Tiffany’s First Footwear Collaboration With Nike Sees Lukewarm Reception In China

What Happened: Tiffany and Nike have revealed a pair of sneakers as part of their new collaboration. The “Nike x Tiffany & Co. Air Force 1 1837” are a pair of black and robin’s egg-blue shoes that can be accessorized with Tiffany’s signature sterling silver accessories, and are set to be released in March. 

The $400 unisex sneakers mark luxury jewelry maker Tiffany’s first time delving into the world of footwear. Their arrival takes place as Nike celebrates the Air Force 1’s 40th anniversary this year. The shoes will exclusively be sold in New York, and at select retailers across North America. 


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Tiffany & Co. (@tiffanyandco)

The Jing Take: It appears that the black shoes with the Tiffany blue swoosh are not impressing sneakerheads around the world so far. In China especially — where Tiffany and Nike have traditionally been strong brands — the reception has been lukewarm. 

On Weibo, news of the collaboration saw less than 50,000 views and the hashtag “Tiffany collab with Nike” attracted less than 20,000 views overall. Meanwhile, China’s streetwear and sneaker enthusiasts have been quick to share their skepticism and feedback. Many found the blue and black color scheme underwhelming, if not too simplistic and not quite on-brand for the jeweler. 

“Based on the design of the sneaker, the collaboration seems to be a stretch. But it might fetch a high price in the resale market,” wrote Weibo user @熊小默. Others questioned the blue and black color combination. “Is the collaboration as simple as switching the color of the logo?” wrote user @神秘的夜晚碳基生物.

On Xiaohongshu, KOL @烧脑 stated that the white-and-blue box was in fact more aesthetically pleasing than the shoe itself.

While the announcement of this latest launch has fallen flat, Tiffany has seen greater success by exploring unconventional collaborations in the past. Earlier this month, the jeweler partnered with fashion house Fendi to release the Tiffany Blue Medium Baguette in the bagmaker’s classic Jacquard FF style. Across Chinese social media, the launch garnered a reach of 2 million. 

The lesson for the LVMH-owned jeweler, as well as other legacy brands, is to launch collaborations that celebrate their classic and signature identities in ways that do not deviate too much from original branding and values. As cross collaborations have become ubiquitous in luxury and fashion, standing out with thoughtful mash ups is key. 

The Jing Take reports on a piece of the leading news and presents our editorial team’s analysis of the key implications for the luxury industry. In the recurring column, we analyze everything from product drops and mergers to heated debate sprouting on Chinese social media.


Fashion, Marketing