This year marks the 10th anniversary of the popular shoe, but as Nike and Janoski celebrate the occasion, a commemorative video produced by Godfrey Dadich Partners unveils that the partnership didn’t begin as smoothly as the company may have expected.
“He was such a hot commodity we wanted to come out with a shoe very quickly. But yeah…it didn’t work out that way,” explained Kevin Imamura, who leads product at Nike SB.
The seven-minute short film goes on to detail Janoski’s relentless requests for an ultra-thin, ultra-low shoe — quite the opposite of the other swanky and futuristic styles that the brand was cooking up with other athletes at the time. “I want my foot to bleed,” recalls Nike SB creative director James Arizumi of Janoski’s graphic aesthetic wishes.
While it took several meetings, explosive temper tantrums and, reportedly, even sneakers being thrown around, a decade later the franchise has grown to be one of Nike’s most lucrative collaborations. Over the course of its history, the range has notched over 1,500 different versions and counting, with some of this year’s releases including a “Tiffany” colorway and a pastel-washed deconstructed edition.
“My shoe, my way. That’s what I said. I don’t care. I don’t have a shoe now and if you don’t do it the way I want it, then I still won’t have a shoe. Doesn’t matter to me,” said Janoski.
Learn more about the humorous back story by watching the full video above, and for more from this storied collaboration check out the special 10th Anniversary “Remastered” collection.