Interview: Going Bush with the Pass~Port x Nike SB Dunk High ‘Workboot’
Pass~Port have been tearing up rails and ramps around Sydney and beyond since 2009. Following their Nike SB Blazer collaboration in 2015, the brands have now linked up again for another enviable effort; this time it's on the SB Dunk High. We caught up with prime Pass~Port stamper Trent Evans to get the backstory on the work that went into the ‘Workboot’.
Congrats on the colab! For those who might not be aware of your brand, can you give us a snapshot of what Pass~Port is all about?
I started Pass~Port back in 2009 and to be honest, there wasn’t a whole lot that excited me about skateboard companies around that time. Not only in Australia but overseas as well, everything was lacking a bit of ‘soul’.
To this day, I still run the company like I did when I first started; that is to keep progressing, keep f*cking up, keep searching for things that excite me. I want Pass~Port to always act like a vessel for skateboarders and creative types, where each can truly express what their interpretation of ‘soul’ is. Be it skateboarding or graphics – it has to ooze jazz.
You’re based out of Sydney, Australia, but how far and wide does the brand and team reach?
Correct, our studio is in the inner west of Sydney, and we have a retail store and gallery in Darlinghurst. The majority of the team is from Oz and New Zealand, but we also have Matlok Bennett-Jones in the UK plus Alex Tennison and Kevin Shealy in LA. We’ve got a few other heads in Asia and Europe too.
Describe the brand’s vibe.
I am heavily influenced by my surroundings, and I think that’s shown through our brand’s direction. I still get so stoked on the imperfections of everyday things while walking the streets of Sydney: signage, old structures, run down establishments. On the other side, there is just as much visual stimuli the deeper you go into the heart of Australia: desert, bush and incredible culture.
As seen on the Pass~Port x Nike SB Blazer, you seem to have a penchant for giant embroidered Swooshes. Did you think about doing the same on the SB Dunk?
We wanted to start with a completely new approach on this shoe, while finding a balance of something that represents our brand and in turn complements the shoe’s silhouette. We had so many great people from the studio and our skate team to make this shoe come to life. There are still some pretty decent embroidered elements on the shoe – I’m still all about a decent stitch count!
The Pass~Port x Nike SB Dunk High seems to nod to Timberland’s Classic Field Boot in the iconic ‘Beef & Broccoli’ colourway. What’s the inspiration behind the shoe?
Our intention was to create a shoe that was a little hat tip to hiking, working hard and the great outdoors. I can see people drawing similarities to the Timberland ‘Beef and Broc' vibe. I’m not much of a sneaker head, so I had to Google what that all was to be honest, haha…
Sneaker Freaker are big fans of the details. Tell us more about some of the details on this shoe, such as the multicoloured outsole, digging man and pull tabs.
That’s what I love about this shoe: there are all the finer details that don’t really translate until you get up close and personal. With all the nods to hiking boots, we got to play a bunch with D-rings, multicoloured laces, refined embroideries, and custom ‘inter solid’ webbing tape.
I have forever been a big fan of all things tortoiseshell. It’s quite mesmerising the way it is made and looks. We had tried to nail this with another project, but it just missed the mark. For us to introduce it into the sole of the shoe made so much sense as another little hat tip to dirt, mud and all the things you encounter while exploring.
Will there be any other surprises like a special box or Friends & Family colourway?
There were big plans for some special stuff on the side, but COVID unfortunately got in the way. We did manage to create a 55-page zine that will be available for free at selected retailers. It’s a detailed photo journal of several skate trips we took to the Blue Mountains and beyond. Plus, the Pass~Port Store & Gallery will be hosting an event the night before its release with several surprises in the Gallery!
Pass~Port join the small yet prestigious list of SB Dunks with an Australian connection, which includes the ‘Gold Rail’, Lewis Marnell’s (RIP) and Fast Times’ colab. What does it feel like adding to the ranks with the first Aussie SB Dunk High?
I’m honestly stoked for the brand, for the team, for everyone involved. All the names, stores and brands mentioned are all iconic in their own way. Happy to be in the mix with them all.
Can we expect the entire Pass~Port team to be skating these?
Anyone riding for Pass~Port who also rides for Nike SB, most definitely. We have a healthy crew of people in and outside the core skateboard world. So, a lot of our broader community will also be receiving a pair as a present from us.
Are there any more Pass~Port sneaker colabs in the works for 2022 and 2023?
A few conversations have started already for 2023, yes. One of them is pretty left field, but I think I have an idea that will excite a few heads. Stay tuned, hehehe…
The Pass~Port x Nike SB Dunk High 'Workboot' will release in Australia on March 4 directly from the Pass~Port Store & Gallery, followed by select retailers on March 5 from the following retailers:
Shop RG22 Central Park Mall, 28, Broadway, Chippendale NSW 2008
121 Swanston St, Melbourne VIC 3000
49 Gawler Pl, Adelaide SA 5000
189 Elizabeth St, Brisbane City, QLD 4000
214 Chapel St, Prahran VIC 3181
81 Market St, Fremantle WA 6160
345 Charles St, North Perth WA 6006
Stay tuned for our global Where To Buy list.