“One's destination is never a place but rather a new way of looking at things.” Skateboarding, sneakers and fashion through Flow's eyes
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!
The offspring of Supra x BKRW ‘s collaboration is a magnificent ultra-limited edition and handmade Skytop III constructed from various costly materials like varnished full-grain leather, finest ostrich skin and ponyhair.
The original shoe has been totally rethinked to look like a luxury sneaker/shoe and that’s pretty obvious when you look at how the main elements that identify a Skytop III have been reworked: the lateral panel is made of leather instead of plastic, and so are the heel pull tab as well as the interior lining.
But the best description still comes from the men behind the shoes:
“SUPRA and BKRW were nearly born at the same time and we’ve worked together ever since,” said Jay Smith of BKRW. “Regarding the BKRW Skytop III, Greg [Hervieux, the other half of BKRW] knew since the very beginning what he wanted to do with SUPRA: make a high fashion, premium shoe. He wanted to create a clash between skateboarding and John Loeb, or J.M. Weston, by using premium fabrics, and he also wanted to give the famous Skytop III upper cage an entirely new interpretation. The luxury market has always cut and pasted our culture, so we thought it’s payback time and let’s show them how we can rape and twist their styles just as they’ve been doing to us.” The BKRW Skytop III comes in a premium, matte black box with a microfiber shoe bag, and is packaged with a shoehorn and a pair of wooden shoe trees.
“A collab project creates not only an object,” Jay said, “but also a real human and creative bond where the partners involved are pushing and feeding off of each other to attain their highest levels of creativity.”
25 pairs of Skytop III x BKRW will be available at BLACKRAINBOW in Paris on Saturday, September 29.
And if you can’t get a pair of those amazing shoes, don’t worry and start sparing since, as I told in the past, a Steve Aoki x Muska x Dim Mak Supra shoe is coming soon…
UPDATE: From the mouth of the Mu$ka himself, it will be a Skytop II collabo! AMEN! (it’s my fav’ model from the brand)
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!
Paris Fashion Week Men Spring/Summer 2013 is over, and the above looks are the one I could wear the way they appeared on the catwalks. No edition.
You’ve got Givenchy, Balmain, Dries Van Noten, Juun J.
Of course I loved Lanvin, liked 3.1 Phillip Lim and Ann Demeulemeester, but there’s no complete look I could take straight from the show.
Oh! I was about to forget! For those criticizing my constant willing in mixing streetwear/skateboarding with high fashion: Les Garçons put some skate shoes on their runway with SupraSkytop 3 and Vaider everywhere ;)
Just like I did last month, and even if Supra seems to have quieted down with the launch of new pack of sneakers, here is a quick summary of the models that have been released last month and I would purchase if I had the money to buy them all.
Skylow 2 “Vintage” As I said before, even if not a fan of them, those are pretty fine for summer time with their old-school look made of vintage blue suede and blue canvas upper with an orange pinstripe on the sole.
Skytop III “Native” First appeared as part of a promo pack to promote Supra’s Facebook, but now available for any consummer that fell in love like me with the use of blue (navy), white and red (cherry) on the same shoes!
Pilot “Native” Those Pilot are part of the same pack as the aforementioned Skytop 3, a pack whose name could have been inspired by the Atlanta baseball team named Braves.
And just like their “team mates”, they’re made up of a new super-smooth Lux suede, a material described as less nappy than nubuck for an almost waxy appearance.
Skytop III “Block pack” The Block pack is a navy/white and black/white duo of Skytop 3 equipped with a new coated canvas TUF upper, a lightweight yet durable material that seems perfect to make your shoes resists your skateboard’s grip even when you go H.A.M.
And as I couldn’t leave you without showing some new stuff, here we go:
Let’s start with a teaser picture of a not-yet-released Skytop 3 colorway: black canvas TUF upper/purple accent/translucid sole.
A new teaser for the S1W, the Stevie Williams pro model, whose launch should come sooner than expected.
And talking novelty, is anyone still waiting for the Weezy x Supra collaboration to drop? Will they be the Pistol said to be unveiled at Agenda?
We mentioned the Skytop 2, but when will Supra bring out the seemingly inevitable Skylow 3 since we’ve seen low top versions for each of Chad Muska’s pro models?
All I know is that a new model no one was expecting is coming: the Falcon!
Yes, Josh Brubaker is an artist, there’s no denying!
The Agenda Trade Show is a forum for the most inspired in the streetwear and action sports industries to unite. In the past 9 years the alternative clothing trade show has expanded from a single event to three shows in three cities.
In 2012 the 3 editions will be hosted by New York (July 16th & 17th), Long Beach (August 1st & 2nd) and Tokyo (August 21st & 22nd).
Supra is a habitue of the trade show, and the crowned brand always reveal a newness there: two years ago it was the Skytop III.
