October 30, 2020 - Cambridge-born, Boston-based Concepts has come a long way from its basement origins on Brattle Street. Founded in 1996, the store reached global consciousness in 2008 with the launch of its first Nike SB Dunk, the Lobster. The release introduced Concepts’ New England humor and knack for audacious packaging to the sneaker world. Tongue-in-cheek Dunk designs followed — eye rolls at Pig’s Flying, pokes at the notion of “Holy Grails” in sneakers and a trio of Ugly Sweaters. In 2020, Concepts’ eternal camaraderie hits full tilt with the TurDUNKen.
“We've definitely never taken ourselves too seriously. We’re well-versed in sport. We come from luxury,” says Concepts Creative Director Deon Point. “The thing with us that always gets overlooked is our sense of humor. We love to have fun.”
Each shoe in the Concepts Dunk lineage has allowed the shop’s crew to relay its humorous side. The inside jokes, made public, are revealed on just one canvas — the Dunk. This grants the shoe a special place in Concepts’ history, and from the pageantry of the 2008 release to today, bringing a Dunk into the world has been reason for Concepts to flex creativity.
“I don't know if the Lobster would've hit the same way if we didn't put that extra effort in,” says Point. “We were a tiny little shop in the middle of nowhere, regardless of our heritage, and though Concepts starting earlier than most stores, we were still kind of nestled away and it was like an afterthought amongst the heavy hitters.”
Today, there’s no doubting Concepts’ foothold — thanks in part to a new Boston flagship location on Newbury Street — and the TurDUNKen carries on its strong tradition of over-the-top collaborative themes.
The idea was formulated with an eye to the trifecta of food, football and friendship characterizing the holiday season. It has an origin story — the turducken, a Louisiana staple made nationally famous by football announcers — and it pulls through to serve as symbol of the community atmosphere driven by skate shops around the world. “We always have felt that a core element of skate shops is the family element,” says Point.
Conceptually, the product comes to life via a Nike Dri-FIT chicken foot sock, stuffed inside a duck-inspired Dunk, completed by turkey wrapping paper. Of course, it wouldn't be a Concepts Dunk without wild packaging too — the TurDUNKen comes in an oven-inspired box complete with holiday leftovers (including a family-dinner-themed turkey leg Nerf vortex football).
With down-like quarter material and a laser-cut quarter replicating feathers, the design of the Dunk High (or, as the tongue label reads, “Duck High”) draws from the coloring of the mighty Mallard. A custom toile print decorates the collar lining and sockliner, and this is reprised within an associated apparel collection: a fleece bomber jacket, T-shirt and beanie.
The Concepts x Nike SB Dunk High TurDUNKen launches November 14 at Concepts’ Boston and New York flagship stores, and at cncpts.com. Pairs of the Duck SB High will release November 20 at select skate retailers and November 21 on SNKRS.
Download hi-res images here.
April 01, 2021 - While Kim Jones has confessed he is not nostalgic, the designer knows the values of a brand’s DNA and has a keen viewpoint on how to honor its future. With his debut Converse collection, Jones reflects on the archetypes of contemporary streetwear, each a classic piece of American sportswear, and delivers a contemporary perspective from head to toe.
“There was an aesthetic that really interested me. It was all the same nerdy things that made people that like the kind of clothes we like see the value,” Jones says of American mid-century staples. “I looked at the Japanese designers readapting American sportswear — recreating that fifties and sixties look. Obviously, Converse was the key shoe within all that stuff. Now, I'm just putting it all together in a different way.”
Taking cues from his studied knowledge of sportswear and streetwear, Jones pulls in contemporary utilitarian elements to inform wonderfully subtle updates to the Converse Chuck 70.
“The design approach for the shoe was very straight forward — taking a classic shoe and then almost encasing it in something to protect it,” says Jones.
With the approach, Jones adds a transparent TPU cage with speed lace eyelets that adhere to the refined 12-ounce canvas upper, providing reinforced foot stability. The outsole is also reengineered with an enhanced diamond grid to help increase traction on city streets. The shoe takes two tonal colorways, each with Kim Jones branding stamped on tongue and sockliner.
Completing the collection are four garments: a Parka, Crewneck Sweatshirt, Cargo Pant, and T-Shirt. “There's an easy look to each of the pieces,” says Jones. “I wanted each to be a modern version of the ‘Take Ivy’ vibe.”
Crafted in a combination of nylon and mesh, the Parka is water-resistant and features a front storm flap with zipper closure, interior storm flap and accompanying hood, bungee closure, Velcro cuffs and rear Velcro venting. The Cargo Pant, in a traditional fit, is made of cotton but with mesh elements added for breathability and snap closures flanking both legs. The Crewneck comes in brushed-back terry cotton and carries a herringbone trimming.
