Chris Brown Shows Off The Most Insane Sneaker Collection We’ve Ever Seen On Complex Closets

For the latest episode of Complex Closets with Joe La Puma, Grammy-winning R&B superstar Chris Brown gives us an exclusive look at his massive, never-before-seen sneaker collection at his home in Los Angeles. The closet that takes on a department-store feel has not only never been seen by the public, but Brown hasn't even Instagrammed a sneak peek of the room that boasts piles upon piles of different types of sneakers.

In the episode, Brown explains that he changes his sneakers up to four times a day and brought around 1,000 pairs with him on the road for his recent “The Party Tour.” He also goes on in the episode to say how Allen Iverson inspired him more growing up than Michael Jordan and how he'll only wear Skechers if the brand pays him. 

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Lonzo Ball Went Off in Front of LeBron James During a Summer League Game, and NBA Twitter Lost It

Lonzo Ball played his best game of the Las Vegas Summer League on Wednesday night. He went off for 36 points, 8 rebounds, 11 assists, 5 steals, and 2 blocks in the Lakers’ 103-102 win over the 76ers. And he did it while wearing a pair of Nike sneakers as LeBron James looked on from the crowd, which made the night even crazier than it already was for both Lonzo and those NBA fans watching the game from home.

When Lonzo took the court at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas for Los Angeles’ game against Philadelphia, the first thing that most people noticed was that he wasn’t wearing his signature Big Baller Brand ZO2 sneakers.

Instead, Lonzo was rocking a pair of Kobe Bryant’s signature Nike sneakers, which sparked quite a reaction among NBA fans on Twitter:

That reaction continued once the game started. As Lonzo picked apart the Sixers’ defense and did a little bit of everything on the court, NBA fans picked apart his affiliation with BBB and commented on how much better he was playing in a pair of Kobes:

There was also a LeBron sighting at the game, and of course, that got a lot of attention, too. Some NBA fans openly wondered why LeBron was at a Lakers’ Summer League game and speculated about how it might be a sign that he’s seriously considering joining the team in free agency next summer:

LeBron downplayed that talk by telling ESPN.com that he’s in Las Vegas right now to work with the players on the Cavaliers’ Summer League team. He also said that he was at the Lakers/76ers game to see former Cavaliers assistant coach Lloyd Pierce, who is now with the Sixers.

But while speaking with ESPN.com in the fourth quarter, he acknowledged that he was impressed with what he saw from Lonzo. “He can really pass it,” LeBron said.

LeBron also acknowledged that he was impressed with what he saw on Lonzo’s feet by putting up this Instagram post after the game:

 

Just. Do. It

A post shared by LeBron James (@kingjames) on Jul 12, 2017 at 9:44pm PDT

For his part, Lonzo said that he saw LeBron in the crowd. He claimed it didn’t make him play any harder, but he said he hoped LeBron got a glimpse of what he’s able to do on the court. “Saw him at halftime,” Lonzo told ESPN.com. “It’s nice that he came out and got to see the game. Did it inspire me? No. But I hope he saw a good game.”

And Lonzo also explained his choice of sneakers for the game. While everyone else freaked out over him wearing Kobes, he offered up a simple explanation for why he went with Nike sneakers over his usual BBB kicks. “Um, you know, Mamba mentality,” Lonzo said, referencing Kobe. “Thought I’d switch it up.”

He added: “Like I said, you can wear whatever you want when you play with Big Baller Brand…and it is just nice to get out there and do that.”

The Lakers return to action on Thursday night against, oddly enough, LeBron’s Cavaliers. Don’t be surprised if LeBron shows up to see Lonzo again. And after what he was able to do against the Sixers, don’t be surprised if Lonzo wears Kobes again, either.

 

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ASAP Rocky’s Biggest Challenge: Making Under Armour Cool

ASAP Rocky has convinced the world that New York artists could sound like they’re from Houston, shown that rappers could dress like they stepped off a Paris runway, designed sneakers with Adidas and Jeremy Scott, and modeled for Dior.​ But now he's signed himself up for one of the biggest tasks of his career: making Under Armour relevant in the world that he's dominated for much of this decade.

By most mainstream measures, Under Armour already is “cool.” They've snatched up big names in sports like Steph Curry, Tom Brady, Jordan Spieth, Cam Newton, and Aaron Judge, and the brand’s on-field success has been nothing short of impeccable. Unfortunately, that hasn’t been quite enough to give the brand cultural impact that transcends beyond professional sports.

The brand is clearly hoping to change that. It was reported on July 8 that Rocky had signed a multi-year deal with the Maryland sportswear company to work on lifestyle product for its UAS range, which is directed by fashion designer Tim Coppens and focuses apparel and sneakers that don’t feature the Under Armour logo — something that's driven style-oriented people away from the brand in the past.

