On 4/20, we were treated to a surreal experience by the Undefeated crew. No, it’s not what you think, they just gave us something to put on our heads and we got to see the world from a whole new perspective. No, wait, seriously it was out this world. Ah, dammit…
Ever since Undefeated’s La Brea location found space for both their flagship store and a pop-up spot for special events, they have let their imagination run wild. Just a few weeks ago, the smaller area – which was the original UNDFTD on La Brea – was the hub for all things Air Max Day in the LA area. Now it is the place to be if you want to buy their latest collaboration with Nike, the UNDFTD x NikeLAB Dunk Lux.
We’ve known about the shoe for quite some time now, but like all leaks of a shoe, that wasn’t part of the marketing plan. With the launch coming
up soon today, the store still wanted to do something special for the project and not just drop it on April 21st today with little fanfare. So they teamed up with the folks at IM360 to create a virtual reality experience using the Samsung Gear VR that brings the shoe to life.
If you were among the VIP invited to check out the 360° short, you were treated to a dark lit room that looks like something out the dark recesses of a beautiful TRON nightmare (like this). The bright red lights fill the room and there are pair of Gear VR headsets ready for you to use. Just don’t walk around like you have the whole space to yourself because you could be one of the many people who either hit someone else or almost broke the tv display. I learned those lessons hard after watching a few people get on the headsets.
The video itself is an all angles recreation of the iconic Nike freestyle video that starred Nike Basketball stars like Jason Williams, Baron Davis, Rasheed Wallace and many others. The difference of course is that instead of watching scenes being cut and edited, this is one continuous performance where the players are all around you pulling off tricks. Like any VR simulation, it’s something that really has to be seen to be believed.
The UNDFTD x NikeLab Dunk Lux reminds me a lot of the Air Jordan 2 Wing It. From the muted color palette to the slogan that plays a huge role in the aesthetics of the shoe, it feels like they came from the same design meeting. Where the two take branching paths is while the Wing It 2 is a “remastered” retro, the Dunk Lux has modern sensibilites such as the three different sets of laces included in the package, the Infrared swoosh to provide some contrast and the Lunar sockliner. From afar it might remind you of other brands that just slap half their name on the shoe and call it a day, but there’s a little bit more to it than that. Not enough for me to buy a pair (anybody that attended the viewing yesterday could purchase the kicks ahead of release), but I’m glad there was effort put into the release.
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