November 03, 2019 - G-DRAGON, the Seoul-born hip-hop star, didn't always have easy access to his favorite sneakers, the Nike Air Force 1.
"Ever since I came across hip-hop as a kid, AF1 has had a meaning greater than just shoes," says G-DRAGON. "I couldn’t afford them, so I would always pass the Nike store and admire them with my eyes and heart only. For those who loved hip-hop culture, oversized clothes, hats and matching-colored AF1s was the uniform."
Progressing as a performer and blossoming into a worldwide phenomenon, G-DRAGON has made the Air Force 1 an integral part of his uniform. The Nike Air Force 1 "Para-noise" reflects this overtly with a unique upper fabrication that features a black painted overlay designed to slowly wear away over time to reveal a personal artwork created by G-DRAGON.
The artwork conveys a sense of optimism, inspired by the singer-songwriter's vision of a world where the youth are unified through creativity and a free exchange of ideas. For G-DRAGON, art is an important expression of self that pushes culture forward.
"I was made by a culture derived by people from the past," he says.
Additional embellishments include a daisy embroidered on the tongue and removable custom pins in the upper eyelets.
The Nike Air Force 1 Para-noise launches globally November 23.
January 19, 2021 - The new Nike Mercurial is an excellent example of Nike’s “better is temporary ethos.”
Led by athlete insight, the boot takes on four areas of focus:
- Fit: an upper that feels like a natural extension of the foot
- Touch: natural touch, helping athletes to maintain control at high speeds
- Traction: quick acceleration and breaking in all directions
- Style: brighter, lighter and faster
With these in mind, the design of the new Mercurial draws on the natural geometry of a Dragonfly’s wing as guide to driving maximum efficiency with minimal weight. This results in a lightweight, efficient boot stripped to 7 key components, each made visible for an arresting aesthetic that relays the pure essentials of speed.
Evolving from the 2019 Mercurial 360, the boot introduces a new Vaporposite upper that combines a grippy grid mesh with premium lining for ball control at high speeds. Underfoot the Nike Aerotrak plate brings responsiveness for quick cuts and acceleration.
The bright launch colorway is made up of a digital psychedelic palette, inspired by a computer motherboard, which pays homage to iconic Mercurials over the past 23 years.
The new Nike Mercurial Vapor/Superfly Dragonfly will launch January 25 to Nike Members, with full release February 1.
January 14, 2021 - Michael Jaworowski, Notre’s co-founder and CEO, attributes his first encounter with the Dunk as catalyst for his career, his interests and his community-driven approach to retail.
“I happened to be at a hockey game for the local team in Grand Rapids and I saw a kid go up the escalator in some crazy red and silver Nikes. I was taken aback by them. When I got home, I jumped on the computer and just started searching Nike red and silver — eventually I discovered it was a Nike SB Dunk,” says Jaworowski.
The discovery steered an awakening. Jaworowski hit the era’s blogs and message boards, which led to a job at Grand Rapid’s Premier skate shop (and mentorship from its owners, Eric and Josh) and has culminated in a maturation through the business of sneakers and streetwear to the founding, almost a decade later, of Notre in Chicago.
“We wanted to be a place, a business in Chicago, that could uplift individuals and organizations in the city and believe we’re making positive changes,” says Jaworowski.
The store’s name translates from French to “our.” And within Notre there is a resounding commitment to cultivating connections and allowing a wider sense of ownership. “I definitely had an idea of the type of shop that I wanted to have,” says co-founder Jose Villanueva. “Community was always a big part of it.”
To make it happen, Jaworowski, Villanueva, co-owners Charlie and AJ Nordstrom and the rest of the Notre team have applied an ingrained diligence to a decidedly high-fashion, high-design platform. It is true to their unique ethos, a celebration of collaboration, curiosity, durability and work ethic. The store, for all involved, is a shared labor of love held by a belief that there are many valuable ways of doing things beyond one’s own.
