Credit: Instagram @fujiwarahiroshi

Nike’s ‘The Ten’ collaboration born from the visionary mind of Virgil Abloh is considered one of the most coveted and in-demand sneaker collaborations of the last decade. Donning a signature zip-tag and bold branding, a number of the models are still available on the likes of eBay and StockX – a hot commodity for buyers and resellers. Established in 2017, it turns out that the celebrated partnership could have looked a lot different.

Posted to Instagram, designer and creative agency founder Jeff Staple published a throwback video from ComplexCon in 2017 off the back of Hiroshi Fujiwara’s appearance at Nike’s NYFW show, last week. Within the video, the Japanese designer revealed a sample Fragment x Nike sneaker donning the same ‘The Ten’ branding on the heel. According to Fujiwara he “lost” to Virgil Abloh, and his designs were never released.

The sneakers in question were a minimalist iteration of the Air Force 1 and featured three velcro straps across the tongue and a black pull tab on the heel emblazoned with the Fragment brand. The video also reveals a black, laced sample with the same pull tab.

It isn’t the first or last time that Fujiwara – considered the Godfather of streetwear – has collaborated with sporting powerhouse. Across the decades of his prolific standing, his HTM designs with Tinker Hatfield and Mark Parker are believed to be the most in-demand styles across the limited release range and we can surely expect more genius sparks in the future.

Take a look at the unreleased sample below.

thoughts?