Air Jordan 1, for example, was quickly pronounced one of the best releases of 2018 and even years beyond that. And while the subsequent Air Jordan 4s and Air Jordan 2s were divisive at first, the praise for them gradually loudened to a decent roar.
Now, the boutique is once again expanding away from MJ’s many signatures, creating a unique interpretation of the Nike Cortez. On an episode of Full Size Run, Gibbs mentioned that he wanted to create a Cortez for people who didn’t normally wear the shoe, which he’s done by near-completely remodeling the classic’s paneling and overall construction.
While the lines of the original are surely present, they’re fashioned in a way much more contemporary, somewhat reminiscent of the Union x Air Jordan 2’s futuristic design. The Cortez, however, imagines a less optimistic future, as the midsole is rendered completely dilapidated, with holes rife across the side walls. Textured caps, then, wrap the front and back end of the fixture, reflecting the lived-in, reinforced look the upper displays with its additional suede panels, patched eye stays, and canvas base.
Color-wise, the pair is not unlike that of the “Guava Ice,” as the same shade of blue and pink are used across the multi-color base and the adjacent accents. A light tan makes up the majority of the construction, which complements the lighter finish of the sole unit and tongue. As for branding, Union signatures — such as the Frontman and “UN/LA” tab — mark the heel, forefoot, tongue, and the cork insole.
Enjoy a close-up look at the upcoming Union LA x Nike Cortez right here. Currently, no release date has been confirmed, but we should learn more of the collaboration very soon.
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Union LA x Nike Cortez
Release Date: 2022
Style Code: DR1413-200