The official partnership between Nike and Kanye West was a large step of showcasing how hip-hop culture can influence the world of fashion and sneakers. But long before any of the Yeezy’s came out Nike had already worked with a number of artists to put their spin on a pair of sneakers or two. In the mid-2000’s Nike teamed up with graffiti artist, hip hop artist and actress for three different artists packs. Nike developed the special series giving the hand selected individuals the opportunity to work on a popular Nike silhouette and personalize it their way. One of the most popular and sought after sneakers from those packs were these Dunk High “Pharrell’s.”
Nike Dunk High “Pharell” uploaded by 4mosa
Part of the series third collection, nicknamed after the popular hip-hop artist/producer, these were actually made with input from the whole N.E.R.D. group. Pharrell’s partners Chad Hugo and Shay all put their .02 cents into the design, but the frontman gets credited for most of the work. Being part of this project and a relationship with NIGO from A Bathing Ape no doubt influenced his pursuit to start-up Ice Cream afterwards.
For this special pair the Dunk High was chosen and not surprisingly the decision was to use premium reptile embossed black leather. Adding to the premium nature of this collaborations is soft black leather used on the normally nylon tongue as along with lining the interior, a trend most commonly found in luxury footwear. The black upper was matched with the rarely used black midsole on the Dunk, paired up with a translucent sole. Ensuring the Dunk High stood out Metallic Silver was added on the Swoosh, along with the stitched in N.E.R.D. brain logo on the heel as well as on the tongue replacing the normal Nike tag. Completing the look from the factory is a pair of red laces, matching the individually stitched and numbered tags on the inner tongue.
As with all the rest of the sneakers part of the Artist series the Dunk Highs were packaged in special Nike boxes and contained unique hang tags. The demand for this pair was and still is very high since the total run was reportedly 1,050 pairs. Following the likes of Eminem and Nelly was no easy task but the N.E.R.D. crew created something that still fetch quite a bit of money and have stood the test of time.