It’s been the butt of many Internet jokes in recent times, most notably its all-white Steph Curry sneakers, and its move to bring Rocky onboard is a clear sign that it’s trying to chase a different consumer; one that’s eschewed its shoes for Nike and Adidas. It’s already worn by suburban dads and young teens who actually play basketball, but convincing everyone else to buy into the sneakers is a different story.

The Rock Under Armour
Under Armour has previously used entertainers such as The Rock to try and grow its company. Image via The Rock on Instagram

It was once controversial to claim that artists and musicians are the new athletes in the footwear industry, but Kanye West and Adidas (followed by a whole host of other entertainers and companies) have proved that notion wrong. Yeezys are flying off shelves at a breakneck pace while LeBrons are collecting dust and going on sale. And Under Armour’s move of signing Rocky proves that even the most sports-focused company realizes that it needs to get younger and hipper to grab its stake in the shoe game. The company has already signed The Rock to a big deal, but it didn’t make an impact with the cool-guy demographic, an audience that it so desperately wants to resonate with. It won’t, however, be as seamless as attaching one of the biggest names in hip-hop to a sneaker brand and watching the money roll in. Rocky is going to have to work his ass off to make this partnership truly work.

If anyone thinks Rocky’s contribution, in terms of influence, is insignificant, consider this for a second: With 6.3 million instagram followers, he has nearly twice as many as Under Armour’s main account.

Let’s think of the possibilities for a second. If Rocky is able to create product that truly inspires his fan base, there’s no way that it’s not going to sell out, and it will only create a snowball effect for Under Armour. Don’t believe me? You’d be hard-pressed to find a high percentage of the Yeezy/Boost fanboys who owned a pair of sneakers with Three Stripes on them prior to Kanye and Adidas working together in 2015, but now the brand has, literally, boosted its sales and has overtaken Nike and Jordan Brand in terms of resonance with the millennial audience. 

It’s not going to be easy, though. This isn’t Under Armour’s first foray into lifestyle product. It’s made luxury, off-court sneakers for Steph Curry and even launched them at leading boutique Concepts. The brand made a huge push behind its Tim Coppens line, too, and it’s just fallen flat. It even has Migos promoting the label, but they haven’t consistently worn the product in the public eye and it’s failed to make a huge impact. Rocky could change all of that. His connection as a designer/signature artist is much greater than paying him to simply wear Under Armour. People have spouted on social media that they’re already going to buy their first pair of Under Armours, but all of that will be proven when his shoes finally are available at retail.

What makes Rocky’s partnership with the brand intriguing is that he’s notorious for being someone who won’t wear or co-sign anything that he’s not truly into. It’s likely that he sees this opportunity as a chance to boost his profile as someone who’s taken seriously as a designer in the style world, and who doesn’t want their name attached to a commercially successful sneaker? Imagine if Under Armour lets him design a sneaker for Steph Curry to wear during the All-Star Game? That’s visibility that even his music, likely, won’t achieve. But these are all what-ifs. It all starts with making a good pair of shoes, and the rest will follow.

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Kevin Hart Breaks Down His Second Nike Sneaker

Last summer, Kevin Hart released his very own Nike training sneaker, which was dubbed the Nike Hustle Hart. He showed the sneaker off for the first time during an appearance on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon in January before releasing them a few months later. And now, fresh off the success of his first sneaker, Hart has released a second Nike sneaker that is specifically designed for those who like to train as much as Hart does.

Hart turned 38 on Thursday, and to mark the occasion, he teamed up with Nike again to release two versions of his second Nike sneaker—the Nike Free Train Virtue Hustle Hart Day, which features a Cool Grey/Sport Red/White colorway, and the Nike Free Train Virtue Hustle Hart Night, which comes in a Black/Sport Red/White/Metallic Gold colorway. Both sneakers are available for $130 through Nike right now.

Complex News caught up with Hart behind-the-scenes at the shoot for the sneaker’s campaign at Equinox in New York City, and he explained the role he played in the sneaker’s creation this time around.

“How involved was I? I mean, very much,” he said. “Being a part of it, meeting with the design team, telling them what I would love to see. With anything, you want to progress and not digress. So with the development of the Hustle Hart 2s, you wanted them to be better, and that’s what this is. It’s a shoe that fits me and puts me in a position to perform at the highest level, and that’s what I like about it.”

We also asked Hart if he feels a sense of competition with Drake since he has his own sneaker through Jordan Brand. Hart joked about how he doesn’t plan to send Drake a pair of his sneakers and also revealed that he doesn’t feel like he’s involved in a sneaker rivalry with the rapper.

“No, I’m not sending him a pair, and no, there isn’t a competition because his sneakers stink,” Hart said. “You can only compete with things that are good and his sneakers aren’t good. They’re stupid because Drake is a part of it. Now if Drake wasn’t a part of it and somebody else was a part of it, then it would be cool. But because it’s Drake, it’s stupid.”

You can check out our behind-the-scenes interview with Hart above, and some photos of the Nike Free Train Virtue Hustle Hart Day and Night sneakers below.