With the Nike Dunk, Jaworowski’s love of the silhouette blends with Notre’s unabashed humility. A hard-working, Midwestern attitude rendered through the store’s elevated aesthetic. “We were always inspired by work shirts, and we wanted to make sure we represented durable materials and the triple-stitch details we associate with hard-wearing clothing and boots,” says Villanueva.
Subtle suede and leather details complement the clean colorways, enriching the story and adding texture. The medial Swoosh offers another element, making Notre’s Dunk “ours” — the linking hands that have become a brand hallmark.
The Nike x Notre Dunk releases exclusively at Notre January 21 in tan and blue colorways. A second release of the blue colorway follows January 23 on SNKRS.
Download hi-res images here.
January 14, 2021 - In 1891, Dr. James Naismith drafted the 13 original rules for the game of basketball while teaching at the YMCA training school in Springfield, Mass. Now, 130 years later, Boston-based Converse has partnered with innovative retailer and neighbor, Concepts, to celebrate the state’s history in hoops — and honor its future.
Drawing inspiration from the two peach baskets that formed Naismith’s early basketball goals, the collaborative project covers the iconic Chuck 70 and the All Star BB Evo. The choice of shoes nods to Converse’s deep roots in the sport and the brand’s recent return to performance basketball.
“The Chuck transcends all — it’s the one sneaker that has an impact on everyone,” says Deon Point, Creative Director of Concepts. “The one angle we felt is sometimes forgotten is its roots in basketball. Not many even know the Chuck Taylor backstory, so hopefully this will shed some light on history.”
Concepts presents the Chuck 70 in an orange and red gradient colorway throughout the platinum-suede upper — a subtle nod to the fruit’s fuzzy surface. “It was difficult tracking down something that had the burnished suede feel as well as coloration, but Converse did an amazing job of ensuring the material felt like an actual peach,” says Point.
With the All Star BB Evo, an evolution of the All Star Pro BB introduced in 2019, Concepts channels the game in a playful sense. The upper on the performance model shares a mix of Shadow Lime and Green Oasis colorways — a nod to the peach’s coloring before it becomes ripe. Each lateral side showcases a flocked Star Chevron logo, and a subtle standout lies within the interior: a Concepts-branded peach blossom print that can be seen on the sockliner and translucent outsole.
“Given the history of Converse on the court, it was only right to include the future of the brand, with the All Star BB Evo, in our consideration of the story of basketball,” says Point.
Download hi-res images here.
January 06, 2021 - Since its inception in 1985, the Nike Dunk has united successive generations in defiant spirit. Whether symbolic of a basketball team, art movement or metal band, the opportunity for self-expression rooted in collective cultural identity has defined the model. In 2021, the Dunk's legacy continues with new colorways and, undoubtedly, new adventures.
The first three arrive in January for the Dunk Low — black/white, red/grey and sail/coast — and will bring new perspective to the Dunk's iconic color-blocking. The black/white comes in men, women and kid's sizes; red/grey in men and kid's sizes; sail/coast will be available exclusively in women's sizing. Release begins January 4 in Greater China, followed by a January 14 launch throughout Asia-Pacific and Latin America. In Europe, the red/grey and sail/coast colorways release January 14. The black/white will follow a week later, on January 21. The North America launch continues in spring 2021.
Additionally, the Dunk Low black/hyper cobalt releases February 11 in men and kid's sizes, alongside the sail/orange peel in women and kid's sizes. The Dunk High white/orange blaze comes March 5 in men, women and kid's sizes.
Download hi-res images here.
December 22, 2020 - The PG5 explores the idea that comfort is the first step to controlling pace on the basketball court. That’s why the full-length Nike Air Dot Weld Strobel cushioning of the PG4 returns, now paired to a new lightweight, low-top profile. It’s all in service of silky-smooth movement across the floor, exemplified by the shoe’s namesake, Paul George.
Other features of the PG5 support George’s two-way needs: The lacing system keeps the foot locked in and stable over the footbed, and the outsole features a multi-directional tread pattern to help provide stop-and-go traction during play.
