NIKE x OFF WHITE DUNK IS HERE!
The final countdown to 2020 is in full swing, and titans of the sneaker industry are slugging it out in the waning days of 2019, hoping to make one more mark before the next decade kicks off. With the culmination of the holiday season directly around the corner, there’s a cornucopia of compelling releases set to hit retailers over the next five days, but before we stride headlong into the impending hype, let’s first take a look back at what went down over the previous week.
On the collaboration front, closer looks and sneak peaks alike were presented. A giddy Sean Wotherspoon sat down with Dior men’s footwear director for a detailed look at the French house’s Air Jordan 1. Delving into the striking product’s story, the two unpacked the inspiration behind its details. Salehe Bembury, Senior Director of Sneakers & Men’s Footwear at Versace, also got in on the action, teasing a collaborative project with New Balance. Although most know Bembury from his bold, original Versace silhouettes like the Chain Reaction or his work at YEEZY, it’s undeniably enthralling to see what he’ll be able to bring to the table for a heritage athletic brand.
Meanwhile, Nike announced the official release of two capsules that are completely unrelated, but each compelling in its own right: an eight-part pack of motorcycle jacket-inspired Air Max 90s created with UNDEFEATED and a new SuperRep line that offers training footwear for fitness classes. The former was originally supposed to roll out this summer, but due to quality control issues it only released in limited quantities via SNKRS Pass events. The latter offers plenty of high-tech materials and an athletically-geared construction, providing silhouettes for everything from “boot camps” to spin classes.
Moving to the business side of the spectrum, there was news on both the retail front and in the boardroom. We were given a first look at Sneakernstuff’s new Tokyo store, which opened this past weekend. Vans also expanded its physical footprint with a brand showcase store located in Seoul. And nary a week goes by without some news about Kanye West: last week, it was that adidas vice president of global entertainment and influencer marketing Jon Wexler had taken a new role as “general manager” of YEEZY. Although this has yet to be officially confirmed, it could be a seismic shift in the Three Stripes landscape.
Finally, noted sneaker archivist and reseller Shoezeum presented what might be the most interesting eBay lot of the year. Assisting a former Nike Innovation Kitchen employee sell all the samples, prototypes and knickknacks he’d accumulated over the years, Shoezeum proffered everything from winter camo Foamposite snowboarding boots to Air Force 1s with visible Shox cushioning, and never-released Nike LeBron sneakers.
Now that we’re up to speed, it’s time to look ahead. Check out the best footwear drops from the next five days, and get your rotation right for the final days of the decade.