This week we see Nike bringing out not one, not two but three of the best collaborations we have seen in 2020. We see the sportswear giants team up with Amsterdam-based denim mastermind DENHAM, Berlin-based Chinese artist Ruohan Wang and a highly anticipated Dunk collab with Korean streetwear royalty Kasina.
All three collections are a little more niche than we have come to expect from Nike who has collaborated with global brands like Ben and Jerry’s and international superstars like Travis Scott this year. But I think that is what makes these collaborations even more unique; they show that Nike is looking at a wide range of partners to appeal to all kinds of consumers.
To understand these collabs and why Nike may have gone this route, I take a deep dive into each brand and the silhouettes they have created.
DENHAM x Nike Air Max line
Before diving into the upcoming jean inspired Air Max collection, we need to understand who or what DENHAM is. DENHAM was founded in the Netherlands back in 2008 by British jean maker Jason Denham. A self-proclaimed jean obsessive, Jason focussed all of his energy into crafting premium quality denim. The contemporary brand has evolved over the years, now offering complete men and women capsules.
DENHAM’s iconic scissor logo was motivated by Denham’s first pair of tailor scissors. The logo is a symbol of quality. Every pair of DENHAM jeans has the scissors embroidered onto them. The branding is meticulously crafted from 691 stitches.
DENHAM had the opportunity to bring their expertise to Nike to create a one of a kind sneaker collaboration for all of us to enjoy. A once in a lifetime chance to show the world the staggering details that go into each pair of pants they create.
Jason decided to shoot for the stars with this capsule, taking over three of Nike’s most iconic silhouettes of all time. He brought his unparalleled denim knowledge to the Air Max 1, 90 and 95. Three shoes with such a hardcore fan base Denham had to bring his A-game. Fortunately for all of us sneakerheads, he did just that.
Each sneaker sees the knowledge and expertise of denim merge with the classic design aspects we know and love. All of the shoes have a throwback element from their OG colourways, respectively, flawlessly mixing both brands identities. The reimagined designs are crafted from eco-friendly denim which falls in line with Nike’s current surge into sustainable fashion.
DENHAM’s tag line is’ The Truth is in the Details’, something that is clear for all to see on each one of these shoes. A must-have for fans of DENHAM and Nike’s Air Max line, this collab has been on many collectors radars for quite some time. Be sure to cop before the prices skyrocket once people realise the level of expertise that went into creating them.
Ruohan Wang x Nike capsule
If you are unfamiliar with Wang’s work, you may not realise what this Nike collaboration is. But we most definitely recommend you take a look into Ruohan Wang’s career to see her impressive body of work.
Ruohan Wang is a visual artist based in Berlin, Germany, but originally hailing from Beijing, China. She moved to Berlin to study illustration. Fast forward to 2020, and Wang has a Nike capsule dropping that truly reflects her career. Wang is well known for the bold, feminine power artwork she creates. This is something she most definitely keeps up with this Nike collection.
Wang, much like DENHAM, did not shy away from completely reimagining some of Nikes most popular shoes. Taking over the Air Force 1, the Air Max 90 and the Blazer, the sneakers are exactly what you’d hope a collaboration with a visual artist and illustrator would look like.
A cascade of colour completely engulfs each shoe, a complete transformation from the aesthetic we have become accustomed to with each silhouette. A psychedelic mix of clouds, globes, lightning bolts and even humans ensures this will be one of the most eye-catching sneakers ever to release.
You get the feeling that Nike let Ruohan Wang run with her ideas on this release, and it most definitely paid off. A one of a kind sneaker from a one of a kind artist. We recommend not letting this collab slip away, grab a pair to add to your rotation ASAP.
Kasina x Nike Dunk collection
The final collaboration sees Nike join forces with Korean skate store turned streetwear staple in the country, Kasina. Kasina began way back in 1997, founded by former pro skater EunHyuk Lee. Therefore, Seeing Kasina take over the legendary skate sneaker, the Dunk, makes perfect sense.
The shoe’s colourways are inspired by travelling through South Korea, each sneaker draws inspiration from a particular source.
The Neptune Green colourway matches the road signs that you’ll come across when driving through the Gyeongbu Expressway. This road is the main highway that connects Busan and Seoul. That is why you can find the name of each city on the heel of the sneaker.
The second sneaker comes in Industrial Blue colour palette. It draws direct inspiration from the OG buses you would once see driving around the streets of Seoul. The vintage buses are somewhat legendary, and we love that this silhouette honours them.
With all the mega-dunk collaborations we have seen this year, it was perhaps risky for Kasina to take on the shoe and try to live up to the hype. But once you take a look into the origins of the colourways. The ties the store has to skateboarding. It is clear to see that this was the only silhouette they could pick. This shoe is an accurate visual representation of South Korea; it will no doubt have sneakerheads around the globe hoping to grab a pair.
So there you have it, three incredible collaborations all dropping this week. All three collabs have such magnificent beginnings, making them even more desirable to us sneaker aficionados. I know that I, for one, will be looking to add each of these to my collection.