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.
November 08, 2020 - As Nike continues to celebrate 30 years of the Air Max 90, the first Nike sneaker to be widely recognized in Russia sees its own city-inspired iteration, the Nike Air Max 90 Moscow, which celebrates the rich history and modern architecture of Russia’s capital.
The Nike Air Max 90 Moscow employs a Smoke Gray color scheme, which is an homage to local construction and the city’s fall sky. This is combined with Infrared and Lazer Blue elements (a nod to the shoe’s original color blockings) to reflect the city's night lights. The Nike Air Max 90 Moscow upper, made of classic leather and suede, also features reflective touches to signify the futuristic aesthetic of the skyscrapers that shifted the city's skyline.
“Speed” and “City,” found in Cyrillic on the heel and the sockliner, refer to the dynamic rhythm of the megalopolis.
The shape of the Nike Air Max 90 Moscow is a 2020 recraft, featuring a sleeker, lower toe, and a pattern split of the original Swoosh shape on the medial side and a TPU underlay with the original logo shape.
The Nike Air Max 90 Moscow releases November 14 at select retailers in Moscow and on the SNKRS and SNKRS apps.
November 05, 2020 - One year ago, Seoul-born hip-hop star G-DRAGON released his first collaborative Nike Air Force 1 “Para-noise.” The shoe, built on the multifaceted artist's favorite silhouette, matched G-DRAGON's belief in creative exchange of ideas to a design fabricated to shift with the wearer. In 2020, the Nike Air Force 1 “Para-noise” reverses its color scheme to white, but retains its self-expressive character.
G-DRAGON views self-actualization as a way through challenging times, a mindset he calls “Youtopia.” In his shoe, as the white upper gives way to his painting, each wearer creates an individual aesthetic based on their unique journey.
“Even though everything is uncertain these days, we shouldn’t stop expressing ourselves as the way we are, and creating our own world,” says G-DRAGON. “With these footsteps being connected, we will find our utopia spreading in front of our eyes. I dream of every one of you expressing yourselves freely in the Youtopia that you create for yourselves.”
The Nike x G-DRAGON AF1 “Para-noise” releases globally November 25.
To download hi-res images, click here.
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.
October 30, 2020 - A clear-cut synergy exists between the Nike Phantom GT boot and the brand’s iconic 2002 advertisement, “Secret Tournament.” The style of football — filled with the era’s creative playmaking icons — set stage for the evolution of expressive, risk-taking footballers for whom the Phantom GT was designed.
Launched in March 2002, the campaign centered on a fictional 8-team, 3-a-side tournament, first goal wins. All matches took place in an enclosed “cage” on a ship. Its timing coincided with international play in South Korea and Japan, and with local 3-a-side tournaments staged around the world.
With the Phantom GT Scorpion, the generational link between “Secret Tournament” and boot materializes through a chrome upper and plate referencing the tournament’s ball, painted brush strokes mimicking the on-ship location and the yellow/black hazard stripes framing the goals. Additionally, a lateral scorpion graphic, featuring the phrases “Secret Tournament” and “Engineered For Skills,” updates the original scorpion logo.
The Nike Phantom GT Scorpion is available November 2 on nike.com.
October 29, 2020 - Debuted in January 2020, during sacai's Paris runway show, the Nike x sacai VaporWaffle bridges old and new by fusing two Nike silhouettes: the record-breaking Vaporfly and the 1983 Pegasus running shoe. Combined under Chitose Abe’s design approach, the hybrid shoe becomes an emblem of intergenerational sport innovation.
The Nike x sacai VaporWaffle releases globally beginning November 6.
To download hi-res images of the Nike x sacai VaporWaffle, click here.
October 29, 2020 - Originally hidden inside midsoles, then showcasing its full glory with Air Max 1, the Nike Air Max Zephyr imagines a future where “air’’ is everywhere — on a shoe at least.
For ultimate all-over comfort and a lightweight, modern aesthetic, Nike Air migrates to surround the upper of the latest Nike Air Max silhouette, employing three Nike Air pods in the medial and lateral sides and tongue.
The shoe is buoyed by a Nike 720 Air unit (the company's largest volume Air bag) for soft, responsive cushioning and comfort. A full-length Nike Cushlon midsole amplifies the comfort on the Max Air unit.
View hi-res images here.
