First opening its doors in 1996, Boston-based sneaker outlet Concepts has combined its authentic street roots with its natural ability to convey a narrative and translate its identity through countless collaborative projects and original products.
Concepts boast one of the most influential Nike SB collaborations since the skating division emerged in 2002.
Everything around Concepts and the way they go about these collaborations is nothing short of rambunctious, but yet also refined, it just works.
"Rob came through with this lobster idea and it was hideous. It was the worst thing I'd ever seen, but the rest of the guys were like, "This is sick! Let's see what we can do with this." I just didn't get it and it seemed pretty generic."
-Deon Point, General Manager of Concepts
Creative footwear and art designer, Rob Heppler is given credit for coming up with the idea and design of the original 'Nike Dunk SB Lobster.'
Around the same time, Jeff Staple had just created mass hysteria with the Nike Dunk SB 'Pigeon', Nike SB was hot right now in the mid-2000s and the next SB marvels were on the horizon.
At the time, no sneaker had really caused as much hype as Jeff Staple's Pigeon Dunk. Concepts, then, knew this response was their chance now or never to stamp their creative mark on this rapidly new developing culture. Concepts created not only the silhouette but also special premium packaging that would include incentives for the lucky sneakerhead who got their hands on these limited pairs.
"It was us taking a chance. We knew we had one shot and we needed this to hit. Essentially, this could make or break us. We'd seen how big Nike was for other brands. We knew this might be our one chance. We just wanted to make it count."
On the 31st of May 2008, CNCPTS would release the 'CNCPTS x Nike Dunk SB Red Lobster'.
50 pairs of this release would come with a special wooden box themed around the story and narrative of this colourway. It included a fork, lobster shell cracker, a bib, wet wipes, a tee, and extra shoelaces. All these items had the branding "Concepts Fishing Company" on them, which served as the primary theme for this release.
The sneaker itself had many lobster-ish details. The upper came in a premium speckled red upper, just as a lobster shell would look. In addition to that, the sneaker came with a navy rubber band to fit around the toe box as if the shoe was a lobster claw. The sneaker is accentuated by a clay maroon Swoosh, and a chitinous black midsole to solidify this design. Today this release including the special box is listed on StockX for more than $10 000.
CNCPTS x Nike Dunk SB Blue Lobster
It's to no surprise that the massive success of the 'Red Lobster' inspired the team at Concepts to go even bigger and better with their next release that followed a year later in 2009 with the 'CNCPTS x NIKE SB Blue Lobster'. The creative and art department took the design of the marketing campaign for this release to spectacular new heights. The level of detail and hype created was nothing anyone had ever seen before, and we arguably still haven't seen anything like it to this day.
Concepts created a Twitter account to impersonate a fictional character named Walter Gillstrom to fit the narrative of this release. It went like this: for a while, social media got news of a dangerous blue lobster on their shores and that it was attacking children and fishermen on beaches. The coup de grace was a 6-minute video dropped which was disguised as a breaking news intervention about this dangerous blue lobster. It was revealed at the end of this video that this blue lobster was the second collaboration between CNCPTS and Nike SB.
The lucky ones who got the first 200 pairs got the premium hazmat packaging.
Inside the hazmat package includes a tee, hang tag, lace lock, and skate deck. The packaging is also sealed twice. The box is sealed in a way where only a knife could open it and the sneakers are placed inside an air-tight bag which can not be resealed.
Concepts would go on to absent the lobster line until in a fitting pincer movement brought it back with the double release of the Purple and Green lobsters in 2018.
The Yellow and White lobster pairs would also be created as exclusive friends and family-only releases, which now resell for over $40 000.
The sixth chapter of Concepts' iconic Lobster Dunk series officially commenced in December, which with a staggered schedule brought us one of the most sought-after SB releases of 2022.
The sneaker features an orange nubuck upper that is intersected by a white-framed Hamlin tonal Swoosh. This shoe's overlays are adorned by lobster-coloured speckles, while the insole, and the collar lining feature white and red plaid lobster bib imagery patterns. Obviously, with this being a CNCPTS collab the sneaker comes with a custom box that includes a BE@RBRICK in 400% and 100% orange speckled editions, emerald and silver lobster claw bands, as well as art by Salvador Dali, "Lobster" Telephone. The sneaker also includes a set of white, orange and turquoise laces.
CNCPTS x Nike SB is one of the most creative and premium collaborations to come out of the sneaker world. The exclusivity and added premium incentives are truly in a league of their own.
If you'd like to join an exclusive club of lobster owners, the CNCPTS x Nike Dunk SB 'Orange Lobster Special Box' is available at Story alongside a variety of other Nike x CNCPTS collabs.