Nike Wallenberg SB Dunk Low Sneaker

Continuing on his creative steamroll, these shoes are one of the bigger branded creations in Kronbauer’s portfolio. Nike has made a serious dent into skate culture, smartly managing this market take over by collaborating with the top designers in the category to create authentic emotional connections with the riders.

The design tactic is pretty straightforward. Using the template of the Nike dunk shoe as a stage, the brand invites premier creatives to dream up fly color ways to drive content into the end product. In this case, the legendary skate spot at Wallenberg Alternative High School in San Francisco is the inspiration (in particular, the greens of the surrounding palms), casting the former basketball shoe as a skate product, and blurring the idea of genuine vs brand made legacy.

There is no doubt that these shoes have the potential to become a must have for fashionable skaters, but will Nike keep filling this bottomless shopping bag with “branded memory” products? Or will the skate community return to its punk roots, and question the legitimacy of products entering their culture?

Skate products used to have to earn their place in the landscape of skate culture, but it seems today, that all they need is a pretty package. Am I getting too old, or too sentimental, to want more of that misty concept called authenticity?


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