On the heels of new samples being on display at Astroworld lets talk about the current collaboration cash cow in the sneakerverse Travis Scott. Why are we rewarding Travis for just putting out the exact same thing time and time again. Are we not supposed to talk bad about the golden boy in hype culture because I did not get the memo. Travis is lazy when it comes to his designs, there I said it I know how bold of me. I'm not saying the designs are bad, in fact I like half of the stuff that Travis releases but my issue is that it's all so lazy. Every time there are rumors about a new collaboration the internet goes straight to Photoshop to mock up what they believe the newest Travis Scott X Nike shoe will look like and lately the major Instagram sneaker pages have been nailing the mock ups almost exactly.
The mock ups are so easy when it comes to Travis because he has a formula and he sticks to it and very rarely does he stray from the aforementioned formula. Let me lay it out for you step by step.
Step 1: Pick your sneaker
Step 2: Make every single piece of the sneaker different shades of brown
Step 3: Flip the swoosh around
Bonus Step: If you're lucky he'll add one single outdoorsy vibe aesthetic feature
Boom you have a Travis Scott Collaboration. Also I understand everyone is going to be all over me saying things along the lines of "WHAT ABOUT HIS FRAGMENT COLLAB?!" and to that all I have to say to you on that note is that wasn't his choice because he was collaborating with Fragment Design. I also understand that Travis first ever collaboration with Nike/Jordan wasn't brown and that's amazing because that's one of my favourite sneakers Travis has done (may or may not be my go to hoop shoe on 2k). Everything since then has followed the exact same formula and the prices just keep going up and up, is that what sneaker culture is now?! Say it ain't so!
I understand that designers and collaborators want to have a signature feature that distinguishes themselves from the rest of the pack and that's totally understandable that's just business. For Travis he could keep the backwards swoosh but then change the materials around or the colors even but do something. Take Union LA for example they have had multiple collaborations with Jordan Brand over the last few years and every single time they release a shoe the mock ups you see circulating around the internet never come close to the actual sneaker once we get official images. They never lose their identity or their hype but they are still able to put out different collaborations and tell different stories through their sneaker medium. (All images below are Union collaborations notice the differences)
See how they are able use their own color palette and keep the heart of the shoes the same while still branching out.
Travis needs to take a notes from a more accomplished designers or design teams and go from there because although churning out the same thing over and over is making you money now, it is going to lose luster and Travis is going to want to be remembered once style and fads change. If he doesn't change things up now he could get lost to sneaker history (scorching hot take but honestly I could care less)