In a year that has been dubbed Year of the Dunk by many sneakerheads, 2020 has produced some of the best colourways we have seen. Between ridiculous collaborations with Ben and Jerry’s and Travis Scott to some throwback versions, Nike has levelled up with these releases.
As the year draws to a close, the sportswear powerhouse shows no signs of slowing down. This week alone we see the re-release of an OG silhouette from 2001 as well as a colourway we are used to seeing on the Air Max 1.
I take a look at the upcoming colourways of Nikes favourite skate shoe and their importance within the sneaker industry.
Ugly Duckling Pack, 2001
Way back in 2001, Nike released a brand new trio of colourways of the Nike Dunk. Dubbed the Ugly Duckling Pack, the sneakers were to be a Japan-exclusive, which had fans of the silhouette wanting to grab a pair even more. The trio came in a range of bold, outrageous colour-combos hence the name ‘Ugly Duckling’. These Dunks went against the grain with what had become the norm for sneaker colourways. The eye-catching aesthetics of these Ugly Ducklings made them some of the finest Dunks ever to release.
All three pairs have either dropped or are expected to in 2020, finally seeing a worldwide release. Let’s take a look at the legendary pack.
Nike Dunk ‘Veneer’, 2020
Much like its Plum counterpart, the Veneer has what would typically be classed as an ugly exterior. The mismatch of colours shouldn’t work, but it really does. Dubbed the Veneer, the sneaker should be called the Ninja Turtle due to its eery similarity to Donatello.
Autumnal greens and browns make up the majority of the plush suede uppers, although contrasted flawlessly with purple branding throughout. The colourway is slightly less jarring than the original 2001 version, with subtle tones featuring throughout the entirety of the sneaker. The shoe saw a release in November 2020 and was an instant sell-out due to this incredible silhouettes popularity amongst collectors.
Nike Dunk ‘Ceramic’, 2020
The Nike Dunk Ceramic is perhaps the most contrasting of colourways to release from the legendary pack. Black suede underlays act merely as a base to the bold orange and green accents that instantly catch your eye.
The eclectic mix of colours combined with the plush suede that makes up the uppers of the shoes is the reason the Ceramic has been such a favourite amongst sneaker connoisseurs since 2001. The Plum and Veneer co-stars perhaps overshadow the Ceramic but make no mistake this sneaker is every bit as good. The Ceramic Dunk is set to release around November 19th.
Nike Dunk ‘Plum’, 2020
Although having released already, you cannot mention the Ugly Duckling pack without mentioning the Plum. Perhaps the most recognisable of the three, the Plum saw a re-release back in February this year. The perfect combination of tonal purples and reds ensure that the nickname Plum is as accurate as it gets.
This years release was almost an exact copy of the OG version that so many sneakerheads adored. Pastel purple underlays complimented a maroon swoosh and deep purple panels expertly. The vintage look of the shoe was evident from the first time you set eyes on them. These could have come straight out of 2001 they were mimicked that well.
Underfoot, you will find a truly old school white midsole, contrasted by a red outsole. This unit housed Nike Air technology just as it did nineteen years earlier. A true retro of an icon, the Nike Dunk Plum’s popularity has soared since its re-release. Between the backstory and the identical replication, this has to be one of the best Dunks to release this year.
For sneakers that initially released back in 2001, some nineteen years later the colourways still work. Anybody around the sneaker game will be looking to add the entire Ugly Duckling Pack to their collection.
Nike Dunk Atmos Elephant, 2020
A legendary colourway catapulted into grail status due to the hugely successful Atmos Elephant Air Max 1. We have only ever seen this incredible combo feature on that sneaker, so to see Nike bring it over to the Nike Dunk is unbelievable.
The AM1 Atmos Elephant is one of the most highly sought-after Air Max silhouettes to this day. Initially releasing in 2007 and again on its tenth anniversary in 2017. The re-release of the sneaker only increased the shoe’s popularity amongst sneakerheads even more. We expect the same to happen with the Dunk edition.
The striking combination of elephant print and black and white panelling is pulled together with teal blue accents for the logos. Traditional Dunk aesthetics like the padded tongue and perforated toe box combine exquisitely with the OG Atmos Elephant design aspects. We even see the sole unit reflect the AM1 design, although we aren’t treated to a visible air bubble on the Dunk, perhaps a step too far when imitating the original.
Nike Dunk High White Pure Platinum
Flying slightly under the radar this week due to the Veneer and Atmos Elephant releases. The White Pure Platinum, for me, is the cleanest colourway of them all. A silhouette reminiscent of some of the OG White Neutral Grey Jordans and Dunks from years ago, this shoe is going to be massive for collectors of vintage-looking sneakers.
Premium white leathers make up the sneakers upper. A simplistic yet hugely influential grey swoosh featuring on the lateral and medial sides of the shoe. Underfoot is the only other place you will find any colour on this minimalist take on the Dunk, with the grey featuring on the outsole. A rare, understated Dunk when sat amongst its peers like the Michigan and Pro Green.
This high is most definitely my favourite release of this week. Expect to see this shoe on archive Instagram pages with cream laces for the foreseeable future—an absolute fire sneaker.
2020, Year of the Dunk
So there you have it, except for the Plum, a breakdown of Dunk’s releasing just in November. Nike really is capitalising on the crazy popularity that the Dunk has currently.
As a collector, I am most definitely here for it. You can’t blame Nike for wanting to push a silhouette that is proving to be having the best year since it was created back in the 80s. I look forward to seeing not only what OG’s they bring back, but what other crazy new colourways they decide to let grace the iconic Dunk.