Sneakers October roundup:
Supra keeps on inventing cool colorways for their flagship models, not forgetting to name them after their inspiration:
- Midas for the chain of automotive service centers (probably the French logo)
- Kona for the Hawaiian word refering to the dry side of the island that neighbors one of the world’s best beaches
- Supernova for the stellar explosion
Nike SB has some great colorways too for Halloween’s month with those Nike SB Koston One Medium Mint and those amazing Nike SB Dunk Low Challenge red!
Supra can’t stop won’t stop.
While I’m still waiting for the Skytop 2 to make a come back, it seems like Parisian shop Black Rainbow (BKRW) made a deal with the crowned brand to produce a pair of Supra Owens.
What I’d like to understand better is whether the word “girls” that has been associated to the customized package means it’s a women shoe. If not, should we expect something a bit kinky since one of the other word linked to those pictures was “skin”, “chair” (which in French mean skin) and “tespaspret” (which in French means “you’re so not ready”).
I guess we’ll have to wait till Friday, 28th September to get to know what’s hidden inside this box!
The skateboarding industry has evolved into a multi-billion dollar business. Now though, with participation rapidly declining, the industry is struggling to move forward. Christopher Booker reports from California on how the business is trying to maintain momentum.
‘It has been the sales of soft goods: clothing, hats, and most importantly shoes that have been the driving force behind the industry”
I’ve been on holidays for almost two weeks now, and even if I manage to catch up with daily news about fashion, skateboarding and streetwear, I don’t have time to post here as much and as quickly as I’d like to.
I mean, I started this post with the very same information (I’ve just added some more “official” pictures that popped up those past two days) 13 days ago!!
Actually, I started writing the day the first pictures of the Nike SB Challenge Court appeared on the internet.
A simple but innovative formula that will probably be a future hit within and outside the Nike Skateboarding family: a retooling of the original Nike Challenge Court tennis sneakers worn by John McEnroe in 1984, faithful to the original, with the addition of a few technical details to adapt it to nowadays skaters’ needs. Among these additions are a reinforced upper and LUNARLON insole.
What’s so innovative? Nike SB had gotten us accustomed to adapting its skate shoes from its basketball shoes history, legacy and lineage (what a better model to illustrate it than the Nike Dunk?), but this time it’s a tennis model that’s doing the cross-over.
Simple and innovative, just like Gino Iannucci’s skating, the pro rider linked to the shoe even if it’s not a pro model/signature shoe.
That’s what’s explained in a way by the quick promo spot below, showing Gino shredding around NYC in the Nike SB Challenge Court till he meet the tennis legend:
Below follows the official story spread by Nike, and I must confess it says it all since it’s pretty well written and put together:
Eschewing the conventional bounds of skateboarding with signature ease and nonchalance, Nike Skateboarding team rider Gino Iannucci retools the Nike Challenge Court sneaker, adapting the ’84 tennis original for riding the streets—or pretty much anything.
Aside from some technical tweaks and switching up the color—from the Challenge Court’s original red, white and blue to either white and tennis green or black on black—Gino kept the revamp minimal. He was originally drawn to the sneaker’s simplicity and, in his own words, “didn’t want to change anything except it slimming down and softening the outsole…little things like the tongue, the thickness of the interior and the colors… In my eyes the shoe was ready to go SB back in ’84.”
Back in ’84, Gino hadn’t even begun skating the streets of his native Long Island, New York. It wasn’t until about three years later that he began pushing—around the same time he began playing tennis, which he continues to do up to three or four times a week. Early on, his approach to both sports, and life in general, was influenced by the Challenge Court’s original ambassador: John McEnroe, the explosive, controversial and singular tennis legend who not only debuted the Nike shoe but also wore it while competing in and winning the Davis Cup, the Australian Indoor Championship, the Grand Prix Tournament in Tokyo and more.
“John McEnroe just didn’t care and he played with so much emotion,” Gino recalls. “He never held back and always spoke his mind. Tennis never saw that attitude until he came around. I admire how he did things his way and didn’t conform to anything. He stood for just being yourself, whether good or bad. There’s honor in that.” Just as McEnroe’s influential Nike advertisement proclaimed in the early ’80s, he was a “Rebel with a Cause.” Nike taps back into this iconic moment in the debut video for the Nike SB Challenge Court. Shot on the streets of New York City, it features Gino in the shoe, pushing from the renowned Corona Park tennis stadium (also a world-famous skate spot) in Flushing, Queens to Midtown Manhattan, passing and perturbing McEnroe along the way. Continuing to Times Square, Gino recreates the “Rebel with a Cause” poster imagery in its original spot, his determination and drive echoing that of the tennis great.
Just as McEnroe became a legend for paving his own path to greatness, Gino has emerged as a skateboarding legend due to his irreverent approach and inimitable style. He’s also more than a little humble, which makes him resistant to the label of “legend,” but the definition he provides of one attests to his own seminal status, because it describes him just as much as it does McEnroe: “Legends,” Gino says, “are ones who bring something special to whatever they do—something memorable, where they just stand out naturally for whatever reason.”
