Browsing the "Classics Revisited: Nike Dunk High" Tag
May 25th, 2012 by John Kim
NIKE DUNK HIGH WEEK
What an amazing week it’s been for Dunk nuts worldwide! We’ve covered four of the more memorable Dunk Highs of all-time, starting with the UNDFTD No-Liners on Monday and hitting you with Wu-Tang fire yesterday. But no set of ‘best-of’ sneakers is complete without the inclusion of Stussy, the clothing label and urban culture anchor that paved the way for the many sneaker collaborations that followed, so in a way, we’re saving the best for last. This 2001 Dunk you see here was actually first ever collaboration between Nike and a clothing company (not to be confused with the Stussy x Nike Air Huarache of 2000 – a project between Nike and Michael Koppelman of Stussy UK); could the Stussy x Nike Dunk High be credited for setting the trend of sexy sneaker collabs of the 2000′s? Let’s take a look.
By 2001, the Dunk had grown to be a cult classic, gaining serious steam across the globe for its skate-friendly and Retro appeal. So, Nike decided to hit up Stussy yet again allowed them to give their own spin on the Dunk, composing two completely distinct colorways – a tonal black leather version and the Brown/Khaki we’re placing the spotlight on here. While both colorways were rather simple, they introduced exotic materials and specialty fabrics on the Swoosh – snakeskin on the Black colorway and ostrich on the Brown. The Stussy x Nike Dunk High was also a ‘test-run’ or experiment of sorts on extremely limited distributions; each of the four Stussy chapter stores (NYC, LA, Tokyo, London) released twenty-four pairs in total per day (twelve pairs per colorway) until the entire stock was depleted. This resulted in a stretch of 2+ weeks of line-ups every morning, setting the table for other ‘camp-outs’ for these limited-edition sneakers. Style, quality, concept, and trendsetting – the Stussy x Nike Dunk High had it all. Take a look at the extra looks below and stay tuned to Sneaker News as we hit you with yet another week of Classics Revisited treats!
Stussy x Nike Dunk High
Medium Brown/British Khaki-Cone
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May 24th, 2012 by John Kim
NIKE DUNK HIGH WEEK
A very strong case can be made for the ‘sneaker collaboration’ being a trailblazer for widespread popularity of kicks today. The individually numbered shoes tied to a renowned cult street-artist or sneaker boutique and boxed up in custom packaging had all the sex appeal to get the sneaker-libido raging for any obsessed fanatic, but before the era of the collaboration, there was a sneaker that stretched the definition of ‘Limited Edition’ so far that we often don’t even consider it when discussing the toughest sneaker pick-ups in history. Why? They’re nearly impossible to find. Leap years occur more often than Wu-Tang Dunk sightings, and Flight Club, the one-stop shop for finding the world’s most rarified kicks while keeping a blind eye to price-tags, hasn’t had a pair come through its doors in over five years. What are they valued at? It’s one of the very few sneakers that might have an inconsistent appraisal for a number of reasons; it could be priced identically to what it last sold for on Flight Club ($5,000), or it can be adjusted for inflation and appreciation and easily mark them at double that figure. Some may assess that these don’t have tangible value at all – a priceless sneaker at the very core and no doubt worthy of a spot on Classics Revisited.
Throughout the 1990′s, the Wu-Tang Clan, based out of the NYC boroughs of Staten Island, Brooklyn, and the Bronx, made an incredible name for their alternative style of hip-hop and wordplay, and have since sprouted a wide range of career paths that cover anything and everything that needed a unique flavor. Solo albums, careers in film and TV, music production – the Wu was very much a part of pop culture outside of their albums, and consistently the Wu-Tang Clan is listed among the greatest and most influential music acts in history. In 1999, when the original Nike Dunk High ‘Be True’ Collection was re-released, Nike created a special edition Wu-Tang Clan ‘Friends & Family’ edition of the Black/Goldenrod colorway associated with the University of Iowa – one of the original seven representatives of the Nike Dunk ‘Be True’ Series.
The Black/Yellow colorway was selected in accordance with ‘The Swarm’, a 1998 album put forth by the Wu-Tang Killa Beez – a collective of Wu-Tang members and its affiliates. The sneaker featured the iconic Wu-Tang logo embroidered on the heel and on a custom tongue label, and the mere addition of the logos made the simplistic two-toned colorway a staggering beauty that exuded the aggression and refined grit we associate with the Wu-Tang Clan and its music. The true number of issues of the Wu-Tang x Nike Dunk High isn’t exactly firm; while a number of pairs were given to the Wu-Tang Clan, a very limited number actually did release (perhaps the first Nike ‘hyperstrike’ release ever) in New York City at Training Camp, a sneaker spot known for its hip-hop celebrity clientele which included the likes of Raekwon, Jay-Z, and many more NYC-based rappers.
Sneaker historians, Dunk enthusiasts, and even those behind Nike walls consider the original ‘Be True’ series of the Nike Dunk as one of the holy landmarks of Nike Basketball and Nike Sportswear history. The ‘Be True’ re-release in 1999 struck a chord with the sneaker community and gave the Dunk new life and was praised for its Retro styling and energetic colorways, quickly becoming a cult hit and rolling out the red carpet for the Dunk renaissance of the early 2000′s. With our praise of these Nike Dunk classics this week, the Wu-Tang Dunk is, ironically, close to being an unattainable shoe – a Dunk ‘nirvana’ if you will. Perhaps, in another life. Wu-Tang Killa Beez forever!
