Nike and Supreme are two of the most influential brands in the world of streetwear and sneakers. They have been collaborating since 2002, creating some of the most coveted and iconic products in the industry. From shoes to apparel to accessories, Nike and Supreme have always pushed the boundaries of design, quality and hype with their joint releases. In this article, we will take a look at some of the highlights of their long-lasting partnership and what makes them so successful.
The Beginning: Nike SB Dunk Low “Elephant Print” (2002)
The first collaboration between Nike and Supreme was also the first major project for Nike’s newly launched skateboarding division, Nike SB. The Swoosh wanted to make a splash in the skate scene, which was dominated by brands like Vans and DC at the time. They reached out to Supreme, the New York-based skate shop and streetwear label that had a loyal following and a reputation for edgy and exclusive products.
The result was two colorways of the Nike SB Dunk Low, featuring elephant print panels inspired by the Air Jordan 3, a favorite of Supreme founder James Jebbia. The shoes also had metallic silver swooshes, red accents, Supreme lace locks and insoles, and “World Famous” embroidered on the heel tabs. The shoes were released in limited quantities at Supreme stores and select Nike SB retailers, creating a frenzy among sneakerheads and skaters alike. The shoes are now considered grails by many collectors, fetching thousands of dollars on the resale market.
The Evolution: Nike SB Dunk High Pro (2003)
Following the success of their first collaboration, Nike and Supreme teamed up again in 2003 to work on the high-top version of the Nike SB Dunk. This time, they took a more luxurious approach, using alligator leather uppers, gold stars printed on each panel of the shoes, and gold Supreme lace locks. The shoes came in three colorways: black, red and orange.
The shoes were a nod to the late ’80s and early ’90s hip-hop culture, which favored flashy and extravagant footwear. The shoes also referenced the Gucci Tennis 84, a rare sneaker that featured a similar alligator leather and star print design. The shoes were again released in limited quantities at Supreme stores and select Nike SB retailers, generating even more hype and demand than their predecessors.
The Expansion: Nike x Supreme Apparel and Accessories (2007-Present)
After two successful sneaker collaborations, Nike and Supreme decided to expand their partnership to include apparel and accessories. In 2007, they released their first clothing collection, consisting of hoodies, jackets, hats and bags. The collection featured a co-branded logo that combined the Nike swoosh with the Supreme box logo, as well as a “World Famous” slogan.
Since then, Nike and Supreme have continued to collaborate on various apparel and accessory items, such as varsity jackets, soccer jerseys, basketball shorts, running tights, goggles, gloves and more. Some of these items have also incorporated other brands or entities into the mix, such as Comme des Garçons SHIRT1, NBA2 or ACG3. These collaborations have showcased the versatility and creativity of both brands, as well as their ability to tap into different markets and trends.
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The Future: Nike x Supreme Spring 2023 Collaboration
The latest collaboration between Nike and Supreme is set to drop in Spring 2023. The collaboration features a retro basketball shoe from 1997: the Nike Air Bakin. The shoe was famously worn by Tim Hardaway during his time with the Miami Heat, and was known for its bright and bold design.
The collaboration sees Supreme put its own spin on the shoe, offering two colorways: black/speed red/multi-color and white/amarillo. The shoe features synthetic pebbled leather uppers paired with nubuck mudguards. Additional details include mesh underlay quarter panels, mesh tongues, webbing loops at the heel, rubberized badges at the ankles, molded “NIKE AIR” tongue logos, “SUPREME” on the heel tabs, “NYC” embroidered at the rear, printed insoles and co-branding on the sole units4.
The collaboration is expected to be another hit among fans of both brands, as well as sneaker enthusiasts who appreciate vintage basketball styles. The shoes will be released exclusively at Supreme stores worldwide on March 2nd in the US and March 4th in Japan.
Nike and Supreme are two brands that have proven to be masters of collaboration. They have been working together for almost two decades, creating products that are innovative, high-quality and hyped. Their partnership has also helped both brands grow their fan bases and reach new audiences. With their latest collaboration set to drop soon, we can expect more exciting things from these two giants of streetwear and sneakers.