Real Talk: Why We Need Another Soulland x Nike SB Colab
The Swoosh have no shortage of collaborative partners, but some of the best over the past two years have come from Copenhagen-based Soulland.
First it was the inaugural ‘FRI.day’ drop in 2016, which not only featured Eric Koston’s original SB signature, but also a custom take on the tech-savvy Koston 3 Hyperfeel. The Danes were back at it again last year when they helped the Swoosh celebrate 15 years of the SB Dunk. ‘FRI.day Part 0.2’ transformed the classic kicks from head to toe, deconstructing both high- and low-top versions of the silhouette, while also bringing premium leathers, knit textiles, and mini Swooshes into the fold.
So, what gives in 2018? Sadly, the year has nearly come to an end, and we don’t have any new Scandinavian Swoosh designs to rock on our boards.
While we wait for them to get their act together, we’ve taken a look back at the first two ‘FRI.day’ drops in the hope that ‘Part 0.3’ is coming soon.
Who didn’t love Eric Koston’s OG signature SB silhouette? First released back in 2011, the aptly-named ‘SB Eric Koston’ was the perfect blend of form and function, coupling a seemingly minimalist low-top design with cupsole construction and a drop-in Lunarlon midsole. The sleek design lent itself perfectly to both casual wearers and skaters alike, something that can’t be said for most of the older, chunkier silhouettes that came before it.
There was seemingly no improving upon the OG, but then the folks at Soulland got their hands on them. Intended to ‘harness that undeniable feeling of optimism that abounds at the end of the week’ (‘fri’ means ‘Freedom’ in Danish, after all), the Scandinavian spin on the unimpeachable original brought tumbled navy leather into the fold, swapped out the usual Swooshes in favour of miniature embroideries, showcased bold ‘FRI.day’ branding on the white tongue, and lined the whole package in summery peach.
Couple that refined yet neck-breaking look with a subtle grey and white makeover for the more contemporary Koston 3 Hyperfeel, and you have the perfect one-two punch.
2017: FRI.day Part 0.2
How do you follow up a couple of the coolest, most original SB colabs of all-time? By taking on a classic, of course.
After dropping a couple of Kostons in 2016, Soulland returned in 2017 with a completely unexpected — and still unparalleled — transformation of the skate-ready Dunk. Crafted in celebration of the SB Dunk’s 15-year anniversary, the release featured both high- and low-top versions of the beloved basketball-inspired original. Unlike your typical Dunk colab, however, the Copenhagen crew didn’t just opt for premium materials and some slick colour-blocking.
Instead, Soulland completely reimagined the kicks for ‘FRI.day Part 0.2’. The playful designs saw the humble Dunks employing everything from jewels and mini Swooshes to retro-inspired exposed tongue padding, knit textile construction, and 3M reflectivity. The pairs were even deconstructed — perhaps as a harbinger of Swoosh design language to come — to remove the tongue and collar padding entirely. These were some of the slimmest Dunks imaginable, and the designs — especially the low-top — offered a decidedly prototype-like edge.
Somehow, SB heads still don’t recognise the greatness they’ve had on their hands: the lows can regularly be found for under retail on the secondary market, and the high-tops don’t exactly break the bank. So, if we don’t get a crack at another Soulland x Nike SB drop soon, sneakerheads can only blame themselves: sometimes you really don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone.