In its efforts to increase sales in the Chinese market, Nike has created a new edition of its Dunk Low Premium skateboarding shoe, to be released exclusively in China on August 17.
The shoe’s design incorporates Chinese imagery, with lion-head doorknockers decorating the tongue and the characters for hutong printed on the insole. The dark grey palatte parallels the color of hutong walls while auspicious red and gold highlights add flair to kicks.
But why Beijing, why now? According to South China Morning Post:
Nike is experiencing fierce competition in China, one the world’s largest sporting goods markets. Its sales in China, including Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan, have declined for five consecutive quarters.
Nike said that the shoe pays tribute to the birthplace of China’s first generation of skateboarders, who learned to skate in hutongs, the narrow alleyways that stretch between traditional single-storey courtyard residences.
Some pairs have already sneaked their way onto Taobao, where consumers are snapping up the shoes before the official release. Hopefully for Nike, this is an indicator of how well the shoe will fare in the Chinese market.
If you’re a Beijing skater, you might want to grab a pair before they sell out.