CNY 2021: Step into the year of the Ox with these unusual kicks

From outlandish to versatile plain whites.

The Doraemon x Gucci collaboration also marks the manga’s 50th anniversary (Photo: Gucci)

The Year of the Ox is said to bring about strength, positivity and fairness in 2021. After a very difficult 2020, anyone would agree that these predictions are wholly welcomed. This Chinese New Year, brands are embracing positivity by putting out festive collections dedicated to the noble and hardworking ox or inspired by Chinese traditions and globally-loved characters. The shoes, in particular, are especially eye-catching and will no doubt make you look good as you put your best foot forward this year. Here are a few to get you started.  


Dior x Shawn Stussy

In celebration of the Year of the Ox, Dior has launched an exclusive men’s capsule collection in collaboration with Californian designer Shawn Stussy. Between the two sneaker designs, the B23 High-Tops take on a more casual look thanks to its timeless silhouette. Transparent panels are layered on the maison’s Oblique motif canvas, and for an auspicious touch, an embroidered ox head patch — the capsule’s emblem — is embellished on the outer vamps alongside a Dior and Shawn signature in red.


Gucci x Doraemon

Japanese manga character Doraemon is seen prancing around Gucci’s Lunar New Year campaign and is featured across many product categories in the new collaborative collection. In terms of footwear, the cat robot makes an appearance on the Princetown slipper, displaying its many playful expressions on printed canvas with brown leather piping. A sauntering Doraemon patch is featured on the Ace sneakers (pictured) with green and cherry red leather trim. The Doraemon x Gucci collaboration also marks the manga’s 50th anniversary.


Dr Martens

The limited-edition Lunar New Year 1461 Docs incorporate several symbolic details that are a nod to Chinese culture. Touches of jade, a precious stone believed to bring good fortune, are seen throughout the low-cut Wanama leather oxfords — more notably on the decorative charm hanging from the laces, but also the colour on the shoes’ welt stiches and backstrap print. The print features a design that mimics waves on the ocean, which correlates to the role of water in bringing overflowing wealth.



Nike usually releases a slew of Chinese New Year-themed sneakers every year, and the Swoosh may have outdone itself with a collection inspired by joyous temple fair. The shoes are organised into three design themes: the explosive firecracker, the artisanal Chinese knot and the naturalistic spring blossom. While each creative expression typifies a different interpretation of the CNY celebration, we found the Air Jordan 1 Low OG most unique so far. Configured in Bred-inspired colour-blocking, the shoes repeat Jacquard pattern with foil accents are accentuated with a red knot bracelet with gold pendant for good luck. Watch out for the release here



For lovers of white shoes that never go out of style, adidas has rolled out the Forum Low, enhanced only with a red detail that mimics ancient stamp blocks. The lateral side forgoes the usual stripes for a white velcro-backed flap that features embossed Chinese text and a red pull tab. For a spot of colour, the red stamped lettering is fixed on the forefoot, while a translucent rubber sole completes the model for a clean, celebratory look. Look out for the release here



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