The black and white colorway of the PG5 releases January 21 in North America. The blue LA Drip colorway releases beginning February 12 in North America.
December 22, 2020 - The Nike SB Dunk Low Street Hawker, designed by Guangzhou artist Jason Deng, gives big props to the bonding effect food culture has in China. Above, a watercolor painting from Deng shows the design inspiration: six regional dishes from six Chinese cities, combined with a slew of other, subtly-incorporated nods to Chinese cuisine.
Here are 22 things you should know about the Street Hawker Dunk.
1. The left shoe uses a lighter beige for three flour-based dishes.
2. The suede toebox mimics the color and texture of green bean soup (Douzhi) from Beijing.
3. Donut (Jiaoquan) patterns on the forefoot pair with the green bean soup.
4. Embossed suede on the lateral side shows shredded pita bread pieces for a traditional Xi'an dish: pita bread soaked in mutton soup.
5. That mutton soup is represented in water-color patterns across the lateral side.
6. The Swoosh is depicted in a wood-grain texture to represent chopsticks.
7. On the lateral heel, water-color fading looks like Shanghai plain noodles, also called Yangchun noodles.
8. An embroidered 10-cent copper coin appears on the lateral heel, hinting at Yangchun noodles.
9. The left insole resembles a blue sky, inspired by traditional Chinese slang implying that people treat food as their heaven.
10. The blue lining of the left midsole mimics the blue-and-white of fine porcelain bowls.
11. The right shoe features hotter colors to represent different heats, from spicy to sweet.
12. The metallic color on the right toebox is pulled from Chengdu hotpots in which dishes are cooked.
13. Boiling chili-oil treatments bubble around the toebox.
14. Ostrich leather on the lateral side is inspired by the crispy roasted goose skin that’s famous in Guangzhou.
15. The silver Swoosh resembles the metal hook used to hang the roast goose.
16. The flame and Lychee wood used to roast the goose appears in a watercolor pattern around the eyelits.
17. Shaved ice and taro balls — a common Taipei dessert — can be found on the heel counter.
18. The insole paints the scene of a bench terrace, a landscaping method used to grow rice paddies.
19. The collar lining reflects the color of meat dishes.
20. The yellow outsole represents cooking oils.
21. Heel tabs feature Chinese calligraphy for “food” in black and white thread.
22. Four colors of laces are inspired by four essential seasonings in Chinese cuisine: green (shallots), yellow (ginger), white (garlic) and black (black pepper).
The shoe releases January 13 on SNKRS.
December 18, 2020 - The Air Jordan XXXV and the Air Jordan XXIII were both designed to bridge the worlds of in-game technology and thoughtful material use in a basketball shoe. Now, both silhouettes are releasing in special editions from Manila-retailer Titan, which has been the conduit to Filipino basketball culture for a decade.
The Air Jordan XXIII, a landmark silhouette for the Philippines after the 2008 Titanium release, features lightning-bolt-esque stitching on the upper. The Titan lightning bolt logo appears on the tongue and the sockliner. The Air Jordan XXXV brings a similar color scheme, rooted in a black heel counter and crossing into red webbing above the Eclipse Plate 2.0. The lighting bolt logo is subtly printed throughout the silhouette.
For more information, visit air.jordan.com.
The Air Jordan XXXV Titan and the Air Jordan XXIII Titan will be available December 23 from Titan and December 29 from Jumpman doors and select retailers in EMEA, APLA and GC below. North America will launch both shoes on January 23.
Check out the global retailers below.