The Converse x Kim Jones collection releases April 8 on converse.com and at select global retailers.
Download hi-res images here.
March 26, 2021 - With his fifth SK Air offering, London-born artist Skepta draws inspiration from the natural world to breath new life into a cult favorite Tailwind series. He masterfully pulls together a vision connecting the metamorphosis that butterflies undergo and the role of creative rebirth in his career.
The Air-Sole debuted in the late ’70s with the original Tailwind, and each successive model in the series has furthered an evolution in Air cushioning and a revolution in aesthetic. The V carries an early 2000s futurism, and its absorption into the SK Air lineage advances the story by merging the striking heel counter of the V with the arresting butterfly wing-inspired upper of the 2007 Tailwind V Plus. This mash-up is consistent with Skepta's celebration of Air, which continues to follow a “better is temporary” ethos and finds new ways to honor icons of AM heritage — whether in subtle color and material interplay or more overt fusion.
A sublimated blue butterfly wing print across the shoe’s upper serves as another nod to Skepta’s exploration of evolution in both nature and art. “We are all going through metamorphosis, a new stage of life,” Skepta says. “We chose this butterfly print out of about 50 different options because it had to evoke the correct emotion.”
The shoe also references elements of past SK models and Skepta’s career. Notably, the chrome Swoosh references the 2019 SK Shox and the thermographic heel counter salutes the artist’s “Ignorance is Bliss” album cover.
The Nike Air Tailwind V x Skepta, and its corresponding tracksuit and bucket hat, releases April 2 in Asia Pacific, Europe and Greater China.
March 16, 2021 - With a stance reminiscent of Nike’s jogging shoe golden era (think the Daybreak, produced from 1979 to 1981) and a radical, visible Nike Air heel unit, the Nike Air Max Pre-Day breaks new ground in Air.
The shoe’s arresting aesthetic, a blend of the late-1970s and the 2020s, highlights a simplified design ethos that minimizes material waste with at least 20 percent recycled content by weight (the upper is 100 percent recycled polyester; the outsole about 13 percent Nike Grind Rubber) and positions the Air unit in an entirely new light. Fully exposed, the heel Air bag is the same one employed in current Air Max 1s, Air Max 90s, Air Jordan IIIs, IVs, Vs and VIs.
The difference? Rather than only visible through a window, the full Air unit is now exposed between the midsole and outsole.
Beyond the visual impact of the engineering, this articulation of the Air unit also supports a new underfoot sensation. Decreasing layers between foot and Air, and placing the unit between two hard surfaces, the Air Max Pre-Day achieves a more pronounced bounce with each walking stride.
With that breakthrough, the shoe considers the dawn of Air and honors decades of Nike experimentation and innovation in the cushioning. While the Air-Sole debuted in the late ’70s with the Tailwind, its development as a Nike icon owes much to the continually progressive work of Air Manufacturing Innovation (Air MI).
Air MI began life as Tetra Plastics, a St. Louis-area plastics manufacturer founded on four major principles: quality, service, innovation and engineering. Tetra started working with Nike on Air-Soles in 1981. In 1986, the firm developed the Visi-Air tubing that made the Air Max 1 possible and from 1989 to 1991 pioneered the blow molding of Air bags, a process that has allowed for increased cushioning in visible Air shoes. The relationship between the two parties matured into Nike’s full acquisition of Tetra in 1991.
The last three decades of Air MI have been characterized by a consistent stream of innovation. The evolution of Air is marked by breakthroughs in thermoforming, resulting in radical new Air bag shapes and advances in performance, and significant gains in sustainable manufacturing, such as the reuse of more than 90 percent of the waste from materials used for Air-Soles to make new, innovative cushioning systems.
In the Pre-Day, the promise of Nike Air registers yet another revolution. And rethinking the use of the popular visible Air unit offers a subtle reminder that a good idea can have several incarnations.
The Nike Air Max Pre-Day releases March 26 via SNKRS and at select global retailers.
March 11, 2021 - Kim Jones is passionate about his newest Nike collaboration. “This latest capsule celebrates one of my favorite Nike shoes, the Air Max 95, by looking at the way it could be addressed with modern technology,” the designer says.
Jones has been working with Nike since 2016, infusing a potent string of collaborative projects with unique perspective on craft, travel, punk fashion and more. For 2021, Jones’ attention is squarely on Max Air — as both visceral object and aesthetic cue.
With the special-edition design, the Air Max 95 bridges eras of tech and aesthetic with a toe cap mini-Swoosh and a perforated upper inspired by the Air Max 360. Original Air Max 95 colors, including Total Orange and Volt, pop against an inverted gradient to offer a new twist to a nostalgia-inducing scheme. The shoe’s eyestays highlight a contemporary, translucent, stretch-woven material, Nexkin, made popular in recent icons such as the Zoom Fly SP and React Element 87.