October 19, 2020 - Debuted in March 2020 during the COMME des GARÇONS FW20 “Neo Future” show, the Nike x COMME des GARÇONS Air Force 1 Mid punctuates Rei Kawakubo’s embrace of the idea that it is not possible to make something completely new.
In “Neo Future,” Kawakubo chose to look within the world of COMME des GARÇONS for inspiration. With the Air Force 1 Mid, the designer similarly selected a beloved Nike classic that is revered for the unique place it holds in the sneaker canon. The two customized styles feature paneled cut-outs with raw edges on the shoe’s leather exterior and COMME des GARÇONS embossed on its proprioceptors belt. The textured effect is a new application for the AF1.
Offered in black and white, the Nike x COMME des GARÇONS Air Force 1 Mid is available in U.S. women’s sizes 6.5 to 14.5 and men’s sizes 5 to 13.
The Nike x COMME des GARÇONS Air Force 1 Mid releases October 23 exclusively at COMME des GARÇONS and Dover Street Market stores globally and online at DSM E-SHOPs. The initial offering will be followed by a release via select COMME des GARÇONS retailers.
To download hi-res images of the Nike x COMME des GARÇONS Air Force 1 Mid, click here.
October 15, 2020 - The holiday lineup for Converse Basketball features new upper detailing and outsole combinations that cut through the court, giving players a mix of silhouettes to stand out and play with their own stylistic flair.
Three colorway packs round out the holiday releases across the Converse All Star BB Evo, the Converse G4 and the Converse Pro Leather. The Hi-Vis collection adds neon, glow-in-the-dark detailing; the Polar Lights collection brings a cool palette inspired by the northern lights; and the Black Ice collection pairs matte-shine finishes with translucent outsoles.
Converse All Star BB EVO
Inspired by the Chuck Taylor All Star, the All Star BB Evo’s modern profile is highlighted through a range of bright details on the star-chevron branding; the Hi-Vis collection shows off gradients of yellow, purple and orange, while the Polar Lights version includes layered pops of green. Monochromatic black and white uppers serve as a clean base.
In these packs, the G4's collar heights dictate its color volume. The Hi-Vis pack offers a hi-top in white, with subtle branding and a gradually splattered midsole, while the low-top is flooded in yellow, with purple and teal accents. The Polar Lights pack features a black upper with paint-flecked hints throughout the heel counter, the forefoot rand and the star chevron. An icy-blue outsole rounds out the profile.
Converse Pro Leather
The timeless Pro Leather silhouette made famous by Julius “Dr.J” Irving adds neon detailing in Hi-Vis colorways like bright green, orange and coral. The Black Ice collection casts sophisticated styles in either black or white, complete with an ice-blue translucent outsole.
To download hi-res images, click here.
October 15, 2020 - More than two years ago, at the start of her ongoing collaboration with Converse, Feng Chen Wang, like many designers before her, requested pairs of the Converse Chuck 70 to complete her SS19 Menswear presentation at New York Fashion Week.
Equipped with more than 30 pairs, Wang captured the global attention of the creative community when she presented her vision of the canvas sneaker: a carefully deconstructed and delicately reassembled Chuck 70 concept shoe, complete with hand-painted details. Wang continued to tinker her concept through shape, style and color, and a few weeks later, debuted fresh iterations during her show in Shanghai.
Shortly after the show, Converse and Wang began work to figure out how to formalize the bold concept and bring it to wider audiences. During the following year, after numerous rounds of construction, fit and colorway explorations, the team engineered a design and finalized a color palette that demonstrates the cohesion between Wang’s deconstructed ethos and the classic Converse silhouette.
The result is all about honoring the icon, but boldly breaking the structure.
The Chuck 70 2-in-1 unifies two alternate sizes of Chuck 70 to converge form and style in one approach. Not dissimilar to the exploration of layering often seen in Wang's eponymous brand and her recent Converse collaborations, the silhouette is crafted with “two” in mind: a paired organic canvas overlay, double-layered foxing tape and a modified outsole, spliced into four quadrants. This intentional design keenly demonstrates the duality of Wang’s idea while providing the wearer with enhanced “flex” in their step within the highly-structured build.
The sneakers also feature a double-lace loop for alternative styling, and Feng Chen Wang’s namesake logo appears on the heel, sockliner and laces.
The Converse x Feng Chen Wang Chuck 70 2-in-1 launches October 20 in black and persimmon orange color palettes.