Every so often, Nike draws inspiration from popular culture to create unique and eye-catching designs with clear inspiration but without any “official” collaborations. We’ve had the “Freddy Krueger” inspired Nike SB Dunk Low, the Nike Zoom Kobe V “Bruce Lee”, and just this year, there were rumours (and images) of an unofficial Barbie-inspired collection, which is apparently right on the verge of being released. There are numerous examples of Nike taking inspiration from movies, characters, and cultural icons to create sneakers that present us with an anonymous yet obvious connection. This time, however, the Swoosh brand has taken inspiration from one of the most iconic songs in music history to dress the 21st signature silhouette of LeBron James: the Nike LeBron 21 “Purple Rain.
King James’ admiration for Prince is well known. The famous basketball player has even dressed up as the late musician for Halloween in the past. It’s no surprise then that LeBron would choose to pay homage to the legendary artist with the upcoming “Purple Rain” colourway of his signature shoe line.
This wouldn’t be the first time the well-known athlete has paid tribute to the legendary musician through his sneakers. In fact, LeBron has previously collaborated with Nike to create an exclusive edition of his signature shoes inspired by the late artist. I’m sure you all remember the Nike LeBron 15 “Purple Rain” with its white and black Flyknit upper, layered with purple floral embroidery across the toes. At least this time, we all have a shot at owning a pair of Prince-inspired sneakers from LeBron’s latest collection.
Paying homage to the late artist and his iconic song, this special edition sneaker features a vibrant purple colourway with subtle details that capture the essence of Prince’s legendary style and musical legacy. The LeBron 21 features a tumbled leather upper with a soft “Violet Dust” hue covering the majority of the shoe. A striking “Melon Tint” then adds a pop of contrasting colour to the bulging swoosh profile, tongue tab logo, and the middle-most lace loops. The muted lavender tint is utilized further along the oval laces and tongue construction, creating a cohesive and visually appealing design. Other details on the sneaker include an iridescent “Purple Cosmos” finish that highlights the Zoom Air heel cushioning and a return of the yellow tint on the heel counter via hourglass embroidery.
The Nike LeBron 21 “Purple Rain” is currently expected to be released on October 14th, marking the official debut of his 21st signature silhouette. The sneaker will retail for $200 via Nike SNKRS. If you want to own a pair of these limited-edition sneakers, make sure to mark your calendars and stay tuned for further release details and updates. Also, remember to follow us for more sneaker drops and reviews from your favourite athletes and brands.