Andrew Chiou’s Concepts are Franchise Collabs Done Right


When it comes to merchandising media franchises, whether TV shows or movies, the sneaker industry seems to possess an innate ability to completely miss the target.

While there are fans that feel satisfied by what brands across the board have delivered, there’s certainly been a lot of missed potential – thankfully, creators like Andrew Chiou have shown us what could be.

When a media franchise reaches the point of international acclaim, it’s only a matter of time before the sneaker industry’s leaders capitalize on the moment with an official collaboration or inspired take. We’ve seen it time and time again – adidas’ Game of Thrones and Dragonball Z collabs, Nike’s The Simpsons Dunks.

While the prospect of an official collaboration may excite fans, the commonality that joins these projects is a lack of real finesse. With access to character-dense, well-storied franchises like Dragonball Z, there’s huge potential to create something special; unfortunately, the result tends to be simple palette swaps.

Glazing Andrew Chiou’s just Instagram is a series of concepts that demonstrate how far these types of projects could be taken; a showcase, if you will, of the huge potential that exists for these types of media franchise sneaker collaborations.

Circling back to Dragonball Z, Chiou has created three character-themed Nike Dunk Lows, capitalizing on each’s defining features to create detail-heavy art pieces.

His pairs inspired by the Namek, Piccolo, for example, feature shading and pattern work that mimick the character’s green skin and pink muscles, with purple overlays and blue laces borrows their colors from the character’s in-universe clothing.

These carefully considered renders and shading are also seen across the Majin Buu and Freiza pairs, with the latter perfectly capturing how light hits the character’s features.

Obviously, pairs like these take far more time and effort to produce (hence their hefty price tags) than the kind of pairs we’ve seen from the big players, but it’s a small price to pay for an artistic, wearable rendition of a globally beloved franchise.

At mass market level, there are the odd bangers, however. Three Stripes’ recent Black Panther: Wakanda Forever Ultra 4D, for example, executed movie’s titular character’s look perfectly. Similarly, its upcoming Yu-Gi-Oh! collaboration is looking pretty spicy.

With creators like Andrew Chiou stepping up to the plate to highlight the huge possibilities for these types of projects, will the likes of Nike and adi’ step their game up? Better yet, why not work with these creators directly to create something special?

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