The History of Nike Skateboarding Celebrity Collabs
- by Chazz Demaria
- March 23, 2021
Nike Skateboarding Celebrity Collabs
The history of Nike SB’s shoes starts in March 2002 when they released the “Colors By” lineup of four Nike SB Dunk collabs with each being tied to a professional skateboarder. Richard Mulder, Danny Supa, Gino Iannucci, and Reese Forbes all four created colorways that represented themselves and their backgrounds. The four shoes were just the beginning of Nike SB celebrity collabs as they would go on to create many more throughout the years, both from the skatepark and beyond. Since then the Nike SB has created some of the most iconic celebrity collaborations such as the following…
The following 8 shoes are some of the most influential of these collaborations.
- 1. Nike SB Zoom Janoski (Stefan Janoski)
One of the more prolific Nike SB collaborations was with Vacaville-native professional skateboarder Stefan Janoski. His first collaboration with Nike was in 2009 when they released the first Nike SB Zoom Janoski. Currently, there are 11 iterations of his colorways that have been released in over 1,350 different variations. One of the more interesting facts about this is that the first Zoom Janoski featured sock liners made of cork – a homage to his family’s winery in Vacaville, CA.
- 2. Nike SB Dunk Low Premium QS “Cactus Jack” (Travis Scott)
Rapper Travis Scott has been the king of celebrity collaborations over the past year partnering with the likes of Fortnite and Burger King. While he had collaborated with Nike multiple times in the past his first Nike SB collaboration was in February 2020 when they released the Dunk Low Travis Scott. The shoe brings in his cactus jack aesthetic by implementing earthy tones in camo-style patterns with bandana print overlays. The swooshes are also styled in a mismatched way with one being pink and the other being black. The thick rope-style laces are topped off with the thick tongue that features the Cactus Jack label.
- 3. Nike SB Dunk Low Grateful Dead (Grateful Dead)
The LA rock group’s Nike SB collaboration was released in 2020 and features one of the band’s symbols: a dancing bear. Featured prominently on the tongue of the Dunk Low Grateful Dead which was first seen on the band’s 1973 LP “History of the Grateful Dead, Volume 1 (Bear’s Choice).” The shoe features bright green faux fur and suede upper with blue detailing matching the coloring of the bear. This design was created to pay homage to an audio engineer known as “Bear” who helped develop the idea for the band’s Wall of Sound system. His influence on the band created a legacy and became a major part of the band’s style going forward.
- 4. Nike SB Nyjah (Nyjah Huston)
In 2018, at the age of 23, Nyjah Huston released his first Nike SB collab, the Nike SB Nyjah. The native of Davis, CA, Huston is one of only four skateboard professionals to have a signature shoe with Nike SB at the time.
As a kid, Huston wore the Blazer Vapor while skating and the Janoskis to relax but wanted his shoe to be versatile enough to do both. In a move away from suede the shoe features a new rubber material upper. This makes for a light shoe that takes only a day or two to break in.
- 5. Nike SB Shane (Shane O’Neill)
The Melbourne, Australia native Shane O’Neill released his first Nike SB collab in 2020 under the name Nike SB Shane. But his history with Nike goes back further than that. He has been a staple on the Nike SB roster since 2013 and has been known for his even-keel approach to skateboarding even when performing the most difficult or tricks
A shoe focused on the details, the Nike SB Shane features a minimalist design. The signature style was featured in multiple colorways but always very clean. The shoe has low-key perforation for airflow as well as the option for double-lacing.
- 6. Nike SB Zoom Dunk High Pro QS (Kevin Bradley)
Professional Skateboarder Kevin Bradley is set to release his first collection with Nike SB called Orange Label this June to be available only in skate shops. The LA-native created the collection behind the idea of “keep your wheels on the ground and your head in the clouds”.
One of the most intrigued collaborations from Bradley was the Zoom Dunk High Pro QS. The shoe featured a white upper and mid with a red sole but there is more to this seemingly simple shoe. There are white palm tree accents but the real magic happens after wearing the shoe for a while. Once the shoe is worn in the white upper and mid wears down to reveal a red lining underneath.
- 7. Nike SB Dunk Low Parra (Parra)
Amsterdam-based artist Parra has long worked with Nike, releasing a colorway for the Air Max 1 in 2005. The Dutch artist was a sponsored amateur in the 1990s and early 2000s and as such draws heavy influence from the “golden age” of skateboarding.
Parra’s Dunk Low features his stylistic ultra-saturated colors on the swoosh, accents, and insole. The rest of the shoe is white on the upper, mid, and sole to bring contrast to the bright colors.
- 8. Nike SB Zoom Air Paul Rodriguez 1
Paul Rodriguez, also known as P-Rod, released his Nike SB collab in 2005 with his signature shoe the Zoom Air Paul Rodriguez 1 which quickly revolutionized the skate scene at the time. The Northridge, CA native has since released a total of 10 signature shoes with Nike SB.
Nike is currently offering a true-to-form 10th-anniversary edition of his signature shoe, the Zoom Air Paul Rodriguez. The shoe features a simple design reminiscent of the Gucci print on the sides while being accented by black swooshes and uppers.