The Nike SB Challenge Court ramps up the original Challenge Court’s stability with a nylon mesh upper trimmed in full-grain leather, an integral arch sock liner and an extended ankle collar. The Variable Width Lacing System™ ensures a snug, comfortable fit. And the lightweight Lunarlon sockliner/midsole promises soft but still responsive full-foot cushioning that cuts down impact without giving up board feel. Plus, the two-color, bi-level hobnail cupsole helps skaters grip the deck for premium performance.
The Nike SB Challenge Court retails for $80 USD and is offered in multiple colorways. Available at select retailers and skate shops beginning August 23, 2012.
The sneakers have indeed been in stores for more than a week now, but all I have in mind when I think about the story behind those skate shoes is this commercial from the late 90s/early 2000s in which tennis players were treated as skateboarders, which meant pretty bad at the time:
And while Gino Iannucci and his Nike SB Challenge Court are diving into Nike’s tennis history, Eric Koston chose the running legacy, dipping into the Air Max with the now notorious but still mysterious hybrid called Nike SB Eric Koston Heritage (once known as EKAM).
Nothing new under the sun, but the following pictures are less blurry than the ones that had been leaked at first.
A couple weeks ago, rapper Lil Wayne was in Las Vegas for PROJECT trade show in order to promote his own Trukfit clothing line, so he killed two birds with one stone and unveiled his upcoming collection with Supra, named dubbed Spectre, by SUPRA, rumored to be released in May of 2013.
The footwear within the forthcoming range will (initially at least) be a lifestyle shoe collection for Supra, not skate shoes, Spectre, by SUPRA being considered a brand unto itself.
On the pictures that have been leaked of Lil Wayne with Matt Fontana, some silhouettes of sneakers can be guessed, and it might be the rapper’s Supra Chimera signature sneaker.
They kind of remind me of a late ’90s skate shoe, with some inspiration taken from Stevie Williams’ first pro model at DCShoeCoUSA, which I actually don’t know if it’s a good thing.
Still speaking about collaboration, last week the Berlin-based sneaker shop Solebox sneaker spot unveiled some teaser images of a Skytop III depicting the rear half of the shoe, enough to have a pretty good feel for what to expect from the collaborative design: grey suede upper, translucent TPU elements and green accents.
Solebox being one of the shop that used to receive the Supra Factory 413 edition just like Colette (Paris), Sneakersnstuff (Stockholm), or ONE at Slam City skates (London), could it be the first of a series of collab with some shops? Let’s hope!
Aside from its alliance with rap superstar or shop, and after the running experience with its Owen shoes, Supra keeps on exploring unmapped territory and trying to conquere new markets outside their skateboarding growing empire.
Indeed, they seem to be inclined to enter the all condition gear competition with their new all-weather boot/athletic-shoe hybrid design, the Supra Backwood, built atop a two-part outsole that is rubber and SUPRAFOAM.
I’m following Supra from its debut, and I can remember the day I bought my first Skytops: the gold/silver ones. People used to make fun of me, mocking my super high sneakers, saying the colorway was stupid or that they looked like snow boots. The result? Once worn by Jay-z on a famous videoclip months later, the once criticized skate shoes ended up being the heavy hitter of the brand and a huge commercial success.
Such a success that later it yielded several offsprings within the brands, non-intended to be skated and reunited under the standard Supra NS (NS standing for non-skateboarding).
The NS line disappeared but it might be making a come back through what will be called the Royal Collection compound of at least two models: the Supra Falconthat I introduced in May and
the Supra Donavyn.
Let’s start with the Falcon.
So, as I said, Supra’s flagship, that helped the company turning out what it is today and that has been so many times copied but never equaled, is the Skytop.
It broke the mold for what we expected from the typical skate shoe silhouette at the time, delving into new territory in terms of construction and shape. With such a bold attitude and an aesthetic statement, Supra was being unconventional but that what ended up seducing so many people.
Since the Skytop, Supra has grown into a rather big footwear brand, yet they had not really surprised us anymore with their design until the following sketch:
To me the Falcon’s design is the blending of contemporary fashion with the crowned brand’s stylistic daring and DNA.
While the first half of the sneaker is rather “normal” prima facie, the second part is very eye-catching: thick padding all around which reminds us of Louis Vuitton x Kanye West’s Don and Jasper shoes.
When you look closer, you see premium leather upper, no sign of brand embellishment, double wrapped foxing tape, microfiber sockliners and you realize it lacks any simblance of ollie reinforcement.
All those details to me sound like an emphasis on the direction Supra wants for its shoes: lifestyle, which comfort my former theory about the Royal Collection.
The Falcon should hit stores next month in 3 colorways: veggie tanned caramel leather, full grain leather white and full grain leather black.
I got the feeling that a leopard print might be on its way too.
Have a look at that picture taken on a recent trade show where we can see Matt Fontana talking on the left, and look on the right! Bingo!
As for the Donavyn, they’ve got a much more simple silhouette and you can see some branding on the upper part of the tongue and on the heel panel.
They should come in the very same colorways as the Falcon.
