Consider yourself warned: 2020 is going to be really big for Nike Skateboarding, affectionately known as Nike SB. The iconic line, founded in 2002, has earned a place in every die-hard sneakerhead's heart through legendary collaborations, passionate concept designs, and a striking sense of authenticity throughout the brand. Before we get into why 2020 will be huge for Nike SB, let's do a quick overview of the brand's history.
The skateboarding division of Nike was founded in 2002 and came out firing by giving the top names in skating their own colorways of the Nike SB Dunk in both low and high top variations. By the end of 2002, the brand had officially set the skating world on fire with their Supreme collaboration, featuring shoes that remain many collectors' "grails" (favorite sneakers they'd love to own) today. By '04, Nike SB cemented itself in sneaker lore through releases like the City Series and collaborations with skate labels like Diamond and Stussy. The City Series is highlighted by the Nike Dunk SB Low "Pigeon", a release that incited enough chaos to bring national TV attention to the demand behind sneakers and can be attributed to bringing sneakers into mainstream fashion.
The Brewing Resurgence
As any long-time fan of the brand will tell you, SBs never died. But while the division has undoubtedly been away from the spotlight for the last few years, Nike has been establishing the chess moves to bring the brand roaring back in 2020. Starting from the top, Nike brought back James Arizumi, the name behind legendary SB projects, back as Senior Creative Director in 2018.
Wasting no time, the SB fandom was treated to a new addition to the nostalgic "Lobster" pack by Boston boutique Concepts with the December 2018 release of the "Purple Lobster" Dunk Lows. While the rest of 2018 and 2019 would be predominantly littered with Jordan 1 releases, the foundation had been set.
In hindsight, we should have seen this coming as soon as Nike dropped the "Supreme Hint" (ha, ha). Much like Supreme's collaboration in 2002 ignited the brand's kickoff, their 2019 three-pair release may well end up being the precursor to the comeback of Nike SB. 2019 would see a few more SB releases sprinkled throughout the year, the largest of which wasn't even an SB release at all, but an Off-White collaboration using the famed Dunk silhouette.
While not technically a Nike SB release, the Nike X Off-White Dunk Lows served to showcase the Dunk to a broader audience, and dropped in 3 dashing colorways to make the appeal that much larger.
Just a month into 2020, the set list for Nike's SB comeback tour is looking HEALTHY. In January alone, we are being treated to releases and rumors for sneakers like the Nike SB Paul Rodriguez Dunk Hi, Safari Dunk Low, a J-Pack "Shadow" Dunk Low, StrangeLove Dunk Low for Valentine's Day, and "The Poets" Bruin Low. Ranging from skate classics like the "Infrared" Dunk Lows to new collabs like the rumored Travis Scott Dunk Low, the skate boarding division of "the Swoosh" is promising to be a force to be reckoned with this year.
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