Nike and Tiffany & Co. is a branding odd couple – and fans are unsettled

Tiffany x Nike; a pair of black sneakers with a green tick
(Image credit: Tiffany and Co. / Nike)

The upcoming Tiffany & Co. and Nike brand collaboration has been met with mixed responses from fans. For Tiffany & Co, it's an opportunity to try appeal to a younger audience. For Nike, it's tied into the 40th anniversary of the beloved Air Force 1 sneaker. But is this one of the most mismatched brand alliances in years?

The Tiffany & Co. x Nike Air Force 1 Low '1837' collaboration is coming on 7 March, but was announced last year, and sneakerheads are already jokingly mocking the design. 'Just do it' is the tagline but perhaps it should have been 'Just do more', is the message from fans. Design collaborations, and the best rebrands, can reinvigorate a company, but it's a thin line to tread and will always be in danger of putting off as many people as it impresses.

This is not the first time the famously elegant jewellery maker has attempted to revamp its branding for a new audience; Tiffany & Co. launched a sold out NFT collection in 2022 (read our guide to 'What are NFTs' to find out more). Nike is no stranger when it comes to collaborations, and a look at the Nike manifesto from the 1970s shows how the sneaker designer has always been aggressive and bold. Is the Tiffany & Co. x Nike partnership an odd-couple alliance or do opposites attract? 

There are some nice hidden moments in the Tiffany & Co. x Nike Air Force 1 partnership, for example the '1837' numerical is a reference to the original Tiffany & Co. collection, and the sneakers will be paired with a new Swoosh-branded silver shoe brush, shoe horn, whistle and laces complete with silver tags.

Yet, I can't help but feel the bare minimum has been done to match-up the two brands; less a marriage of love and more a marriage of convenience. The Tiffany take on the iconic Air Force 1 sneaker is a black suede shoe with the signature Nike 'swoosh' coloured in brand's robin's-egg blue hue. A small silver plate on the heel, laces match the Swoosh and 'Tiffany' is written on the tongue in an elegant cursive font. 

The design is subdued, and perhaps too Tiffany and not enough Nike. When the first images were teased on 29 January fans reacted (below) with humour, made slightly worse as Tiffany announced the design as a 'legendary pair'. This weekend the release date and price was announced – 7 March, priced $400 – the reaction was just as jokey; many Nike lovers are more interested in the brush and laces than the sneakers.

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The biggest criticism is of Tiffany & Co. and points to rebrand fatigue. One Twitter user asked, "Does Tiffany even have a brand identity anymore?" Adding: "This collaboration with Nike is so poorly executed that it feels like a cynical attempt to cash in on the streetwear market about seven years too late."

There can be a massive uplift for a brand like Tiffany & Co. when it aligns itself to a on-trend company like Nike, but it can also backfire and its own identity begins to get lost. A bolder, brasher design could have helped the jeweller as fans would have loved to see them let go and actually 'just do it'.

Here, it would seem, the Tiffany & Co. x Nike Air Force 1 is a mismatch fans on both sides can't get behind. For more on branding, read our feature on the worst  embarrassing blunders and pick up some advice on how to do it better with these 10 top tips for branding success.

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Ian Dean
Editor, Digital Arts & 3D

Ian Dean is Editor, Digital Arts & 3D at Creativebloq, and the former editor of many leading magazines. These titles included ImagineFX, 3D World and leading video game title Official PlayStation Magazine. In his early career he wrote for music and film magazines including Uncut and SFX. Ian launched Xbox magazine X360 and edited PlayStation World. For Creative Bloq, Ian combines his experiences to bring the latest news on AI, digital art and video game art and tech, and more to Creative Bloq, and in his spare time he doodles in Procreate, ArtRage, and Rebelle while finding time to play Xbox and PS5. He's also a keen Cricut user and laser cutter fan, and is currently crafting on Glowforge and xTools M1.