Thirty-five years after its debut, the Nike Dunk continues to resonate with sneaker fanatics. And that is not lost on the shoe’s hottest collaborators.
“The Nike Dunk is by far one of the Swoosh’s most recognizable sneakers as a younger generation has arrived to embrace the history once again,” Ambush co-founder Yoon Ahn said while presenting Nike Dunk with the Shoe of the Year honor tonight during the 2020 FNAAs.
Although her collab is releasing this month, it is arguably one of the more impactful Nike Dunk projects of 2020. The Ambush x Nike Dunk High — dropping on Dec. 11 — is the headline of her collaborative collection with the brand, a shoe with a higher cut and elongated details inspired by Japanese bike, car and truck culture.
Ahn continued, “It has shifted from college basketball to skate culture and now has solidified itself as a streetwear staple.”
The Ambush leader presented the award (virtually) alongside Virgil Abloh, who took home the same award in 2017 for his Off-White x Air Jordan 1 from “The Ten.” Abloh has also delivered several iterations of the Nike Dunk, including this year’s Rubber Dunk, a silhouette inspired by the Dunk and the popular Pegasus running franchise.
“I very much believe that the Nike Dunk is one of the special shoes that cross-pollinates between an athletic icon but also a culturally relevant canvas over the years,” Abloh said.
He continued, “Congratulations to Nike and the team for ultimately fostering an icon to be born.”
Accepting on behalf of Nike was Phil McCartney, the company’s VP of global footwear product merchandising. “The [Dunk] has soul, it has culture, it has history, so to get that recognition from all of you is incredibly rewarding,” McCartney said of the shoe while accepting the award.
Although the shoe itself is an icon, the exec recognized that some of its popularity was fueled by collaborators, which this year included Ben & Jerry’s, Concepts, Cactus Plant Flea Market and several others.
“Thanks to all of our partners who brought this shoe to life, who helped us really tell their stories and really connect to who is really important here, which is our consumers,” McCartney said.
For 34 years, the annual FN Achievement Awards — often called the “Shoe Oscars” — have celebrated the style stars, best brand stories, ardent philanthropists, emerging talents and industry veterans. The first virtual FNAAs are presented in partnership with The Style Room Powered by Zappos, and sponsors FDRA, Deckers Brands, Soles4Souls and Foot Locker.