Nike is getting into California collaborations this month

Nike is headquartered just outside of Portland, a city famous for its gloomy weather. A little further south is California, nicknamed, of course, the Golden State. So it seems fitting that the Swoosh cooked up not one but two California collabs to help close out the summer. Nike teams up with longtime Laguna Beach-based label Stüssy and beloved boutique Union Los Angeles, with a mix of Nike gear getting the good old Cali treatment.

Stüssy has set its sights on an overhaul of a classic under-the-radar silhouette: the Air Max 2013. The brand specializes in taking unexpected, performance-driven sneakers and turning them into sought-after footwear: we’ve seen Obscures like the Air Zoom Spiridon Caged 2 and Air Zoom Kukini get the Stüssy co-sign and sell out in the blink of an eye. However, these reworked Air Max kicks read as toned down from the previously released beautiful and ugly runners.

The sneakers are mostly tonal – offered in black, fossil and pink – except for a few contrasting accents here and there. The result is a highly portable design with just the right amount of Stüssy flash. In addition to the sneakers, there’s a small collection of co-branded apparel: baggy sweatpants, crew necks, t-shirts, hats, and more, all in colors to match the kicks. (If you ever wanted to buy a pink Nike x Stüssy tracksuitnow is your chance.)

Courtesy of Stüssy

For the Union collaboration, the Nike Cortez is reimagined to celebrate the shoe’s 50th anniversary. A delightful colorful mishmash of woven textiles and suede overlays come together for two sneakers which are sure to turn some heads. Syndicate owner Chris Gibbs has proven that his store can be an important player within the extended Nike universe. A Union-designed sneaker is always funky and often quirky and always coveted. (The Union Jordan 1 is in the upper echelon of recent releases; it still commands over $1,800 in the secondary market.)

Neither Stüssy nor Union are strangers to Nike collaborations. It’s just rare that a single month brings projects from both. Plus, streetwear fans will remember that at the time, the two labels shared a space known as The Stüssy union. The Stüssy collab is set to be released on August 5, while the Union collab will be released on August 10. If there was ever a time for the Swoosh to call on its California friends, it’s definitely summer. And adding one of these sneakers to your rotation is a stylish, sunny way to brighten up the rest of your summer.

Darryl A. Chapin