This past May, rising streetwear label Cactus Plant Flea Market made a strong push to claim the title of sneaker of the year. The brand’s DIY-inspired Air VaporMax 2019, a brilliant juxtaposition of technical savvy pressed firmly against child-like artistry was a whimsical burst of youthful energy, not unlike the very foundation sneaker culture is built upon.
First breaking in 2016 (although the brand officially launched in 2015) when Pharrell Williams began wearing pieces from the label helmed by Cynthia Lu—his former assistant for many years—Cactus Plant, in what seemed like a singular yet palpable moment, captured the collective attention of menswear nerds and sneaker aficionados. Now, an even more powerful energy catapults the brand’s second collaborative release with Nike. And the sneaker leaked less than 24 hours ago.