Day: July 20, 2020

Why Nike SB and The Grateful Dead Are a Match Made in Sneaker Heaven

On Saturday, the Nike SB renaissance takes another great leap forward. After scoring a surprise smash in May with Ben & Jerry’s hallucinatory “Chunky Dunky” collab, the Swoosh’s skateboarding division is readying its kookiest late-period drop yet: a trio of SB Dunk Lows produced in collaboration with The Grateful Dead. Enveloped in panels of shaggy fur and doused in screeching neons, they’re a nod to both the Dead’s legendary Dancing Bear mascots, as well as Nike’s own 2006 “Three Bears” pack, perhaps the most divisive and instantly recognizable Dunks from SB’s mid-aughts heyday. In working with the Dead, SB is tapping into a history of fervent, culture-building fandom deeper even than its own no-longer-cult following.

Growing up in Ottawa in the ‘80s, David Lemieux bought his first Grateful Dead record at 13. “It was Workingman’s Dead,” he remembers vividly now, at 49. “I put the record on

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