Kevin Hart Day 1.
Image via Publicist
Kevin Hart Day 2.
Image via Publicist
Kevin Hart Day 3.
Image via Publicist
Kevin Hart Day 4.
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Kevin Hart Day 5.
Image via Publicist
Kevin Hart Day 6.
Image via Publicist
Kevin Hart Night 1.
Image via Publicist
Kevin Hart Night 2.
Image via Publicist
Kevin Hart Night 3.
Image via Publicist
Kevin Hart Night 4.
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Kevin Hart Night 5.
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Kevin Hart Night 6.
Image via Publicist

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Watch Wale Host an Epic Rap Battle on ‘WWE Smackdown Live’

Over the last few weeks, the beef between the WWE Smackdown Tag Team Champions The Usos and the triple threat known as The New Day has been heating up, and surprisingly, there have been some bars exchanged during it. It got so heated on the rap tip that the WWE decided to call on D.C.'s own Wale to help moderate a special rap battle on this week's episode of Smackdown, and it was a segment to remember.

Heads should already know that Wale has been a fan of wrestling for years now. From doing random promo shoots with title belts on his shoulder to dropping wrestling-themed singles with fellow wrestling lover Smoke DZA to talking the WWE's mainstream appeal at ComplexCon last year to interviewing New Day member Kofi Kingston over their shared lover of sneakers for this very site, he was truly the man right man for the job on Tuesday night.

The clip above is legit set up like a Smack battle, with Wale doing a great impression of Smack saying his name at the beginning. Both sides had crews behind them (word to Mega Ran standing with the New Day), and traded darts that poked holes in the personas each squad has built up. Somehow, Kofi found a way to get a “weeniedo” joke off in 2017, and The Usos more than held their own. But the illest bar from The Usos is edited out of the YouTube clip, even though it aired live and is a trip.

For those who aren't up on this, the “R-rated like Xavier Woods” line is in regards to a sex tape featuring Xavier Woods and WWE Superstar Paige that leaked back in March. The Usos themselves made a subtle reference to Woods' ordeal just days after the tape leaked, but this Usos line was much more biting and more than likely off the script, hence why the WWE cut it from their YouTube video. Shouts to Wale for throwing in “Don Demarco” chants, like this was a legit battle.

Wale was all over the WWE programming during his visit to Smackdown. Here's what he had to say before the battle (word to OGJOHNNY5 and DZA next to him):

After Smackdown went off the air, the WWE produced their 205 Live show for the WWE Network, which Wale was also in attendance for. He even filmed a segment with Titus O'Neil, who reportedly signed Wale to his Titus Worldwide squad. Here's their press conference:

This had to have been a lot of fun for Wale and the rap-loving wrestling community, and while the WWE lowkey scrubbed it, the illest line from the night has been saved, thanks to the internets. Bang…bang.

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Sneaker Shopping With Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs

Sean “Diddy” Combs and Bad Boy Records changed the hip-hop world, and his documentary, Can't Stop Won't Stop: The Bad Boy Story, gives a behind-the-scenes look at the label that has been a powerhouse for over 20 years. For the latest episode of Complex's Sneaker Shopping, the hip-hop mogul met up with Joe La Puma at Stadium Goods in New York City to talk about the heyday of Bad Boy, a potential Biggie sneaker collaboration, and the sneakers he wore in his iconic music videos.

In the episode, Diddy reminisces on the Air Force 1s he wore in the famous “Mo Money Mo Problems” music video and says that he picked out the sneakers to give East Coast hip-hop a definitive look. He also talked about him and the Notorious B.I.G. buying 20 pairs of sneakers at a time to look fresh on tour. Diddy goes on to reveal in the episode that he's been approached by Jordan Brand and Gucci to make sneakers for Biggie and hints that there might be projects on the way. In the end, Diddy spends over $4,000 on Jordans, Nike SB Dunks, and Chuck Taylors.

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Lonzo Ball Knew He Was Going To Be a Laker and (Maybe) Made NBA Draft History

If he was tipped off, he didn’t say. But if Lonzo Ball truly didn’t have assurance from the Lakers that he was going to be the second pick in Thursday’s NBA Draft, he felt it in his bones. Or more accurately his feet.

Because sitting in the green room, off to the right of the podium where commissioner Adam Silver announced all 30 first round selections, Ball decided to switch shoes once the Lakers were on the clock.  

Gone where the black hard bottoms he was sporting earlier. Out came a pair of the infamous Big Baller Brand ZO2s that retail for $495. Only these weren’t all black, like the ones that infamously debuted back in May. This pair was gold and purple—Lakers colors. And before Silver could say Ball’s name, he casually slipped on the sneakers because he just knew suiting up for his hometown team was his destiny.

“Just had a good feeling, and changed them five minutes before when they was on the clock, and I'm glad they called my name,” said Ball, in typically understated fashion.

The NBA’s signature fashion event, where 19-and-20-year-old kids get decked out in suits that would put every prom outside of Beverly Hills to shame, usually does not feature any wardrobe changes, other than the addition of a team hat once Silver calls your name. But Ball just might have authored an NBA first when he switched shoes in the middle of the draft.

