Nike must realize it’s onto a good thing here. A couple months ago, back in December, we reported on the Stüssy x Nike Air Penny 2; a reimagining of the 1996 shoe that was originally made in collaboration with NBA Allstar Anfernee Deon Hardaway. Just as we’ve caught our breath, the Stüssy and Nike team are back again with two new colorways for the Air Penny 2, constructed with plant-based materials.
Whereas the previous iteration came in heavy all-black or “vivid green” colorways, the latest drop takes a calmer and more subtle approach. Take your pick between “tonal fossil” or rattan, black and blue. They’re the sort of neutral color schemes that could nestle their way into any everyday outfit. Perhaps the sort of outfit provided by the apparel capsule that is also being released alongside the kicks.
The collection is a loungey affair: sweatpants, tees and a zip-up jacket. The sweats come fleece-lined, with elasticated trims, and feature contrasting co-branding on the thigh. The jacket is made with wool and there’s also a heavy knit sweater. In contrast to the kicks, there doesn’t seem to be much to note here in terms of sustainable materials.
Things are different in the footwear department. On top of that classic Nike Air cushioning, you’ll find an upper made from premium hemp canvas and synthetic suede. In what might be the best case of rebranding in recent years, hemp has been transformed into a viable material choice for serious brands (and not just those ones your hippie aunt buys off the back of a truck). Thanks to its impressive growth rate and low demand for water, it’s proving to be pretty sustainable too. The A-star student of the material world also has a beneficial effect on soil by replenishing vital nutrients and absorbs more CO2 from the atmosphere than it can release.
It’s positive to see two giants like Stüssy and Nike coming together to work on a plant-based sneaker with a lot of hype like this one. We want to see that innovation coming through in the apparel collections too.
The latest colorways for the Stüssy x Nike Air Penny 2 will be available worldwide in staggered drops on the Nike website. The apparel is, unfortunately, already sold out. If hemp piqued your interest, check out our recent deep-dive into other plant-based materials and the rapidly expanding world of fruit leather.