NIKE SKATEBOARDING: FROM PERFORMANCE FOOTWEAR TO ICONIC STATUS
NIKE SKATEBOARDING: FOCUSING ON SKATE SHOES
In 1997, Nike, the swoosh giant, turned its attention to the skateboarding world. The market was dominated by specialized brands like DC and Globe, making it challenging for Nike to break into the skate shoe market and gain legitimacy within the skateboarding community. In 2002, the company decided to dive into the world of skateboarding by creating the Nike SB line and introducing the Nike Dunk Low, a silhouette that would unknowingly become a streetwear culture classic. Despite a rough start, the SB line gradually gained recognition in the skateboarding world. Nike's focus on selective distribution through skateshops and design input from skateboarders like Danny Suppa and Reese Forbes helped establish the brand's leadership and legitimacy. However, the standout model that became the hype sneakers of the 2000s was the Nike Dunk Low.
THE LEGENDARY NIKE DUNK LOW
The Nike Dunk, which celebrated its 35th anniversary in 2020, has had an unconventional history. Initially designed for NBA courts, this legendary sneaker was a significant inspiration for the Air Jordan 1's release. Overshadowed by the legendary Jordan, the Dunk silhouette would find new life in a completely different field – skateboarding.
In the 2000s, many skateboarders began wearing the Dunk, and Nike adapted the shoe to meet the demands of the extreme sport, offering a more functional and comfortable variant. In 2002, the first Nike SB Dunk Low was born. Through significant collaborations and influential ambassadors like rapper Travis Scott, the sneaker transcended its primary purpose and won the hearts of brand enthusiasts.
ICONIC NIKE SB COLLABORATIONS: OFF-WHITE, SUPREME, STUSSY
Nike's flagship model, the Dunk Low, has gained worldwide popularity thanks to iconic collaborations. Some recent examples include the highly successful Nike Dunk Low Off-White, where designer Virgil Abloh reimagined the silhouette using classic colors like Chicago and Pine Green. The collaboration was an instant sell-out, reflecting the sneaker's enduring appeal.
Another notable collaboration was with globally renowned streetwear brand Supreme, which featured three metallic colorways and a mini swoosh reminiscent of the Nike Air Max Jewel. This partnership marked the fusion of performance and lifestyle dimensions.
Older collaborations, such as the one with Californian brand Stussy, are also worth mentioning. In 2005, Nike Skateboarding developed the "Team Manager" concept, allowing five brands to reinterpret five shoe models. Stussy, focusing on board sports like surfing and skating, created a unique colorway for the Nike Dunk Low. Robbie Jeffers, Stussy's team leader at the time, took charge of the artistic direction for this collaboration. He came up with the idea of representing ice cream flavors, resulting in the Nike Dunk Low Stussy Cherry, which featured chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry colors, a cherry on the tongue, and a waffle cone insole. This innovative concept drove sneaker enthusiasts wild and led to extravagant resale prices.
DUNK SB: THE SKATEBOARDING TAKE ON THE NIKE DUNK
The Nike SB Dunk is a distinct departure from the classic version created by Peter Moore in 1985 for college basketball players and students to proudly sport their iconic team colors. With its focus on skateboarding performance and style, the SB Dunk has become a legendary silhouette for both men and women.