Magic Johnson and the Lakers got their point guard of the present and future, one ESPN’s Jay Williams told us Wednesday could be “transcendent.”

Ball told Complex he changed “when [the Lakers] had the pick, right after Markelle” Fultz was chosen first by the Sixers. The Ball family had them hidden “right under the table” and Lonzo “had a feeling” he was about to be next selection. And that’s when he slipped into something way more comfortable and way more marketable than a pair of black dress shoes.

And really, Lonzo rocking a brand new colorway of the ZO2s was arguably one of the more interesting subplots to come out of the NBA Draft that didn't revolve around the Jimmy Butler trade to the Timberwolves or the prospect of Phil Jackson asininely shipping Kristaps Porzingis somewhere. Because the top part of the draft didn’t veer far from most projections. It was short on suspense and very predictable. 

Fultz went to the Sixers. Lonzo to the Lakers. Jayson Tatum to the Celtics at No. 3. Josh Jackson to the Suns at No. 4 and De’Aaron Fox, the guy who was rumored to be ahead of Ball on the Lakers’ draft board about a month ago, went to the Kings at No. 5.

In the end, LaVar Ball, with his swagger on a hundred, thousand, trillion at Barclays Center, could do his damn thing, talk his talk, and most especially walk his signature walk. His son was drafted to the only team he ever wanted him to play for, the team he predicted months ago would wind up with his son. LaVar proved to be a prophet.

Lonzo Ball LaVar Ball Green Room NBA Draft 2017
Image via USA Today Sports/Brad Penner

The man behind Big Baller Brand was surprisingly absent as Lonzo made his way through the arena's bowels, talking to reporters, taking part in NBA sanctioned obligations, and getting hounded by little kids for autographs. Usually, new draftees are paraded all over the arena with their handlers and based on how hands-on LaVar has been, it wasn’t out of the question to expect him to tail his son. But maybe it was by design that he didn’t, or maybe it was just happenstance that papa Ball had to stick around with the rest of his brood and babysit the younger LiAngelo and LaMelo while Lonzo basked in his crowning achievement of his 19 years of existence.

We didn’t really get to witness the bragging and boasting of LaVar afterward, which would have been gold. But he got what he wanted, what he predicted. And we, as NBA fans, got what was basically expected from the darft.

With the rest of the top 10 relatively bereft of drama, Lonzo winding up with the Lakers was arguably the biggest draft-specific story of the night. Lakers exec Magic Johnson got his point guard of the present and future, one ESPN’s Jay Williams told us Wednesday could be “transcendent.” Predictably, Lonzo was about as emotive as a robot, barely smiling or acting like a giddy teenager you’d expect most kids in his position to be.

But at least he was rocking the freshest kicks in the house, the ones nobody else was wearing or could get their hands at the time, the ones that he can most definitely afford now that's he's a Laker. 

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The Best Sneakers of 2017 (So Far)

At this time last year, we were saying, “Damn, this has been a really boring year in sneakers.” The same can’t be said for the first half of 2017. There have been unexpected retros, groundbreaking technology, and an abundance of sneakers from Kanye West. Nike made the VaporMax. Kaws got his own Air Jordan, and the Air Max series got its just due with proper retros. What more could people want?

There are years where it feels like you have to be into one type of shoe to be part of the sneaker scene, 2017 has been anything but that. Check out what’s dominated the world of footwear this year with our list of the best sneakers of 2017 so far. —Matt Welty

 

  • 10. Big Baller Brand Zo2

    Let’s go through some of what we know about the Big Baller Brand Zo2: It retails for $495, we’ve only seen it on the feet of the Ball family (and in one in-house made commercial), it’s only been available for pre-order, and it was apparently designed in a matter of hours. With LaVar Ball pushing for a highly unlikely partnership deal from one of the major sneaker companies, Lonzo Ball’s premier signature sneaker may never be produced in big numbers at all.

     If none of this sounds like anything that would qualify a sneaker for a mid-year best-of list, that’s because it normally wouldn’t be. But while it will be months before the Zo2 runs the streets—if it ever does—the $495 shoe certainly ran the Internet the week it was announced. One suspects this is exactly what LaVar Ball wanted. And the only thing that will bother him about this is the placement. —Russ Bengtson

     

  • 9. Air Jordan 1 “Royal”

    Already making the list as one of the Best Air Jordans of 2017 (So Far), the Air Jordan 1 “Royal” also stands its ground as one of the best releases from all brands this year. Even as a general release, “Royal” 1s  were highly anticipated—and for good reason. Jordan Brand had already been on a roll of releasing Air Jordan 1s in true to original form, so for fans of the silhouette it was another must-have colorway.