I can’t wait for the official release! I need me a pair of Supra Falcon!
Earlier this month I talked about the birth of a line for women’s footwear at Supra as well as the launch of pro skater Stevie Williams’ first signature shoe for the crowned brand, the S1W.
Pretty massive news for July, a summer month with August in Northern hemisphere when everything usually slow down. But contrary to what one might think, things haven’t stopped since and Supra unveiled both Erik Ellington’s new pro model and a whole kids’ collection, this while celebrating its Parisian and Yankee shops’ one year anniversary.
Sounds enough to your ears? Well, believe it or not, they can’t stop won’t stop! Add two new models soon to be announced: the Hammer, Jim Greco’s newest pro model, part of the Spring 2013 collection, and a mysterious mass-murder secret weapon called the Falcon.
On July 16, Supra celebrated the first anniversary of the opening of the SUPRA NYC and SUPRA Paris retail stores with an event at the SoHo location. Jim Greco was there and conceded an interview to network_A in which he unveiled his new Supra pro model The Hammer and how he worked on its design with Josh Brubaker thinking it as a wino shoe that takes a lot of impact:
Vulcanized and cupsole mixed together so that the shoe is very light.
Same amount of SUPRAFOAM to absorve the same amount of impact as the Skytop 3.
A more simple design than the Chad Muska’s shoes because Jim Greco was always desconstructing it, cutting it down and cutting the cages off.
With this new shoe Erik, one of Supra’s founding riders, takes a different path from the slip-on, 60s inspired shoes that seem to be the go to for most (skate?) shoe designers these days.
Erik clearly uses classics as a foundation for his sneaker designs to and he doesn’t mind if that borrowing is obvious to sneakerheads, like it was the case with his former model, the Avenger, whose silhouette borrowed a lot to the Air Jordan IV.
The Ellington is a tech shoe, some kind of an Avenger 1.5 with more simple lines and no visible cushioning system, opting for a concealed full-length SUPRAFOAM midsole, which is thick on the heel to absorve the impact and thinner on the toe for better board feel.
If you’re in doubt, just look at Erik dropping a sick switch frontside flip down a hefty set in NYC, with ripped pants and a Chicago-style colorway of the Ellington, once again no ashamed of paying tribute to one of the center piece of sneaker culture: Mr Jordan.
And if you’re neither a fan of red nor yellow, don’t worry, according to the following picture, we can expect a black/gum sole colorway dropping soon:
I don’t know if it’s Erik Ellington’s son, but what he’s wearing is definitely Supra, since the brand confirmed what I had foreseen: a new collection designed specifically for kids, launching just weeks after the women’s capsule.
Unlike to the baby line that launched 2 years ago and is only composed of Skytops, the kids’ collection (for ages 3+, sizes 11-6) launches with four models that have been engineered for fun: kiddie-sized Skytops, Vaiders and Cubans, and a brand new shoe designed especially for kids, the Supra Weston (somewhere between the adult models Amigo and Stacks).
Each shoe has been rebuilt to fit young skaters with the same quality and DNA they see on the “big kids” since 2006.
You may not be a parent yet, but you probably have a kid in your family: either brother, nephew or cousin, and with back to school season coming within a little bit more than one month, Supra has provided a sufficient footwear option for the little guy once that time hits.
Victor, you hear me? :)
Oh, and for those waiting for the Falcon news: I’m so sorry. I was about to post a picture from Josh Brubaker wearing some red (vinyl?) Falcons, but the picture “mysteriously” disappeared from its source. I swear I’ll post that kind of picture quicker next time. So be sure to visit often and let me tell you: the sneakers are fire!
While every sneakerhead is desesperately looking for some affordable Yeezy 2 on eBay and is at the same time in awe with the price the auction and buy-it-now can reach, I keep on looking for my Holy Grail on the shopping website: i.e OG skate shoes like éS Muska, Axion Aries, éS Koston 1, DC Lynx, DC Kalis or éS Koston 2.
And much to my surprise, I’ve found 2 pairs of the following model which prices are skyrocketing: between US $425 and $450!
The red/black pair was one of the last colorway to be released, at the time of the Menikmati video, in 2002.
The other one, is a Lakers dedicated colorway that Eric Koston, who’s a huge fan from L.A basket ball team, used to create for any of his pro models.
By the way, if you look at the description and picture carefully, you’ll see that the seller is asking for US $450 for each pair of éS Koston: Koston 1, Koston 2 and Koston 3.
Last year I was still skating the éS Koston 1 in that exact same colorway, my pair is even the last page of the Revista SneakersBR magazine’s first issue!
As for the éS Koston 2 in that colorway, they never launched in France, and it’s one of my biggest frustration.
All I know is that the guy who’s selling those éS Koston 2 is doing it due to unemployment as he wrote on eBay, and if I really lack money, I still have 2 pairs at home (but it would be more than heartbreaking for me to do so).
Nike is killing the skate shoe game with its Nike Janoski Premium iD Starting 7/27 announcement.
Who doesn’t want to create his/her very own Nike SB Janoski Premium model on Nike iD?
As they say/tease: