Supreme is an iconic streetwear brand and has consistently set the standard for collaborations and limited-edition releases that send waves through the fashion world. Among its many successful partnerships, the Supreme Dunk series has emerged as a standout, combining the heritage of Nike's Dunk silhouette with Supreme's unmistakable aesthetic. Let’s delve into the history, impact, and cultural significance of Supreme Dunks.
This collab dates back to the early 2000s and in 2002 specifically, the Supreme Dunk first made its mark. The Supreme x Nike Dunk Low Pro SB, featuring a vibrant red and white colourway with Supreme branding, captured the attention of sneaker enthusiasts and streetwear lovers alike. This collaboration marked the beginning of a trend-setting partnership that would continue to evolve over the years. 
Subsequent releases of Supreme Dunks have showcased a diverse range of designs, materials, and colour schemes. From the SB Dunk Low to the SB Dunk High, each iteration has brought something new to the table, blending street style with athletic functionality. Supreme's ability to infuse its brand identity into these collaborations has been a key factor in its success.

One of the defining characteristics of Supreme Dunks is their limited availability. Supreme is known for its "drop" model, releasing a limited quantity of products in a highly anticipated and frenzied manner. This scarcity has only heightened the desirability of Supreme Dunks, turning each release into a cultural event. The hype surrounding these collaborations has led to long lines outside Supreme stores, online sellouts within seconds, and resale prices soaring to astronomical levels.

Over the years, the Supreme SB Dunks adorned with stars played a pivotal role in elevating Nike's skateboarding line within the realm of streetwear and eventually within the sport itself. Throughout the mid to late 2000s, SB Dunks experienced a surge in popularity through avant-garde collaborations and unconventional themes. Athletes began transitioning from the foundational brands of the sport, securing signature shoes with major corporations like Nike, adidas, and Converse.

During the same decade, Supreme and Nike SB collaborated on distinctive Blazers with quilted designs, a favourite of Kanye West. By 2010, Supreme earned the privilege of having its own signature Nike model, incorporating Foamposite elements and drawing inspiration from the Dunk legacy.



However, it wasn't until 2012 that Supreme embarked on another Dunk collaboration. Nostalgically referencing the shoes that initiated the trend in 2002, the 2012 Supreme x Nike SB Dunk Low paid homage to the iconic elephant print pairs, opting for a bold red leather base, creating an even more pronounced nod to Air Jordan’s heritage.

Once again, Supreme demonstrated their foresight. Following the release of their red elephant print Dunks as the fiery hue went on to define footwear trends, notably showcased in the highly anticipated "Red October" Nike Air Yeezy 2s. In the subsequent years, numerous brands released red shoes as a means to inject vibrancy and emulate the style popularised by Kanye.



While this release didn't go unnoticed by devoted Supreme enthusiasts, the market for SB Dunks in 2012 wasn't nearly as expansive as it is today. Gradually, however, Supreme was on the brink of a widespread resurgence, propelled by unofficial endorsements from emerging talents such as A$AP Rocky and Tyler, the Creator. These two influential artists, known for their dynamic styles, hailed from cities where Supreme held both a physical presence and a revered status in the realm of streetwear.

Thanks to Rocky and Tyler, Supreme began reaching a demographic far beyond Fairfax, attracting both youth and adults unfamiliar with the intricacies of a kickflip. This led to a frenzy surrounding Supreme's iconic five-panel hats and box logo tees. Despite drops from Pushead, Premier, Levi’s, CNCPTS, and Doernbecher in the same year, from a mainstream perspective, Dunks were essentially considered passé by 2012. Instead, Nike SB had found a new momentum through its Stefan Janoski signatures, while classic Vans silhouettes were gaining increased mainstream traction, fueled by their proven functionality and ironic dismissal of trends.



Now in 2023, exclusively crafted for Supreme, the Supreme x Nike SB Dunk High/Low in the "Rammellzee" colorways presents a dynamic duo featuring canvas upper bases adorned with artwork by the late American visual artist, Rammellzee. The canvas serves as a canvas for Rammellzee's diverse Gothic artwork, creating a visually striking showcase. Premium suede, padded mesh tongues, mesh collars, and tongue linings contribute additional intricacy to the design. The shoes are branded with Nike Swooshes, logo lace locks, embroidered logos on the suede heel tabs, co-branded footbeds, and tongue tags.

Completing the Supreme x Nike SB Dunk High/Low “Rammellzee” release are Zoom Air units in the heels, pure white midsoles, and gum rubber outsoles. Each pair in this collaboration is accompanied by the customary Supreme x Nike “WORLD FAMOUS” hang tag, adding a signature touch to the unique and artfully designed sneakers.



Supreme dunks are undeniably a staple in the streetwear market and have paved success for the recent resurgence of SB dunks. 


The Nike Dunk ‘Rammellzee” is available at Story Cape Town while stocks last along many other Supreme items. 

Adam Jordan Moosa