THE 2010s have played host to numerous trends and styles; some are memorable landmarks and some, well, are fit to remain in the last decade. There have been numerous failed or ‘flopped’ launches despite extravagant PR exposure, in turn completely countered by gold-dust or the quick-fix solution that is celebrity-endorsement. But, how many milestones are genuinely worth recalling? Whilst I may miss a handful of mentionable moments, here is a loose round-up of major NIKE sneaker moments that happened between 1st January 2010 and 31st December 2019 . I give to you Nike, Oregon’s giants.
An ongoing collaborative partnership that, well, would be offensive to exclude, is the coupling of Koji’s Atmos and Swoosh. The Asian powerhouse are renowned for two iconic details that work their way into most collaborative projects – camouflage and animal print. A spotlight was built in 2006 once the Air Max 1 and 95 Supreme ‘Animal’ pack surfaced, this was followed by 2013’s Air Max 90 ‘Duck Camo’ — to many honoured as one of the best iterations in the silhouette’s history. A combination of materials, high-quality and attributing factors drawing from the sneaker’s ‘Infrared’ roots put the pair on a pedestal.
You may remember Hyperfuse, a technology that was introduced to a disconcerted audience two years into the decadent draped both the Air Max 97 and 90 (to name the notable models). It was, essentially, the process of bonding material layers to create a one-piece upper that would be sewn together at the sneaker’s heel; other than the mentioned, the sneaker’s upper presented no seams. As expected with the introduction of new technology, HF wasn’t taken to very positively by the masses. Cue, the Independence Day pack.
By no means can these be considered a master-stroke by Nike, more so physical proof that Mr Kanye West’s influence can and will continue to sell anything. For those who may not be aware, the ‘Indy’ pack hit sale-racks and were essentially sitting on shelves across the nation. Now, what Kanye did was boost an outlet shoe’s third-party market value into the high-hundreds, touching upon one thousand pounds on occasion. Of course, stroke-by-stroke the meme “Flag too big” reared its head following a plethora of poorly executed fakes.
Sticking with Nike for a little longer, 2018 and 19 saw the revival of SB Dunk, SB being the key adjective in play here. When was the last time you picked up a pair of Janoski? In 2011 Nike dropped the ‘Wino’ iteration of Stefan Janoski’s signature shoe, featuring artificial ‘wine glass’ rings across the canvas upper. At the time, this shoe had a great cult-following thus exemplifying the full-circle hype-trends and fashion proceeds to complete – which is why it was the perfect time for SB Dunk to ‘come-back’.
Fashion media outlets and sneaker-enthusiasts pronounced Dunks ‘dead’ around the time De La Soul lows (recent release, not OG) hit outlets for sub-£20. SO, between 2014 and 2020 Nike’s PR team have managed to flip the market on its head – not only re-releasing OG colourways and collaborations, but managing to endorse the correct celebrities to drive resell prices through the roof.
Drawing Nike’s very brief summary to a close, let us touch upon the initial ‘10’ deriving from Virgil Off-White conquest. Without a doubt, no questions asked, the MOST hyped collaboration of the decade. No questions asked, it is not a collection you have to enjoy to agree on this matter. If stock numbers had been higher, perhaps this would have been a different story, but that wasn’t the case. This was Nike’s biggest success of the decade.