Nike SB x Gino Iannucci: A history in footwear
It's been remarked that in last few years he’s spent more time on camera being interviewed and talking about skateboarding than the sum total of skate footage in his entire career, and that’s probably true. So much has already been said and written about Gino Iannucci’s skateboarding style and legacy that at this point there’s almost nothing left to add, so we’ll just say this… if you don’t know the history of the man then these are some good places to start -
Quarter Snacks - Long Island With Gino Iannucci
Bobshirt - Interview
Mission Statement - Interview
Trilogy - 101 part
Transworld - Yeah Right! Commentary
Photo: Cole Giordano. From Jenkem Mags '16 Things You Didn't Know About Gino'
Gino is Nike SBs longest serving team rider, having been part of the team since it’s inception in 2002. By our count his up coming Bruin is his fifth official colourway with the brand, so we thought we’d take a look back at all the shoes he’s worked on with Nike over the past 18 years.
2002 - Dunk
Following an unsuccessfully attempt to enter the skate footwear market in the late 90s Nike dipped a toe back in with the Alphanumeric Dunks in 2001, but it wasn’t until the following year that they launched Nike SB proper. The debut collection consisted of four Dunks built of premium materials and featuring the now feted fat tongue, at this point they were simply Nike branded as the ’Nike SB’ logo hadn’t come in to play yet. Each of the debut Dunk colourways were created by a member of Nike's newly minted skate team - Reese Forbes, Danny Supa, Richard Mulder and of course Gino Iannucci.
Dunk Low SB. Obsidian/Light Graphite-Black. 304292-401
Gino's effort was a subtle mix of obsidian blue and black in the classic suede over leather combination, featuring perforations on the vamp and quarter - a detail that would become something of a signature on future Gino colourways. As with most of the early Dunk SBs these now fetch a pretty penny, the closest most people have ever got to owning a pair is the retro’d high top version from 2017.
2004 - FC
The second series of rider colourways came along in the winter of 2004 and once again featured models by four SB riders: Daniel Shimizu - Dunk High, Chet Childress - FC, Reese Forbes - Dunk Low and Gino Iannucci - FC.
The FC seemed like a perfect fit for Gino, his penchant for skating in non-traditional footwear models is well documented, he was skating in Air Force Ones back in the mid-90s, long before Nike SB came to be, and has been spotted wearing an array of non-SB Nike models over the years. The FC was the first football inspired model to enter the SB line, although it was fairly short lived it made a significant mark and meant that Nike SB would revisit soccer style footwear a number of times. Following shortly after the F.C. there was the Abington and more recently the Gato, at some point in-between a Tiempo SB was sampled but it didn’t make the cut.
Air Zoom FC. Light Bone/White. 308173-011
Gino’s FC colourway was similar to his Dunk in terms of materials - suede over perforated leather, but the leather this time had an almost iridescent quality to it and he stepped up the detailing. The footbeds of each shoe featured recreations of Gino’s swallow tattoos and the heel tab was embroidered with the ‘Hand’ family crest, one of the first families to have left the UK and settled in Long Island in the 1600s. To compliment each shoe in the riders series there were also matching t-shirts, Gino's featuring both the swallows and the crest from his shoe.
2010 - Blazer
This was the first Poets collaboration, at that point the Poets skate shop was a going concern in Long Island, and the shoe features the Long Island Lighthouse which served as the shop logo embroidered on the heel. An almost entirely Navy affair with a suede toe, perforated suede quarter with a white underlay and a canvas Swoosh and eyestay. The most significant feature however was the foxing tape, instead of the usual textured foxing, Gino opted for a lower profile tape with a smooth finish and a stripe similar to the sole unit that had been used on the Nike SB Harbor model, giving the Blazer a sleeker look.
Blazer SB. Obsidian/Obsidian. 314070-401
2012 - Challenge Court
At Gino’s behest, Nike once again took a model that had existed in one of its more traditional sports categories, updated and improved it and added it to the SB line. The model in questions was the Challenge Court, a mid-height tennis shoe that had been worn by several international players in the 80’s, with Gino being both a fan and player of tennis it made perfect sense.
Challenge Court SB. Swan/Gorge Green-Black. 524849-130
Built from suede, leather and a breathable mesh with an updated profile, an elongated toe and a Lunarlon footbed the Challenge Court SB came dressed in white and green, the traditional colour palette of Tennis.
Unfortunately despite launching with a pretty great commercial featuring a true tennis legend - John McEnroe, the Challenge Court had something of a lukewarm reception at retail and it’s rumoured that Gino was not entirely happy with the final product so it's one of SB's most short-lived models, only existing in 3 colourways. If you ever decide to track a pair down aim to go up half a size as the fit is on the small side.
2020 - Bruin
Nike SB love to tinker with the Bruin, it seems like there have been more iterations of this shoe under the SB banner than any other model. In terms of the over all construction Gino’s Poets Bruin is as close to the original Bruin SB as we have seen in a long time, the panelling and proportions look the same and we’re very happy to see the return of the overlay on the toe.
There are of course a few differences and in this respect it feels like the natural descendent of the Poets Blazer SB - the tongue is the ’sportswear’ version with the exposed foam, the toe bumper has gone and (just in case you missed it) it features a massive heat welded Swoosh!
Bruin React. Black/Electro Lime-White. CU3211-001
Available from Saturday the 11th these won’t be around for long.