    Michael Jordan never wore the “Royal” 1s in a regulation basketball game, but an iconic photo of him wearing the sneakers and a matching sleeveless Flight suit on a jet runway, make the colorway just as desirable as “Banned” or “Chicago” 1s. In the past, securing a pair of “Royal” 1s meant spending well over retail on eBay, so the $160 retro was actually a bargain in the eyes of collectors. Premium leather, OG high-top construction, extra royal blue laces and an original-style Nike box make these the closest pair to 1985. —Amir Ismael

     

  • 8. Raf Simons Adidas Ozweego 2

    When Raf Simons introduced his collection with Adidas back in 2013, I remember thinking it was God awful. And a lot of it was. I never want to see anyone wear platform sneakers or ones that come up to your knee. There were two sneakers that I liked: The Stan Smiths and the Ozweego. The latter was cool because it showed that Raf knew a thing or two about sneakers (which he does) and wasn’t just catering to the fashion tryhards who were just dipping their feet into the luxury pool. It’s based off a '90s Adidas running sneaker, and the colorblocking had the vibe of an “O.G.” colorway. Most forgot about the design for awhile, then it re-emerged with an unseen vengeance. Adidas released a colorway that was reminiscent of the first pair that dropped around 3 years ago, and it was met with open arms by cool guys and sneaker connoisseurs. It also didn’t hurt that ASAP Rocky was rapping, “Don’t touch my Raf,” around the same time these sneakers dropped. Except everyone was trying to get their hands on them. —Matt Welty

     

  • 7. Tom Sachs x Nike Mars Yard 2.0

    Back in 2012, New York City artist Tom Sachs teamed up with Nike to create the NikeCraft Mars Yard, a space-inspired sneaker that was meant to be worn. Sachs did just that, by wear-testing the shoes for years. During that time he realized that the sneakers could’ve been designed better, so nearly five years later the Tom Sachs x NikeCraft Mars Yard 2.0 were finally introduced this year. 

    The updated version looks nearly identical to the original, but there were several key changes. A polyester warp-knit tricot mesh replaced the Vectran upper, the red pull tabs featured much stronger stitching and the outsoles were toned down to be more suitable for urban wear. Interchangeable mesh and cork insoles were also included to make the sneakers suitable for wearing with or without socks. With a very utilitarian approach to design, the Mars Yard 2.0 uses mostly unprocessed materials—the leather isn’t dyed, the cork is natura,l and the polyurethane midsole is raw and unpainted. And to really drive home the message of wearing the sneakers, the box reads, “These shoes are only valid if worn, and worn to death by you. Posers need not apply.” —Amir Ismael


  • 6. Nike Air Max 97 “Silver Bullet”

    The Nike Air Max 97 tends to resurface every few years. It’s been a consistent favorite in Europe, specifically Italy and London, but it’s had a mixed reception in the U.S. It’s always played second fiddle to the Air Max 1, 90, and 95, but this year saw the 97 celebrate its 20th birthday and Nike did it justice. It all started late last year with activations and special editions made for Italy. The 97s, in their original “Silver” colorway, finally had a wide release in the States this year, and it brought a new energy to the sneaker. People who had never worn Air Maxes, let alone 97s, were hunting high and low to get a pair. It didn’t really make sense and made a lot of O.G.s shake their heads at the newcomers, but, in the grander scheme of things, it was a much welcomed change to the typical sneakers that dominate the retro cycle. And if something like the 97 can smash the mold, it can serve as an example that any sneaker can break into the mainstream with the right strategical push behind it. —Matt Welty

     

  • 5. Adidas Futurecraft 4D

    What actually makes something 4D? I don’t know, that just sounds like some made-up marketing speak to me. But Adidas made a 4D running sneaker this year, and it’s really good. 3D printing is the future of footwear manufacturing, and Adidas has taken it one step further with its ongoing Futurecraft program, which implements the most cutting-edge design practices into wearable shoes. Only 300 pairs of the 4D sneakers were given to influencers and industry insiders this year, but Adidas is set to release 5,000 more pairs by the end of the year, which should make everyone lose their minds. And I don’t blame them: The shoes have a clean upper that’s similar to an Ultra Boost, and a mind-blowingly futuristic midsole. The balance between the simple and the extreme makes the 4D runner a clear-cut winner, and it doesn’t hurt that people are shelling out $3,000 on the secondary market for them right now, either. —Matt Welty

     

  • 4. Adidas Yeezy Boost 350 v2 “Zebra”

    When the Adidas Yeezy Boost 350 v2 debuted in September 2016, it was well received because it was simply a new Yeezy sneaker. Shortly after its initial release, more colorways including several “Core Black” pairs and the “Zebras” surfaced. The black and white Primeknit upper and white outsole made the sneakers like the “Turtle Doves” of V2s or, even arguably, better than the original Yeezy Boost 350.

