No, We Don't Need to Retro the 'Golden Era' Nike SB Dunks!
Let’s face it, as a society, we’ve become obsessed with remakes, remixes and rehashes. Whether it’s movies, TV shows, music, cars, or even sneakers, the prospect of cashing in on grandeurs of the past is often too much of a temptation for brands to pass up.
Amid the zealous Dunk resurgence that’s currently sweeping the sneakersphere, a groundswell of support has emerged for Nike SB to re-release some of their most coveted relics from the past. For many of us, however, the thought of ‘golden era’ colourways being retro’d has us pointing figurative Rayguns to our heads.
If Hollywood has taught us anything, it’s that things don’t always deliver the second time around.
Nike Skateboarding’s emergence under the late Sandy Bodecker back in 2001 simply can’t be understated. With the Dunk at the forefront of its product line, no one could’ve predicted the way the brand would transcend the skate scene to shape contemporary sneaker culture as we know it. The OG rider team of Gino Iannucci, Richard Mulder, Reese Forbes and Danny Supa were skater’s skaters, with personalities and styles that resonated with those at the core of the scene. Naturally, those devoted enough to have owned a pair of the quartet’s debut Dunk Lows deserve to be the lucky few – we’re sure they would’ve skated the s*** outta them.
Then, of course, there are the stories behind the early SB Dunk colourways, which brought an idiosyncratic charm to each release. Sure, the materials were wacky (and pretty much unskateable) in some cases, but sneaker fans were drawn in by more than just the faux fur and ostrich skin. A good yarn is never as satisfying the second time round, so do we really need to re-run classics such as the ‘Bison’, ‘Jedi’ and ‘Buck’? Besides, I don’t think Jeff Staple is ready to relive the ‘Pigeon’ riot, and Nike SB could probably do without a cease and desist from Heineken right now.
Another time-sensitive Nike SB tidbit is the presence of the coloured shoeboxes. The off-shoot box colours embodied the SB subdivision’s divergence from the main Swoosh lineup, but they also gave the sneaker community an archival timestamp for each release, placing them in designated ‘eras’. With the most beloved colourways belonging to the orange, silver, pink, black, gold and teal boxes, it would be a travesty to see them retro’d without their iconic packaging.
Look, we’re not trying to rain on the Dunk’s comeback parade. In fact, we’re supporting it wholeheartedly. We’ve raved at the efforts from past collaborators Concepts, Diamond Supply Co., and Jeff Staple, who’ve shown that you can release new Dunk colourways that pay homage the past. Meanwhile, modern revamps of the ‘Rayguns’, as well as Low iterations of the J-Pack and college colourways, have rekindled old memories while giving new-gen sneaker fiends a taste of the good ol’ days. And, do we even have to mention how crazy the StrangeLove collaboration was?
This enthusiastic return to the scene shouldn’t automatically mean messing with the sacred cows of the ‘Golden Era’. Let the new generation cut their own path, and create their own icons to add to the Nike SB canon.
Striking the perfect balance between nostalgia and new, the current Dunk revival is coming through strong, and there’s something for everyone… All the more reason to leave the classics alone.
Header via sneakerboy79.