In a desperate attempt to satiate hungry fans, Nike is lining up more Dunk drops for this year. The brand’s latest collaboration is with Chicago retailer Notre, known for its carefully curated selection of sneakers and streetwear. Together, the duo has created two iterations of the Dunk High, inspired by rugged Midwestern attitude.
After the Dunk was introduced to the Nike By You customization program — unsuccessfully, I might add — it sold out immediately, leaving plenty of sneakerheads Dunk-less. Since last year, it’s become impossible to score a pair without paying top-dollar for resale. With this drop and its upcoming spring Dunk drops, however, it looks like Nike is trying to make the silhouette more widely available.
Hard work, hard fits — The new Notre x Nike Dunk High pack features two colorways, with one shoe a denim blue and the other a light tan. Both sneakers feature a leather base construction with textured suede overlays, adding a unique shaggy look to each pair. A mechanic’s uniform-style name tag with Notre’s name on it covers the tongue tag on the left shoe of each pair.
“We were always inspired by work shirts, and we wanted to make sure we represented durable materials and the triple-stitch details we associate with hard-wearing clothing and boots,” Jose Villanueva, co-founder of Notre, told Nike in an interview. Villanueva founded the Chicago-based boutique with Michael Jaworowski in 2014, and named the store after the French word for “our.” Within Notre, the two wanted a resounding commitment to cultivating connections, allowing for a wider sense of ownership. “I definitely had an idea of the type of shop that I wanted to have,” says co-founder Jose Villanueva. “Community was always a big part of it.”
As such a huge part of the store’s branding also plays into its Dunk High models. The medial Swoosh has been altered to make Notre’s Dunk “ours,” featuring linking hands that have become a brand hallmark. Striped laces, sail-colored midsoles, and outsoles matching the upper round out both designs.
Downtown Dunks — If you live in Chicago, you might just be able to score this Dunk prior to the masses. Both the tan and blue colorways drop January 21 at the Notre store, where you can walk out wearing a pair. The rest of us have to somberly wait until January 23, where only the blue Dunk High will sell on SNKRS. Both colorways are priced at $150.
Given how quickly other, less limited drops have sold out, the chances of scoring these rugged Dunks are slim. Your best bet here might be hiring a Chicago proxy, if there’s such a thing. For these Dunk Highs, I’m willing to make it a reality.