Asia Pacific and Latin America Retailers
Jordan Hongdae (Seoul), Jordan Manila, Jordan Seoul, Titan, Tokyo 23 (Japan)
Europe and UAE Retailers
Jordan Paris, Bastille (Paris), Opium (Paris), Shinzo (Pairs), BSTN (Germany), Oquim (Netherlands), Bottega Back Door (Bologna, Italy), Sneakers N Stuff, Kickz
Greater China Retailers
120 Bayiqi (Fuzhou), 1 East Changan (Beijing), 139 Nandong (Shanghai), 1 Hongxing (Chengdu), 688 Jiefang (Wuhan), 218 Tianhe (Guangzhou), 2 Zhongshannan (Nanjing), 188 Minzu (Chongqing), 5 Xinghuo (Xi’an), 6 Nanmenwai (Tianjin), 546 Yanan (Hangzhou), 9668 Shennan (Shenzhen), 108 Zhongshankxi (Shijiazhuang), 9 Guanghua (Beijing), 77 Songhu (Shanghai), 128 Zhongjie (Shenyang), 99 Hubindong (Xiamen), WZK BJ (Beijing), WZK SH (Shanghai), Colour TJ (Tianjin), XH55 (Guangzhou), SKP-S BJ (Beijing), Soul Goods SH (Shanghai)
North America Retailers
Jordan Los Angeles, Shoe Palace (Los Angeles)
December 18, 2020 - Hidden in plain sight on Boston's Clearway Street, Bodega's original space has served as a de facto creative hub since its founding in 2006.
“Being in Boston for almost 15 years now, our store feels more like a barber shop when you come in — a lot of people just pull up for the conversation,” says Bodega Designer Drew White. “We often refer to it as a clubhouse in this way.”
The shop, set behind a secret door within its namesake facade, was born from a group of creative individuals and has since grown bigger (and westward to Los Angeles) as its ranks have expanded. With its first collaborative Nike Dunk, Bodega celebrates the collective spirit of a crew and the local legends who hold them together.
Nostalgic nods to baseball punctuate the design language of the Nike x Bodega Dunk High, creating an emotional connection between sporting fandom and identification of heroes. Consider it both a cheeky homage to the Dunk's team origins and a signifier of the shoe's role in contemporary street culture all at once.
“The Dunk unites different subcultures. It transcends aesthetics,” says Bodega Marketing Director Matt Zaremba. “And at the advent of more commercial streetwear, the Dunk was rooted in tradition.”
Tradition guides Bodega's philosophy and an understanding of the role of its space beyond commerce in mentoring talent throughout the local scene. It recognizes that while creative talents often blossom in people alone, progression requires entrée into a scene and the resources a crew provides.
With its Dunk project, Bodega honors creative director Marvin Jason Bynoe. Known to the Bodega crew as Stro, Bynoe died on March 20, 2020.
“He was the type of role model all of us at Bodega strive to be, and in our eyes holds a certified legend status,” says White. “This Dunk is for the individuals in a crew that impact or influence everyone.”
The Nike x Bodega Dunk High SP “Legend” launches December 28 at Bodega. A release on SNKRS follows December 30.
December 04, 2020 - The Nike x Naomi Osaka x CDG Blazer celebrates the irrefutable power of the tennis star’s cultural footprint.
Osaka's success on the court is proven as a three-time Grand Slam champion. She also makes an impact off the court, as an advocate for change in the social- and racial-justice movement and as a role model encouraging and empowering the next generation of female athletes. For this reason, Osaka has been honored as one of the "People of the Year" by Comme des Garçons and SWITCH Publishing.
The Nike x Naomi Osaka x CDG Blazer is an extension of the accolade. The partnership also furthers Osaka's fashion credentials and nods to a shared Japanese heritage.
The choice of the Nike Blazer relays decades-old sport history and a cultural authenticity. Debuted as a basketball shoe in 1972, the shoe has been part of the core Nike SB line for more than a decade and has enjoyed a string of art world and fashion collaborations. (CDG has used the silhouette several times.)
The Nike x Naomi Osaka x CDG Blazer features a neutral color scheme with a custom all-over print graphic reading both NAOMI OSAKA and COMME des GARÇONS. Additional details include Osaka's signature on the shoe's quarter panel, along with the handwritten phrase "Home is Where the Heart is.”
The shoe releases globally December 5 at all CDG and DSM shops and on DSM E-Shops. A matching T-shirt accompanies the release.
To download hi-res images, click here.