    While, all the “Core Black” pairs that released over the holiday season were relatively easy to come by, the “Zebras” were the complete opposite when they launched in February. Only 34 Adidas Original stores worldwide stocked the colorway, with just four of those stores being in the U.S. They released exclusively through Adidas Confirmed—there was no online release and no additional retailers that carried the shoes. Luckily, Adidas is treating Yeezy fans well with a much wider restock this weekend. Even with the sneakers becoming less exclusive, the “Zebra” colorway makes these one of the best Yeezys Boosts ever and one of this year’s best sneakers. —Amir Ismael


  • 3. Atmos x Air Max 1 “Elephant”

    In celebration of last year’s Air Max Day, Nike introduced Vote Back—a new poll that gave the public a chance to bring back one specific Air Max sneaker for 2017. When sneaker enthusiasts realized they had the opportunity to bring back “Elephant Print” Atmos x Air Max 1s just a year after Nike re-released “Safari” Air Max 1s, the 2007 classic won easily.

    With the release date locked in for 2017 Air Max Day, it became one of this year’s most anticipated sneakers nearly in advanced. While the 2016 “Safari” Air Max 1s had several questionable changes, the recent “Elephant Print” Air Max 1s gave diehard Air Max fans exactly what they were looking for by staying true to the original.

    In addition to the Vote Back release, Atmos surprised fans with another iteration of the colorway in a first-of-its-kind Air Jordan collaboration. Still sticking to the highly sought after black, white, jade, and Elephant Print colorway, the pair done in collaboration with Jordan Brand featured minor changes in detail like a semi-translucent black outsole with Jumpman branding and Elephant Print insoles. Give the people what they want, when they want it, and they’ll always be satisfied. —Amir Ismael


  • 2. Kaws x Air Jordan IV

    The Kaws x Air Jordan IV had all the ingredients necessary for a huge sneaker hit—a classic Air Jordan model, a collaboration with the right artist at the right time, premium construction, thoughtfully designed packaging, and limited production numbers. All that would have been enough even without the sneaker itself being terrific. But it was.

    Kaws had done sneaker collaborations before, most notably with Nike on a set of Air Max 90s. But a Jordan collaboration was different. And Kaws had a higher profile now than he did back then, as did the sneaker world as a whole, so this was his most heavily anticipated project yet.

    Again, it did not disappoint. The monochrome suede build was broken up by different textures of suede and subtle grey-on-grey embroidery, Kaws’ signature “XX” branding on the heel tab and hangtag, and set off by a glow-in-the-dark sole with Kaws’ Companion hands detail underneath. A leather lining and Jumpman/Kaws dustbag finished off the package, which came in a Kaws-specific Air Jordan IV box. The toughest decision? To stash, or to wear right away. —Russ Bengtson

     

  • 1. Nike VaporMax

     Nike desperately needed a win this year. Adidas has been slapping the living daylights out of them left and right, sneaker release after sneaker release. Nike just hasn’t been able to keep up in terms of innovation and cool over the past couple seasons, but all of that slightly started to shift with the launch of the VaporMax this year. Nike was able to create a sole unit that was completely full of Air, and it was just as practical as it was visually appealing; the bulbous Air unit is something out of a cartoon. It was a much-needed win against Adidas for the Swoosh, and it’s rare that a brand-new sneaker is the shoe that everyone’s been talking about. We’ve seen it in the recent past with the Adidas Ultra Boost;the VaporMax had the same energy around it. This is only the beginning for the technology and the silhouette, though. There’s still another half of a year to shine and the sole is going to be used over and over again until we’re sick of it. But at the moment, we’re going back for seconds, thirds, and fourths because we’re still still not full on the VaporMax just yet—it’s that good. —Matt Welty

     

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The Best-Dressed Men of 2017 (So Far)

The way rappers are dressing is evolving again. What once was relegated to baggy denim and gold chains has been upgraded to tailored designer wear, trendsetting sneakers, and obscure street and skatewear. What hasn’t changed, though, is how much these artists influence mainstream culture; they’re truly the innovators. It’s no wonder that high fashion is finally acknowledging rappers and making them global ambassadors or faces of their brands if anything, it was long overdue. 

But it isn’t just rappers who are contributing to, and even dominating, the style conversations today. Actors and athletes are too. Think 21-year-old Moonlight star Ashton Sanders and UFC champ Conor McGregor.

But who are the best-dressed men today? Some choices are obvious—ASAP Rocky and Pharrell—but there are some who surprised us this year. There are also a few people who we left off this list. That isn’t to say they aren’t well-dressed, but they were either super low-key (as in, we rarely saw them in the last few months) or were just not having a good year so far. Things will change though, we’re sure. But at the halfway point of 2017, here are our picks for the most stylish men of the year.  


  • Harry Styles

    Harry Styles has the perfect pop star name, excellent pop star hair, and a time-tested pop star demeanor that seems to always suggest he was up all night having sex with someone beautiful. He also, of course, has a killer wardrobe that complements all of those elements quite well—especially the sex part. When Styles throws on a Gucci suit or a silky Gucci shirt, it often looks like he just picked it up off the hotel room floor, kissed a sleeping supermodel goodbye, and barely had time to button it before sauntering onstage.

