Collage: Gabe Conte
After four consecutive years of global Nike Dunk supremacy, 2024 is shaping up to be another great year for the iconic silhouette. Following this weekend’s anticipated re-release of the shoe in the beloved “Court Purple” colorway, Nike is set to launch one of the most coveted retro releases of the year: the Dunk Low “Brazil”, one of the best and most popular Dunk designs ever. Last seen in 2020—a re-release that sold out immediately and has been reselling for quadruple the retail price ever since—the Brazil Dunk has been a sneakerhead favorite ever since its auspicious debut in 2001.
The early-aughts were a fascinating era for the Dunk. In 2002, Nike formed its standalone skateboarding division, Nike SB, which co-opted the Dunk as a skate shoe and quickly turned it into the hottest silhouette in streetwear. But in the months leading up to the official launch of SB, Nike released a handful of Dunk models through its short-lived Pro B line (including the famous “Ugly Duckling” Dunks) that foreshadowed the direction the company was planning to take.
That's how the Brazil Dunk came to be. Although it doesn’t have anything overtly to do with its namesake, the shoe received its nickname for bearing the nation’s trademark green and yellow flag colors, officially “Varsity Maize” and “Pine Green” in Nike parlance. The high-quality glossy leather upper, thick tongue, and chunkier laces of the Brazil Dunk all later became hallmarks of the SB Dunk, taken even further to cater to the skate market. Though SBs have long been considered the best-in-class Dunks among collectors, the Brazil—sneaking in just before the SB line took off—has a special place in the shoe’s history and as such has become a legendary colorway in its own right.
The Nike Dunk Low “Brazil” releases via Nike and the SNKRS app on February 2nd.
Originally Appeared on GQ
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