A connected apparel collection honors Jones’ long-term interest in the eye-catching appeal of Max Air. With bold, brash wordmarks and a mix of neutral and neon colors, the designer says the garments “carry an over-scaling of the logo to create something that is as energetic as the shoe itself.”
The Air Max 95 x Kim Jones capsule releases March 19 on SNKRS and at select retailers. The Volt Air Max 95 and High Voltage apparel release exclusively in the United Kingdom, while the Total Orange Air Max 95 and remaining apparel will be available globally.
Download hi-res images here.
February 28, 2021 - The ZoomX Vaporfly NEXT% brought the latest in ZoomX cushioning technology to both elite and recreational runners, incorporating a full-length carbon plate for outstanding energy return. The shoe’s second version releases first in a minimalist colorway for Nike members that taps into the workshop lore of Nike co-founder Bill Bowerman, followed by a wider release of the above Aqua colorway. It adds features through the upper to make the shoe more comfortable and durable, while still keeping the underfoot details that cement its trusted, near-magical reputation among runners who are breaking their own barriers on race day.
Here’s what’s new (and familiar) about the ZoomX Vaporfly NEXT% 2:
- Engineered mesh material in the upper is softer and more breathable than Vaporweave. The mesh better conforms to the foot and helps keep feet cool throughout a race.
- Pockets of padding at the top of the tongue help provide a more comfortable fit and reduce lace pressure.
- Forefoot reinforcement was added for improved containment and durability in high-wear striking areas.
- A full-length, articulated carbon plate delivers a propulsive feel and helps promote a smooth transition from stride to stride.
- A wide forefoot midsole helps maximize propulsive feel and ZoomX responsiveness through a stable platform.
- The full-length ZoomX foam provides a lightweight and responsive ride.
- Deep, longitudinal grooves in the rubber outsole help improve traction on different surfaces and in varying racing conditions.
- The 8mm offset helps with stability and energy return
The white colorway of the ZoomX Vaporfly NEXT% 2 releases in limited quantities for Nike members beginning February 28. The Aqua colorway releases on nike.com beginning March 25 in select markets.
To download hi-res images, click here.
February 14, 2021 - The deconstructed, DIY approach of the Nike x READYMADE Blazer Mid transforms Nike’s earliest basketball shoe. It features a thinner, longer, half-stitched Swoosh, pulled from the logo’s 1971 version, and the layered upper nests a splotched foam beneath angled leather side panels. The result is an aesthetic that shows off the Japanese brand’s core design values and subtly catches the nostalgia of the brand’s founder, Yuta Hosokawa.
“We deconstructed the Blazer and recreated it without losing sight of its DNA,” the READYMADE designer says. “I have been playing basketball since I was in third grade. The first pair of shoes I bought for myself were Nikes. That’s how I came to like fashion.”
The midsole’s texture adds volume, and was designed using clay molds that were altered during a few trials to balance the shoe’s side profile. Exposed foam surrounds the collar and tongue, and three different sets of laces over the toe box and across the midfoot create an additional layered, hatched effect. A nod to READYMADE’s upcycling philosophy, the rubber outsole is made with about 15 percent Nike Grind, a mix of recycled materials originating from Nike manufacturing scrap and worn-out sneakers that would have otherwise entered the waste stream.
The Nike x READYMADE Blazer Mid releases February 27 on SNKRS, NikeLab MA5 and DSM Ginza in Tokyo, and select READYMADE retail locations.
January 29, 2021 - Whether as a single unit or a standalone outsole, Nike Air is a platform in constant evolution. This spirit of progress is celebrated in the respective design of the three key silhouettes of the Air Max spring 2021 collection: the Air Max 2090 EOI, the Air Max Viva and the VaporMax Evo.
The Air Max 2090 EOI (“Evolution of Icons”) is inspired by subtle detailing from Air Max’s legendary family tree, like the Air Max 90, Air Max 180 and the Air Max BW. The hybrid is part of the season’s larger EOI Pack, which includes variations of the Air Max 270 React EOI and the Air Max Zephyr EOI. A second, later EOI pack features the Air Max 90 SE EOI, the Air Max 95 EOI, the Air Max Plus SE EOI and more.
The Air Max Viva builds on iterative development of women’s specific Air Max models. It includes a Cushlon midsole and an exaggerated Air Max Unit in the heel. The leather, closed mesh and nubuck detailing is complemented by two laces for styling, a speckled midsole and a two-tone rubber outsole.
The VaporMax Evo is a bolder exploration of VaporMax style, but at a closer look, the silhouette creatively fuses details inspired by classic models like the Air Max 90, Air Max 93 and the Air Max Plus. Inside the box is an accordion-style booklet describing the lineage of the shoes that inspire the colorways, the Evolution of Air Max logos and more.