    If comparing his style to vintage Mick Jagger is too obvious, consider this: Elle recently devoted an entire post to documenting how closely Styles' look mirrors what Fran Drescher wore on the '90s sitcom The Nanny. They aren't entirely wrong, which does make you wonder: Just how many models did Nanny Fine smash once those kids had gone to sleep? —Steve Dool


  • ASAP Rocky

    ASAP Rocky’s ascent to the forefront of fashion has been slowly churning over the past several years. His tendency to mix the weirdo uptown street styles of Harlem with today’s leading designers has been well-documented, but Flacko hasn’t slowed down in 2017 either. He became the face of Dior Homme, and he constantly mixes and matches styles from the likes of Raf Simons, Alessandro Michele’s Gucci, and J.W. Anderson with VLONE pieces made by ASAP Mob compatriot Bari or Japanese label Needles, grounding many of his looks with simplistic sneakers like Vans Old Skools. The end product is enviable, but uniquely his own. Five years ago, Rocky was just a blip on fashion’s radar. Now, he’s a veritable powerhouse. Hats off. —Skylar Bergl


  • Ashton Sanders

    When actor Ashton Sanders reached the end of the red carpet at the Met Gala in May, he was greeted by veteran Vogue editor Andre Leon Talley. “And you are?” Talley asked the 21-year-old star of Moonlight, declaring that he and ASAP Rocky both looked “so cool and so hot” in their head-to-toe looks by Calvin Klein by Raf Simons.

    Talley is not the only one who’s become a fan of Sanders, as the young actor has quickly gone from a little-known name to one of the most exciting fashion risk-takers in Hollywood. In addition to the comfortable relationship he’s built with Simons at Calvin Klein—he also recently wore the label to the MTV Movie Awards and appeared in the brand’s Spring 2017 ad campaign—this year alone he’s repped red carpet looks from Public School, Yves Saint Laurent, and, famously, Fear of God, when he paired one of Jerry Lorenzo’s kilts with a Calvin tux and Vans Sk8-Hi’s. Not many actors can pull off both traditional and forward-thinking as well as Sanders can, and even fewer are willing to try. But Sanders makes it look easy, and yes, Andre, “so cool” too. —Steve Dool


  • Jonah Hill

    We've seen a lot of sides to the L.A.-born actor over the past few years. Hilariously horny and clumsy-drunk high-schooler Jonah Hill. Money-hungry, arms-dealing war criminal Jonah Hill. And, most recently, we have gotten incredibly, stylishly chill Jonah Hill, who hasn't had to rely on sophomoric comedic relief to get his just due.

    Hill's year in style has been his most consistent image he’s had and it doesn't even look like he's trying. Yes, the Palace ads have been hilarious and have garnered a good amount of attention for him and the British skate brand, but his affinity for minimalistic skate style and brands like Dime, Richardson, and Lotties is admirable. And he's also perfected his look, utilizing brands like Gucci and Saint Laurent, letting regular guys, like me and you, know we can also rock those brands without being gaudy. Jonah Hill is hope. —Nick Grant


  • Migos

    The era of “Versace” Migos hasn’t disappeared completely, but the Atlanta rappers have grown up as their fame has blown up. Over the past year or so, the trio has been featured on what feels like every hit song and shifted their looks to include some of today's most coveted designers. Rest assured, there are still plenty of silk shirts, but Quavo, Takeoff, and Offset have all tested out a variety of looks worth noting. Their fur-loaded performance on Fallon and blacked-out suits with accompanying stacks of gold necklaces at the Met Gala are just the tip of the iceberg. In their regular rotation you'll find a steady stream of luxury labels like Gucci and Saint Laurent as well as smaller upstarts like Palm Angels and Amiri. They're also not afraid to flex their eyewear selections either, as Quavo and Takeoff frequently opt for circular frames and retro '60s-esque sunglasses. Not since the 1800s have spectacles been so stylish. —Skylar Bergl


  • Travis Scott

    In September 2014, when Travis Scott walked in Mark McNairy's NYFW show, it was both excitingly of-the-moment—at the time, Scott hadn’t released any studio albums, just the seminal mixtape Days Before Rodeo—and a foreshadowing, because he fit the environment so damn well. Fast-forward two-and-a-half years, and La Flame's fashion profile has risen concurrently with his position in music—critically acclaimed albums, Nike deal. Scott oscillates between streetwear fanatic with an unlimited Grailed budget and idiosyncratic choices like his affinity for weird camo patterns, wildly baggy looks, or whatever the hell he's doing on the “goosebumps” cover. It may not always work, but it's clear the same amount of precision goes into his style as it does his music. Which is to say, it always stands out. —Frazier Tharpe


  • Donald Glover

    Once upon a time—like, seven months ago—we praised Donald Glover for being a low-key style icon. He wore trucker hats, Nike Cortez sneakers, and every manner of graphic tee and made it look cool and authentically unbothered, suggesting he’d be dressing this way even if he weren’t one of the most in-demand multi-hyphenates in entertainment.