This year they will display their Spring 2013 line of footwear and nothing less than two entirely new styles will be unveiled.
The Hammer low top is the dynamic new signature shoe from the infamous and legendary pro skater Jim Greco, while the Pistol is a new team-inspired low top.
Nevertheless nothing about the once told about Steve Aoki x Mu$ka pro model…
Wait and see folks, wait and see…
The cover of German quarterly magazine SNéAKERS has been leaked for a few days if not weeks, but the brand new information we got today from Supra is that the all red Skytop III featured on it will hit shelves later this year:
The newest issue features an all red Skytop III (available later this year) on the cover, a blue leather Vaider “Action” on the back cover, as well as an in-depth interview with Stevie Williams on the subject of sneaker design and the story behind his new signature shoe, the S1W (also available later this year).
The other valuable news we can extract from the above quote is that I was right, the S1W are coming this year!
And let’s hope there will be other monochromatic colorway for the Skytop III!
Supra April 2012 pick out? Yes, it’s the best way I had to entitle the following post, given that it’s been a few months since Supra is getting the fast fashion treatment, releasing new colorway of his most famous models every month.
First of all, the Skytop III “Jade”.
Last saturday, I introduced the Skytop III “Native” as the first colorway of the model reuniting 3 colors. It wasn’t exactly true since a couple weeks ago, the crowned brand launched one of the most exciting incarnationsof the Skytop III as the “Jade”: the shoe features a cream colored, waxed twill upper that is beautifully complemented by a black, waxed twill tongue, black molded TPR cage, black heel-pull, and, last but not least to make it a eye-candy, neon green accents.
Supra also launched the Skytop “Cross”, a model enveloped by a unique, black leather upper that features a repeating, perforated cross pattern accompanied by black canvas details. The shoe could have been perfect (especially if you’re a Jus†ice fan) if it wasn’t the eyelet. I’m truly allergic to it.
Last but not least, the Wrap suffered a facelift since the low top - low price model has been redesigned. The shoe still features the unique two-piece canvas upper construction, which, unlike a traditional three-piece canvas vulcanized oxford, wraps around the shoe, but the silhouette now has a slightly higher profile, due to the use of a more traditional-size foxing tape. They also made it more comfortable.
The fun part is that Supra is announcing 12 colors on their website, but Supra Paris received a colorway not listed on the website which is a striped model as you can see above.
anyway, perfect timing for the summer!
Supra is celebrating the fact they’re approaching one million fans by giving a lucky winner the very first pair in the world of a new Vaider, Skytop III, or an Owen through a Facebook promotion called the 1 Million Fan March.
All you gotta do is like, vote for your fav’ model, wait for the Supra’s page to reach 1 million fans and cross your fingers to be randomly chosed as the winner since it’s a sweepstake!
The three models are:
The Vaider “Fade” The traditional Vaider high top design receives a modern flare in this “Fade” incarnation: a trio of grey tones in Rip-Stop nylon, with a repeating diamond pattern, progress from light to dark, toe to heel. The stylish upper has neon pink accents, including a neon pink terry lining. It’s built atop a black and grey vulcanized sole with white foxing.
The Skytop III “Native” The Skytop III “Native” features a striking red and blue upper that is constructed from a new material from our tannery that we call Lux suede. It has an extremely smooth, almost waxy, finish. The shoe comes with a white terry lining, and is built atop a white outsole with a white EVA midsole.
The Black And Purple Owen The Owen is the first lightweight shoe from Supra and this is a brand new colorway: it’s a black mesh and black microfiber upper with purple accents on a white EVA sole with black and purple traction pods.
I’m already finger-crossing and if I ever wan, I’d love to win the Skytop III “Native”.
It’s by far the best ever colorway imagined for that shoe. We had already seen bicolor **Skytop III**, but this 3 color attempt combined with that new lux suede is hella fire!
It’s becoming more and more difficult to introduce the new Skytop III releases since it’s always getting better and I’ll be soon running short of words.
Three new colorways have just been released and they’re truly amazing.
Supra’s choice for colorways is really top notch and all I know is that they’re getting me confused.
First because living in Brazil it’s still difficult to accompany the release rate.
Second because I thought the Skytop III “Tour” would be my choice to chill out, but they now have a relative made of synthetic mesh too: the “Sport”.
And how can’t you fall for those fancy “Marble” or “Tip” (black and gold perfect to match with an old Justice tee from the 2008 † tour).
And what about the classic treatment: white upper + gum sole?
You can already start saving money!
There’s nothing much to say, except maybe: they’ve just killed it. Supra prooved that they’re so over the rest when it comes to skate shoes.
Can’t wait to put my hands on the Magenta and Royal blue ones (the latter being a reminiscence of some Erik Ellington experimentation I observed last year). And maybe the Skytop III “Tour” to chill out, since they’re probably pretty light being the first Skytop III to feature an upper materialized out of synthetic mesh.