The Air Max 2090 EOI, the Air Max Viva and the VaporMax Evo release throughout spring 2021.
To download hi-res images, click here.
January 25, 2021 - Jordan Brand melds heritage and innovation to the quotidian rhythms of city life with the dual-gender Jordan Brand MA2 and the new Future Primal women's apparel capsule.
The Future Primal apparel follows Jordan Brand's ethos of confident versatility. The pieces — six in all — promote innovative cuts and proportions. The assortment is highlighted by a Utility Pant, Flight Suit, Bodysuit and Lightweight Jacket, each of which incorporate functional details with Jordan Brand heritage hallmarks.
The MA2 evolves the Jordan Max 200, tweaking every detail to augment an at-your-door daily use appeal. The heel and tongue are extended for ease of entry on the way out of the house, while a grippy rubber heel clip helps a quick kick-off when back home.
The Future Primal apparel collection releases February 14. The Jordan Brand MA2 launches February 21, with additional colorways releasing throughout the spring.
January 23, 2021 - CLOT co-founder Edison Chen brings an east-meets-west mentality to his label's sophomore effort of co-branded Air Jordan models. Following the 2018 Air Jordan XIII Low, the new release encompasses the Air Jordan XIV Low and the Jordan Brand's latest performance vehicle, the Air Jordan XXXV.
Both shoes extend CLOT's investigation of Chinese heritage — tying together elements like a Chinese coin pendant and Chinese knot to the heel of the XIV Low and introducing pops of ornamental jade to the XXXV.
Further details on the XIV Low include a tongue reminiscent of a traditional Chinese scroll and emblazoned with the words Jordan and CLOT. On the sole are terracotta-colored accents complemented with light tan and grey. Finishing off the shoe are bold laces and a traditional Chinese knot and coin hanging off the heel. A classic symbol of “如意吉祥,” a Chinese idiom for prosperity and happiness, the added trinket is an ode to CLOT’s Chinese heritage and a token to bring luck to the game.
Chinese Jade is a highly prized and timeless symbol of Chinese culture, representing many positive attributes such as durability, purity and beauty, and often appearing in Chinese-style accessories and trinkets due to its believed ability to ward off negative spirits. On the XXXV, application on Eclipse Plate is highlighted with bold red detailing. The shoe also carries hang tags bearing both the Jumpman and CLOT logos, reflective elements throughout and gold lace eyelets. In the same style as the Air Jordan XIV Low x CLOT, two and three dots appear on the lateral side.
The Jordan x CLOT XIV Low and XXXV will be available February 8 at juicestoreusa.com, juicestore.tw, on the JUICE app and at special JUICE pop-up locations in Hong Kong, Guangzhou, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Taichung and Taipei.
A wider launch follows February 11 at the following retailers:
510 Skateboarding; A Ma Maniere; ATMOS USA; Bait, Inc.; Bodega; Concepts; Corporate; Crème; Extra Butter; Feature LLC; Hirshleifers; JUICE; Kith; Lapstone & Hammer; Notre; Oneness; Politics; RSVP LLC; Shoe Gallery; Social Status; Sole Fly; SNKRS; St. Alfred’s; SVRN; The Darkside Initiative LLC; Trophy Room; Undefeated, Inc.; Wish; XHIBITION
AFEW; Amongst Few; Bastille; Bottega Back Door; BSTN; Concepts; DXB23; End Clothing; Foot District; Foot Patrol; Kickz; Kith; Offspring Selfridges; One Block Down; Opium; Oquim; Overkill; Patta; Pigalle; Shinzo; Si Vas Descalzo; Slam Jam; Sneakerhead; Sneakers N Stuff; Solebox; Titolo; Wunder
GREATER CHINA NIKE AND JORDAN STORES
House of Innovation Shanghai; X158; PS7
1 East Changan; 1 Hongxing; 108 Zhongshanxi; 120 Bayiqi; 128 Zhongjie; 139 Nandong; 188 Jiefangxi; 188 Minzu; 2 Zhongshannan; 218 Tianhe; 5 Xinghuo; 5 Yanan; 6 Nanmenwai; 688 Jiefang; 77 Songhu; 9 Guanghua; 9668 Shennan; 99 Hubindong; HK 8 Wellington; 16 Songgao
ASIA PACIFIC AND LATIN AMERICA NIKE AND JORDAN STORES
Jordan Hongdae; Jordan Manila; Jordan Seoul; TOKYO23
ASIA PACIFIC AND LATIN AMERICA
Atmos Pinnacle; Kith; Latin Partners TTL; Lust; Sports Lab Osaka; Supply; TITAN