Short for “Concept Japan,” CO.JP was a Japan-only NSW initiative that ran from the mid ’90s into the early ’00s. In many ways it was a precursor to the “sneaker game” as we know it today — limited regional releases, shop-exclusive collaborations and more were given a launching pad by CO.JP’s unique release and distribution tactics. “CO.JP is the architect,” Jeff Staple told HYPEBEAST in an August 2020 interview about the line. “If it wasn’t for CO.JP, you wouldn’t have quickstrikes, you wouldn’t have segmented distribution, you wouldn’t have Tier Zero releases, you wouldn’t have SNKRS.”
Similar to the “Vote Back” tournament SNKRS conducted with classic models from LeBron James’ Nike Basketball line, the “CO.JP Tournament” pits 16 sneakers against one another in head-to-head matchups that lets app users select what shoes will move towards the final. Standouts include the Air Force 1 Low “UENO Sakura” from 2005, the atmos x Air Force 1 Low from 2001, the Air Max 90 “Escape” from 2002 and the Dunk Low “Un-Tiffany” from 2006 plus some cult favorites and latter-day styles that drew inspiration from CO.JP products. A full list can be seen below.
Nike Air Footscape Leather “UENO City Attack” (2000)
Nike Air Zoom Seismic B (2000)
atmos x Nike Air Force 1 Low (2001)
Nike Air Max 1 B (2002)
Nike Air Rift WMNS (2002)
Nike Air Max 20 “Escape” (2002)
Nike Dunk High Premium (2003)
Nike Air Force 1 Low “UENO Sakura” (2005)
Nike Dunk Low “City Attack” Pack (2005)
Nike Air Force 1 Premium (2006)
Nike Dunk Low “Beast Pack” (2006)
Nike Dunk Low “Un-Tiffany” (2006)
Nike Air Chukka Moc WMNS “Urban Night Pack” (2008)
Nike Blazer Mid Perf TZ (2009)
Nike Lavadunk (2010)
Nike Elite Vintage NRG (2012)
Until now, CO.JP hasn’t truly had a proper return to the spotlight. Though the Air Jordan 1 “Metallic Silver” and Air Jordan 1 “Midnight Navy” — both CO.JP releases — returned to market in 2020 after nearly two decades, the tournament will give some of the most famous CO.JP models a second chance in the spotlight. At the time of writing, Nike has not announced if the winner will be put into production, but more info will likely be revealed soon.
For more news on upcoming sneaker releases, be sure to check out the latest installment of HYPEBEAST’s weekly Best Footwear Drops series.