    But then, Glover met Gucci, and there is nothing low-key about that. Like Beyonce, Harry Styles, and 9,000 other celebrities, Glover has frequently been turning to the more-is-more, Italian maximalist fashion house for public appearances. There was his chocolate brown tux at the Golden Globes, his printed button-down at the brand’s resort runway show in Florence, and the Donald Duck cardigan that goes for over $1,000. Even when he goes British—as he did in a paisley Burberry tuxedo at this year’s Met Gala—it’s bold and loud. But the most impressive part of Glover’s style swerve is how effortlessly it works; he looks equally comfortable and natural going high and low. And Glover purists don’t need to worry: Those Nikes are still close by. —Steve Dool


  • Scott Disick

    Scott Disick has certainly not always been the most stylish guy around, but long gone are his preppy frat boy fits. He has figured out how to dress, and it looks like the transformation is here to stay. Disick keeps up with today’s best trends, and can pull them off almost perfectly. He rocks Adidas Ultra Boosts, Calabasas track pants, and oversized hoodies when he wants to keep it comfy. Pieces like distressed jeans, brown Chelsea boots, and solid-colored T-shirts are also always in heavy rotation. We’ve joked that Kanye West influenced the entire Kardashian family’s style. If that’s truly the case, we’d like to personally thank him for helping Lord Disick unlock his full potential. —Mike DeStefano


  • Frank Ocean

    After a five-year hiatus, Frank Ocean finally released new music with the critically-acclaimed Blond. Still, the singer is pretty low-key about everything. The very few times we see him out in public it’s like spotting a unicorn. But make no mistake: Ocean’s fits are almost always on-point. From Bianca Chandon hoodies and a Japan-exclusive Guess T-shirt, to more formal choices like his 2017 Met Gala fit, Ocean covers all sides of the fashion spectrum. Let’s just hope he sticks around a little longer this time to display more fire fits before he goes back into hiding. —Mike DeStefano


  • The Weeknd

    There’s no denying it anymore: The Weeknd is a star. Earlier this month, I saw him perform at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center for his “Starboy: Legends of the Fall Tour” and the Canadian singer, who once preferred to stay mysterious, commanded the stage in an arena filled to the brim with tens of thousands of fans. His style has certainly matched his celebrity.

    Little about the Weeknd’s style has changed from last year, but that’s a good thing. Instead, he’s continued to build on his rockstar, mostly black look. The labels he’s wearing are still only the finest money can buy—Saint Laurent, Alexander McQueen, Gucci, etc.—but his looks aren’t so out-there that the regular guy can’t emulate it. It’s like they say: If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. —Karizza Sanchez


  • Conor McGregor

    Conor McGregor can really be best described as one thing: consistent. He has consistently destroyed opponents and won multiple UFC title belts. He’s consistently talked shit to and about undefeated welterweight boxer Floyd Mayweather, who he’s finally set to fight on August 26. And, in this year of our Lord 2017, The “Notorious” Irishman has consistently showcased some absolutely ostentatious fits that only he could pull off. 

    McGregor’s Instagram account has been the headquarters for his outward expression of his stunt-worthy lifestyle, pairing PJs with SL (Saint Laurent), and high-velocity speedboats with high-priced Louis Vuitton T-shirts. His flamboyant personality and love for pricey toys are only matched by his penchant for rocking the hell out of bright-colored tops with the good ol' invisible tie and designer sneakers. While McGregor has had his fair share of issues outside the Octagon, his exuberant style is undeniable and, quite honestly, refreshing when other athletes just can’t seem to get their look right. —Nick Grant


  • Kendrick Lamar

    2017 is already Kendrick Lamar’s year. In April, the rapper dropped his new album, Damn, which reached platinum status in mere weeks, making it the first album of any genre released this year to move a million copies. But it isn’t just Damn that caught our eye. Let’s be honest. With some help from his stylist Dianne Garcia, Lamar has been killing the style game, too. If you don’t agree, I highly suggest you check out his “Humble” music video. The priestly-cloak? The bedazzled du-rag? The super-rare Bape Kung Fu shirt? The Second/Layer “Dreamer” hoodie (that I know some of you bought after watching the video)? C’mon. —Karizza Sanchez


  • Pharrell

    There are risk-takers, and then there’s Pharrell Williams, who is just way too advanced. Who else in hip-hop can pull off eyeliner? Or stand next to his wife, who wore full Comme des Garçons, at the Met Gala and not look mediocre in custom ripped jeans, a flannel, a leather jacket, and boots? (Although, to be honest, I would’ve appreciated a head-to-toe CdG outfit from the king of wearing Japanese brands.) Or make history and be the first man to be featured in a Chanel bag campaign? Pharrell beats to his own drum. He doesn’t follow trends; he starts them. Sure, his style may not be for everyone, but guess what? He couldn’t care less. Plus, it’s probably secretly how you wish you could dress, anyway. —Karizza Sanchez

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