Nike Dunk was originally released in 1985, in several colorways to match some of the top US’s Basketball team schools: first Dunk release also played a part in the design inspiration for another iconic myth, the Air Jordan 1, both designed by one of the most Nike’s influencial designer of all time: Peter Moore.
As part of what Nike called the “College Colors Program by Nike,” with the original ADV claim “Be True To Your School” Dunk pack, featuring seven Dunk Highs made for Nike-sponsored schools University of Michigan, University of Kentucky, University of Iowa, Georgetown, Syracuse, St. John’s and UNLV. One additional Georgetown-edition Nike Terminator brought the pack to a total of eight models.
In the late ‘90s, the Dunk received some technical updates—like the introduction of a nylon tongue—that inadvertently made them even better for skating. While more and more skaters gravitated towards Dunks, Nike had the aforementioned underperforming skate business on its hands. The problem was clear: the only Nikes skaters wore weren’t Nike skate shoes.
The Dunk High remained in the vault for over ten years following their original introduction by the Swoosh. It was until 1998 that the Dunk High was reissued in original colorways by Nike, and by that time the following behind the classic model had grown considerably. The Dunk was already being skated by many across the globe, and sneaker collectors had created a demand for the shoe that was higher than ever. Some might say the 1999 retro Dunk series featured the best quality materials we’ll ever see utilized on the classic styles. The first run of retro Dunks by the Swoosh also included several original low-cut colorways. Iowa’s ‘Goldenrod’ Dunk High became insanely popular at this point, thanks to a historic collaboration between Wu-Tang and Nike.
On February 22, 2005, the release of Nike SB’s hyper-limited Jeff Staple “Pigeon”, a collaboration in New York City’s Lower East Side, inspired by the city’s ubiquitous bird, was cause for a burgeoning sneaker culture to Manhattan’s Reed Space store and marked the emergence of sneaker culture and hypebeasts onto the national media scene. The impact the “Pigeon” release had is no less than a watershed moment in sneaker history: this release marked the first campout of the sneaker’s game and the birth of the reselling market.
During the 00s in Japan, Nike was releasing some of the most exclusive and trendsetting sneakers of the era as a part of its “CO.JP” or “Concept Japan” program. “Co.jp” is the suffix for Japanese websites, so the name is essentially a double entendre: both an abbreviation and a subtle hint that these could only be picked up in Japan.
The United States and Japan have always had an intertwined, almost symbiotic relationship when it comes to sneakers, streetwear and cultural influence, so the program made plenty of sense. Sneakerheads in Japan were wearing Dunks long before Nike SB was born.
Japan was a hotbed for sneakers and Nike would soon drop exclusive products there in an effort to expand its reach, capitalize on the booming sneaker scene and experiment with designs and colorways. The byproduct of the Concept Japan program proved to be a who’s who collection of rare sneakers exclusive to the Japanese market that left sneakerheads back in the States salivating.
The Japan exclusive ‘Ugly Duckling Pack’ was released in 2001 with the ‘Plum,’ ‘Veneer’ and ‘Ceramic’ colourways.
“Ugly Duckling Pack” is now back for worldwide market: the latest release “Ceramic”, is some of the best retros release seen yet and make sure it quickly became a grail for many Dunk obsessed!
Nike Dunk Ceramic features a plush suede in a clean orange, black and saturated nori green colorway, the “Nike” logo is embroidered at the heel tabs and printed insoles, while the swoosh apprears on the woven tongue tags. Additional details include a contrasting orange rubber outsole.
Registration for Nike Dunk Ceramic is now open on drops.blackboxstore.com
Release, Thu. November 19th