Wu-Tang x Nike Dunk High
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May 23rd, 2012 by John Kim
NIKE DUNK HIGH WEEK
Got enough Dunk history in ya? The features of the Pharrell/NERD and the UNDFTD Dunk High collaborations should’ve provided a swift re-invigoration of classic energy, but if you’re yet to be moved, we’re reaching back even further into the Nike vault for our mid-week Classics Revisited feature. Before we go on discussing the Haze x Nike Dunk High, let’s have a quick overview about the man behind the project – NYC-born graffiti artist Eric Haze. After establishing himself as one of the icons of street graffiti in the late 70′s and 80′s, Haze went on to create logos and album covers for some of the most industry-relevant companies and hip-hop groups of the era, establishing a firm following with his own brand in NYC, LA, and in Japan. He later cemented a spot in sneaker history in 2003 with one of the earliest sneaker/artist collaborations in history – a true testament to the growing popularity of Dunks and sneaker collaborations of that period.
In the early 2000′s, Nike had been developing a new style of overspray technique, so to give the new development a whirl, Nike contacted Haze directly to work on the Dunk High collaboration; Haze was immediately intrigued and after testing out the first prototypes of the overspray technique, one of his first decisions in the project was the selection of the black/white motif, as it is a common theme in his own artwork as well as being the best representation of the gritty style that he attributed to his roots in New York City. It wasn’t much of a surprise to see that Haze and the spray technique were a perfect match, and if you were to take away one thing from the Haze x Nike Dunk is that the overall project, from its inception to its final product, was true to Haze’s heart.
In addition to the shoes, Nike also presented him with the task of creating a special edition box for the Hyperstrike/Friends & Family release, which were considerably rarer than the 1,000 pair run of the Dunk High. As he was given full creative control on the project, Haze completed an insane box using the overspray and the classic stencil technique to complete one of the sickest Nike shoeboxes in history, applying various personal touches to the box’s outer facade. The special-edition version of the Haze Dunks also featured a custom tongue label with his graffiti logo, and released on July 15th, 2003, at Alife Rivington Club in NYC, UNDFTD in Los Angeles, and the Haze store in Tokyo. Also, the Dunk High wasn’t the only shoe of the project; he also produced a Dunk Low in the same manner, using the exact ‘reverse’ palette of the High. Certainly one of the more memorable Dunks in the history of the shoe – but we’ve got some more history coming your way in the following days!
Eric Haze x Nike Dunk High
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May 22nd, 2012 by John Kim
NIKE DUNK HIGH WEEK
Before the Air Yeezy became the first official signature shoe for a non-athlete/hip-hop celebrity, Nike dabbled in collaborations with an impressive list of the hip-hop influential that combined sneaker sensibility with a fresh new sound for the generation. Pharrell and N.E.R.D. deserves a good chunk of credit for bringing in a fresh and alternative sound to the genre conventionally defined by perpetual beats and syncopation – a good reason why the group was selected as part of Nike’s third capsule of the ‘Artist Series’, which included NYC graffiti artist ESPO and Oscar-winning actress Halle Berry.
Commonly referred to as the Nike Dunk High ‘Pharrell’, these limited-edition Dunks were actually a collaboration with N.E.R.D. as a whole (Pharrell, Chad Hugo, and Shay), as it features the N.E.R.D. logo embroidered on the heel, with the tonal-black reptilian skin upper serving as the trademark feature (an early sample featured a shinier Metallic Silver). Just 1,050 individually numbered pairs exist and released in January of 2004 at a select cluster of Nike accounts, particularly at prominent and fast-growing sneaker boutiques in New York City. Currently, the Pharrell Dunks command close to $700 in the sneaker market, and due to the rarity and esteemed nature of the collaboration, that number isn’t likely to dip any lower. More of this classic Dunk High after the jump, so take a look at the gallery and stay tuned for tomorrow’s Classics Revisited feature!
Pharrell x Nike Dunk High
Black/Metallic Silver-Varsity red
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May 21st, 2012 by John Kim
NIKE DUNK HIGH WEEK
We started with Air Foamposite One and continued to the Air Max 1. For the third week, we’re focusing on another sneaker model that deserves a lot of credit for bringing the ‘sneaker’ to the level of stardom it experiences today – the Nike Dunk High of 1986. The Dunk High, considered to be the a sibling of sorts to the Nike Terminator, is one of the earliest Nike Basketball sneakers to debut in a wide variety of colorful editions, kicking things off with the ‘Be True To Your School’ releases. Since then, the Dunk has been viewed as a cult model and the legend was reborn in ’98-’99 when the Dunk returned in larger droves in the ‘School’ Pack, the Japan-exclusive ‘City Attack’ Series, and a few other releases. Since then, the Dunk became an astounding hit and its prized status only strengthened thanks to the many iconic releases of the early 2000′s, the Dunk High’s inclusion of the budding Nike SB series, and a slew of other ’general’ releases that are cherished today. To kick of Nike Dunk High Week, we’ll focus on a label that is recognized as one of the best to ever collaborate with Nike – West Coast-based Undefeated.
In 2005, Undefeated teamed up with Nike on the Dunk High in the slimmer ‘NL’ form; the Dunk NL stood for ‘No Liner’, which featured a interior stripped of its thick padding to achieve a sleeker profile (a precursor to the current ‘Deconstruct’ Dunk Highs). UNDFTD’s uninhibited use of bright colors was matched perfectly with the supreme materials on the shoe, which feature a high-quality brown leather on the toe, the wine-colored heel, and the calf-skin leather used on the toe-box and tongue. This 2005 masterpiece was a Tier 0 release and limited to just 5,000 units worldwide, and surely stands as a definitive ‘Dunk’ of our time – rife with colorways and materials and seamlessly adapting the ‘NL’ construction without shedding the Dunk’s original heritage of basketball sport. Peep this classic Nike Dunk High and below and brace yourself for another week of all-time greats here on Classics Revisited!
Undefeated x Nike Dunk High NL
Blue Reef/Cotton Candy-Black
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